Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Centawa
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary



Besides the Gothic origin and the original body, thanks to the material used, the church in Centawa boasts a Renaissance coffered ceiling with relief rosettes and floral decoration.


The first mention of the church in Centawa appear in the 14th-century Peter’s pence records. The existing Gothic structure was built around the 15th/16th century. The coffered ceiling was founded in 1586 - its middle field exhibits an inscription with the date and coats of arms.

In 1872 the church was closed due to the risk of collapsing. In the years 1886-1887, it underwent thorough renovation. The roofing was replaced and sacristies were added along with the south porch and a staircase at the tower. The tower was raised. In the course of the works, the church fittings were probably replaced.


The church is located at the junction of Powstańców Śląskich Street and Jemielicka Street, on an oval square surrounded by a stone, buttressed fence with two entrances on the east-west axis.

The church is oriented towards the east; it has a rectangular nave and a narrower chancel with a three-sided termination (with a crypt); the chancel is flanked by rectangular annexes (the old and new sacristy) and a quadrilateral tower from the west. There is a porch in the middle bay of the nave, on the south side.

The church features Gothic and neo-Gothic elements; it is made of brick and buttressed. During a 19th- century renovation, the window openings splayed on both sides were altered from full-arched into pointed-arched. They are filled with geometric stained glass and trefoil tracery at the top. The nave and chancel are covered with gable roofs with different ridge height, with the chancel roof planes extended over the sacristies. An ave-bell is placed above the chancel; neo-Gothic dormers are seen in the nave roof planes.

The church tower in its ground floor level is quadrilateral and made of stone; the upper level, added in the 19th century, is octagonal and wooden. It is domed with a wooden pyramidal cupola.

The church's interior is covered with a Renaissance coffered ceiling with relief rosettes embraced by painted floral ornament and bordure. The middle field bears an inscription reading that the ceiling was founded by Magdalena Centawska in 1586.

Today, the church’s fittings are mainly from the period of renovation, i.e. the late 19th century. These are: pulpit, baptismal font, organ casing, the images of the Stations of the Cross, and a set of pews. The main altar and two side altars with the paintings of Łukasz Mrzygłód were built in the 1950s. Of the original fittings and equipment, only two Baroque statues of Sts Peter and Paul from the main altar have survived, currently placed on consoles in the nave.

Moreover, the crypt of the church concealed, until 1967, a 17th-century, painted metal coffin with inscriptions and heraldic symbols. In 1970 it was transferred to the Museum of the Silesian Piasts in Brzeg.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 23-01-2015 r.


  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. VII: Województwo opolskie, z. 14: Powiat strzelecki, red. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warszawa 1961, s. 1-2.
  • Lutsch H., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, t. 4: Die Kunstdenkmäler des Reg. Bezirks Oppeln, Breslau 1892, s. 267-268.
  • Sztuka Śląska Opolskiego od średniowiecza do końca w. XIX, T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Kraków 1974, s. 212
  • (23.01.2015 r.)

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XIV/XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Powstańców Śląskich , Centawa
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district strzelecki, commune Jemielnica
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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