Evangelical church, currently the Roman-Catholic Filial Church of Our Lady Queen of Poland, Chełst
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Evangelical church, currently the Roman-Catholic Filial Church of Our Lady Queen of Poland

Chełst

photo

The church is an interesting example of an 18th-century ecclesiastical building having a timber-frame structure. It is a valuable testimony to the multicultural heritage of Greater Poland.

History

The first historical mention of the village — at that time made up of five houses and inhabited by pitch makers — comes from 1564. Originally, it was part of the Crown lands. A paper mill existed in the village in 1580. During the period of the Partitions, the village bore the name “Neuteich” and was mainly inhabited by Evangelicals. During the inter-war period, the state border, whose short section ran along the Miała River, divided the village into two parts: a German one (on the west) and a Polish one (on the east). A memorial to the division, which lasted for many years, are the names: Chełst Polski and Chełst Niemiecki, which are still used.The timber-framed church which has survived to this day was erected in 1765. After 1945, the building was taken over by the Catholic Church. On 15 June 1947, the church was dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Poland. Currently, the church is a filial church of the Parish of St John Cantius in Niegosław. A porch was built onto the west wall of the church after 1976. In 1983, a religious instruction room was built by the south wall. The church was renovated in 1989 and 1995.

Description

The church is situated in the central part of the village, on the south side of a road from Wieleń and Drawsko to Drezdenko. The church is oriented towards the east (and slightly towards the north). The area surrounding the church (a former graveyard) is enclosed partially with a new fence made up of metal rods stretching between brick posts and partially — with a wooden picket fence. The graveyard contains 19th-century graves and an obelisk commemorating inhabitants of the village who died during World War I.

The aisleless church has a rectangular floor plan with a smaller, rectangular annex serving as a porch on the west side and a rectangular religious instruction room on the south side. The compact body of the building is topped with a tall half-hip roof. The west annex has a three-pitched roof and the religious instruction room has a mono-pitched roof.

The church has a timber-frame structure with brick infill, resting on a tall brick wall base. The exterior panels and the interior walls are covered with plaster. The walls of the religious instruction room, made of brick and plastered, are adorned with a painted imitation of a timber frame. The roofs of the church and the annexes are covered with sheet metal. Inside, there is a wooden beamed ceiling.

The design of the exterior walls is based on the contrast between the dark timber frame and the plastered brick infill, painted white. The rectangular windows are framed by simple wooden surrounds. The church has two rectangular door openings, sheltered by small dual-pitched roofs: one in the west porch and the other in the north wall.

Inside, there is a wooden beamed ceiling. Wooden galleries, enclosed with full frame-and-panel parapets and supported by posts, run along the west wall and the side walls. The original fittings of the church that have been preserved to this day include an altar incorporating decorative 18th-century side sections (the so-called uszaki) and newer elements (top section, small columns) from the 19th and 20th centuries. The main altar incorporates a modern painting of Our Lady of Rokitno.

The church may be visited from the outside and — by prior arrangement — also inside.

More information, including the Holy Mass schedule, is available on the website of the Zielona Góra Diocese: www.diecezja.zgora.pl

compiled by Krzysztof Jodłowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 03-12-2015.

Bibliography

  • Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, koncepcja, teksty i wybór fotografii P. Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2004, s. 44.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1765 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Chełst
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district czarnkowsko-trzcianecki, commune Drawsko
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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