Fatebenefratelli Monastery Complex of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, Cieszyn
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Fatebenefratelli Monastery Complex of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

Cieszyn

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An example of a Baroque, slightly modified Fatebenefratelli monastery complex, built in the 18th century in the form of a traditional, four-wing building, with a church incorporated on one side. The complex is also valuable from the historical point of view, as it is related to the history of the town and the region.

History

The monastery of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God was founded by Baron Adam Borek of Tworków and Roztropice in 1694. The Brothers Hospitallers, invited from Moravia to help the ill, initially lived and worked in the nearby Wędrynia, from where they moved to Cieszyn in 1700. In the years 1698-1714, they built the Cieszyn monastery combined with a church, hospital, and pharmacy according to a design by Michael Klein of Nysa. The complex was laid out outside the contemporary town walls, to the east of a former Evangelical church. The works were continued after 1714; they included the construction of a vault and a tower. The church was consecrated in 1719. The side altars were founded in 1723 and 1739 and the main altar was founded in 1743. In the years 1797-1798, the tower was built up and the monastery and church façade was redesigned in the Neoclassical style according to a design by Joseph Drachny. In the years 1895-1898, the north wing of the monastery was extended towards the east according to a design by A. Jonkisz; it was to house a hospital. It was extended again in 1912.

Description

The monastery complex was built outside the contemporary medieval city walls, to the north of the old parts of the city and the present Michejdy Street and to the east of the Church of the Holy Trinity, completed in the late 16th century. In front of the complex (on the south side), there is a small Rev. Londzina Square, situated on the north side of Michejdy Street. To the north, there are vast monastic gardens, enclosed with a brick plastered wall. The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven is incorporated into the west wing of the monastery. It is a small, Late Baroque, one-nave structure made of brick, built on a rectangular floor plan. The cuboidal structure, not having an individuated chancel, is covered with a gable roof. Its dominant feature is the tower, located on the central axis of the front façade. Both Neoclassical church façades have a rusticated socle level and are divided by means of Ionic pilasters supporting entablatures. The Neoclassical design of the front façade is characterised by the division of the lower part into three axes, which is crowned with a two-storeyed attic and a tower with a Baroque cupola. On the central axis, there is a portal surrounded by a semi-circular archivolt and crowned with a triangular pediment supported by pilasters. The 18th-century interior layout consists of a three-bay nave separated from the chancel, having the same width, by means of a round chancel arch. The nave is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes, and the chancel — with a groin vault. In the eastern part of the chancel, there is a small sacristy; on the first floor, there is an oratory, opening to the music gallery with an arcade. The nave walls are decorated symmetrically arranged Tuscan pilasters supporting a broken-line entablature; between, there are round-arched window openings. In the southern part of the nave, there is a two-storeyed, triaxial music gallery, opening to the nave with an arcade; its bays are covered with sail vaults. In the lower part of the music gallery, there is a porch with two chapels on the sides. The original elements of the church interior include: Late Baroque altars (the main one from 1743 and side ones from 1723 and 1739), a Late Baroque wooden balustrade in front of the altar, dating from the 18th century, and a Rococo pulpit from the mid-18th century. The monastery is located to the east of the church. The oldest part of the structure consists of four wings surrounding a quadrangular garth. The extension of the west wing towards the north and the extension of the north wing towards the east comprise one-storeyed component parts built at a later point. The monastery is made of brick and stone and covered with plaster. It has two storeys and cellars. Each wing is covered with a gable roof. The front façade, facing the south, is characterised by a Neoclassical, symmetrical, multi-axial design, with rustication at the ground floor level, divisions achieved by means of Ionic pilasters at the first floor level, and an entablature with a pronounced cornice at the top. The north and west façades are reinforced by massive buttresses, whereas the façades on the garth side are decorated with frame-like divisions. The interior layout of the main, oldest part of the historic building has preserved its original, one-bay design with a corridor on the garth side. Particular rooms and corridors are mostly covered with groin vaults. The refectory in the eastern part of the north wing is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes. The cellars, partially inaccessible, are covered with barrel vaults with lunettes. Inside the monastery, there are an old monastic library and an archive, among other things.

Limited access to the historic monument. The church is usually open to visitors, whereas the monastery can only be visited from the outside most of the time.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 14-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury. Pojezuicki kościół filialny pw. Św. Krzyża [w Cieszynie], opr. M. Cempla, 2001, Archiwum NID.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, T. VI, woj. katowickie, z. 3: Miasto Cieszyn i powiat cieszyński, red. I. Rejduch-Samkowa, J. Samek, Warszawa 1974, s. 16-18.
  • Łobozek M., Zabudowania klasztorne cieszyńskich bonifratrów w wiekach XVIII i XIX w świetle inwentarzy, T. I, Kraków 2006.
  • Spyra J., Via sacra. Kościoły i klasztory w Cieszynie i Czeskim Cieszynie, Cieszyn 2008, s. 91-100.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, red. S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen, Warszawa 2006.

General information

  • Type: monastery
  • Chronology: 1698-1714
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Plac Londzina 1, Cieszyn
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district cieszyński, commune Cieszyn
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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