Parish Church of St Anne, Chojne
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Parish Church of St Anne

Chojne

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One of the most valuable ecclesiastical buildings of the late-Renaissance period located in central Poland, with Late Renaissance fittings and vault decorations characteristic of the architecture of Kalisz and Lublin.

History

The church was built in 1599 (1613?). It was founded by Stanisław Zapolski of the Pobóg coat of arms and consecrated by the bishop of Chełmno Maciej Łubieński in 1648. Initially, there was a wooden chapel on the site which - when a parish was established there by bishop Jan Łaski - received the status of the parish church. The parish was established owing to the efforts of Jan Liciński from Chojny on 13.12.1527. In 1540, the local landowner Jan Łyczewski replaced the chapel with a new wooden church which, in turn, was later superseded by the current, brick one. Initially, the church was dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and then to St Anne. In 1621, a two-storey annex was added to the chancel, adjoining it to the north and containing a sacristy on the ground floor and a chapel of the Virgin Mary on the first floor. Another restoration, carried out in 1906, consisted in redesigning the tower; a decorative parapet wall and window surrounds were added during that time.

Description

The village of Chojne is located 8 km to the south-east from Sieradz, along a local road leading away from the route from Sieradz to Burzenin. The church is located in the valley of the river Warta, in the centre of a fenced church cemetery. It is oriented towards the east. From the north-east, the church area borders with a manor house and park complex. The Late Renaissance church is comprised of a rectangular nave with a shallow transept and a narrower chancel with a polygonal end section. The chancel is adjoined to the north by the sacristy which was added at a later date (1621), above which there is a chapel of the Virgin Mary. A pair of porches adjoins the nave towards the west and the south. Between the tower and the nave, there is a cylindrical staircase to the organ gallery. The body of the church is compact in shape, formed by a group of structures clustered around the nave, with a dominant feature in the form of a five-storey tower located axially along almost the whole width of the front façade, topped with a cupola and a lantern. The nave body is covered with a steep gable roof, with a small steeple jutting from the roof ridge. Over the chancel, there is a multi-faceted roof. The chapel is topped with a cupola on a tholobate with a lantern. The church is made of brick, its walls covered with plaster; the roof of the church is clad with beaver tail roof tiles and copper sheets. The nave is covered by a barrel vault with lunettes, the chancel and sacristy - with double barrel vaults. The façades are covered with plaster, with a profiled cornice in the top section; the walls are supported with buttresses and partitioned with window openings with semi-circular arches and splayed jambs. The current architectural design of the tower originates from 1906. The façades with rusticated finish and pilasters in the corners are partitioned by a string course with a plain frieze and topped with a pronounced cornice with a decorative roof parapet (attic), its form being characteristic for the Renaissance Revival period. On the axis of the western façade of the tower, there is a Renaissance Revival portal. The interior is comprised of a single-space nave with a shallow transept, opening towards the chancel with a semi-circular arch in the rood wall. The walls of the nave are articulated by doubled pilasters topped with pronounced entablature with a dentil frieze. In the chancel, a pronounced profiled cornice runs along the walls beneath the vault base. An organ gallery is positioned alongside the western wall. The body (with transept arms) is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes, and the chancel and sacristy are covered with double barrel vaults. The soffit of the nave vault is adorned with a Late Renaissance stucco decoration which is reminiscent of other works of this type executed in Kalisz and Lublin. The vault in the chancel features trompe l’œil paintings with architectural, ornamental, and figurative motifs. The original, Late Renaissance stucco decoration (once again of the Kalisz and Lublin type) covering the underside of the cupola inside the chapel has also survived intact, featuring the “IHS” inscription and a double-headed eagle. Along the basis of the cupola, there is a strip decorated with plant motifs and cartouches with the Pomian, Habdank, Korab, and Dołega coats of arms, an inscribed date 1621, and the letters “P.M.” The church houses two tombstones of its founders: in the chancel - of Stanisław Zapolski of the Pobóg coat of arms, a subiudex of Sieradz, and in the nave - of Jan Łyczewski of the Dryja coat of arms, the wojski (tribune) of Sieradz. The surviving set of late-Renaissance Mannerist collator pews, with paintings by Aleksander Kałowski from Poznań, is also worth attention.

The church is accessible all year round; interior tours upon prior arrangement with the parish administrator.

compiled by Elżbieta Cieślak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 15-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. II województwo łódzkie, issue 12, Powiat Sieradzki, Warsaw 1953, pp. 288-289.
  • Piotr Gryglewski Sztuka Polski Środkowej, Łódź 2005, p. 195.
  • Rocznik Diecezji Włocławskiej, Włocławek 1991, pp. 469-470.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XVI/XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Chojne
  • Location: Voivodeship łódzkie, district sieradzki, commune Sieradz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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