Parish church of the Holy Trinity and the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (church complex), Chodel
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Parish church of the Holy Trinity and the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (church complex)

Chodel

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The oldest brick church in the Lublin region, founded by the members of the Maciejowski family and exhibiting features of both the Gothic and the Renaissance style, this church is unique in that its architectural form has been preserved virtually unchanged ever since its construction back in the 1540s. Inside, traces of the original painted decorations can still be found.

History

The parish church in Kłodnica Kościelna (which has later changed its name to Chodel) has existed at least from 1325; the construction of the current, brick edifice commenced somewhere around 1540, before even the parish itself was established in 1541. The church took more than 10 years to complete, with the finishing touches being put around the year 1550. In years 1548 - 1550, the interior received its painted decorations, designed in the Renaissance style. The church was funded by Bernard Maciejowski of the Ciołek coat of arms, who served as the castellan of Lublin; the construction itself, however, was only finished by his sons - Bernard, who also went on to became the castellan of Lublin, and Samuel, the bishop of Płock and then of Cracow. The church was consecrated in 1584. In years 1610, 1661 and 1668 the roofs of the building were damaged by numerous fires. It is believed that the original roof of the tower, clad with wood shingles, was replaced by a flat roof concealed beneath a roof parapet following the first of those fires. In 1845, the entire roof above the main body of the church was lowered, while in 1880 the arcaded pipe organ gallery was added, closing off the arcade of the former gallery inside the tower with a wall. In years 1895-1903 a morgue was erected alongside the tower; the tower itself received a new cupola, while the side entrances into the church were bricked up. The church also received new terracotta flooring at that time. The church cemetery was surrounded with a brick wall with a wicket gate. The church suffered some damage during World War I and was subsequently restored in the 1920s. However, the cupola that had once graced the tower was never rebuilt. In the course of renovation works performed in 1959, the pointed rood arch was exposed once again, with the partially preserved painted decorations beneath the arch and inside the chancel being restored.

Description

The church features elements of both the Gothic and the Renaissance style.

It is a brick and stone structure, with brick-clad limestone being used for the tower, while the main body is made of brick. The window surrounds, cornices, top section of the roof parapet, finials and corners of the porch beneath the tower are covered with plaster, as are the interior walls of the building. The church is oriented towards the east and features a single-nave, four-bay main body with a tower up front as well as a narrower, two-bay chancel with a semi-hexagonal termination, flanked by two identical annexes (the sacristy and the treasury) featuring galleries for the patrons on the first-floor level; the side sections of these annexes may at first glance appear to be positioned in parallel to the walls of the church, but are in fact slightly diagonal. The walls of both the nave and the termination of the chancel feature stepped buttresses. A morgue abuts the right (southern) side of the tower. All of the windows are either semicircular in shape (with splayed window reveals on both sides) or in the form of oculi.

The interior of the nave is a single, open space, its walls being divided into five low, shallow semi-domical niches framed by archivolts which rest upon impost blocks. An arcaded pipe organ gallery with a brick parapet rises above the main entrance and is supported by Tuscan columns. The nave features a barrel vault with lunettes, supported by short sections of Tuscan pilasters embedded in the wall beneath the window line. The church features a pointed rood arch adorned with painted decorations. The chancel, the northern sacristy and the porch beneath the tower all feature lierne vaults, while the treasury and the patrons’ galleries boast barrel vaults with pronounced ribs. The interior of the church features both antique and modern painted decorations. The floors are made of ceramic tiles.

All façades of the church are clad with brick. The five-storey tower in the front section of the church is divided by a series of cornices and features a number of arched windows positioned on its axis. The top section of the tower is adorned with a decorative roof parapet. The lower level of the tower is designed on a square floor plan and features rusticated corners, whereas the corners of the upper part are truncated. The front walls of the topmost storeys of the tower are rounded in shape. The tower is flanked by stepped fractables adorned with quarter-circle pinnacles. The lower parts of the sacristy feature rusticated corners. The church features gable roofs, with multi-faceted roofs being used for the side chapels; all roofs are clad with sheet metal.

The original fixtures and fittings include the architectural main altarpiece from the mid-17th century - which has undergone an unsuccessful redesign in the 1870s - as well as two sculpted grave slabs from years 1570-1580, a stone baptismal font dating back to the year 1616 and three stone portals.

The church may be admired from the outside.

compiled by Roman Zwierzchowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 27-03-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, T. VIII, województwo lubelskie, pod red. R. Brykowskiego i z. Winiarz, z. 1, powiat bełżycki, Warszawa 1960
  • Kościół parafialny w Chodlu. Architektura - malowidła - rzeźba, Dokumentacja nauk.-hist., oprac. A. Cebulak, P. Mras, mps PP PKZ O/Lublin 1984, arch. NID OT w Lublinie, Biblioteka WUOZ w Lublinie
  • http://chodel.com/parafia/kosciol.htm

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1540 - 1550
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Chodel
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district opolski, commune Chodel
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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