Parish church of St Martin the bishop of Tours, Ćwiklice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish church of St Martin the bishop of Tours

Ćwiklice

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Parish church of St Martin the bishop of Tours is one of the oldest and the most valuable wooden ecclesiastical buildings in the Silesian province, representing a type of church where the wooden log structure of the main body is combined with a post-and-beam tower.

History

The village of Ćwiklice, located at the eastern outskirts of Pszczyna, was first mentioned in the register of the Alms of St Peter, prepared for the parishes of the Oświęcim deanery in 1326. According to the most recent dendrochronological research, the construction of the existing church was completed in 1466. The building replaced an earlier ecclesiastical structure, constructed somewhere around the late 13th/early 14th century. The tower of the church originates from the 17th century, while the chapel was erected in the 19th century. The church was subsequently redesigned in the 18th century, with further transformations taking place in the late 19th and early 20th century. During the great flood of 2010, the church was severely damaged, necessitating the commencement of conservation works in the course of which various intriguing discoveries were made, including a crypt beneath the altarpiece as well as various previously unknown painted decorations. A dendrochronological analysis of the timber structure was also conducted, leading to new conclusions as to the actual age of the church. The local parish extends to both Ćwiklice and Rudołtowice.

Description

The church is situated on a small hill in the southern part of the village of Ćwiklice, outside the village centre. It is surrounded by a fenced parish cemetery. The fence is made up of horizontally arranged wooden boards covered with rooflets, joined together by brick posts adorned with bas-reliefs of various saints on the outside. The inner side of the fence serves as support for the shrines containing the Stations of the Cross. The church is a wooden log structure made of oak, fir and pine logs, positioned on brick and stone foundations. The walls are clad with weatherboards. The church, oriented towards the east, was designed on a roughly square plan, with the southern side thereof adjoined by a half-timbered chapel which was added at a later date. The chancel, designed on a rectangular floor plan, is lower than the nave and features a rectangular end section. The chancel is flanked by sacristies on both sides. The western façade of the church is adjoined by a tower designed on a square floor plan and featuring a slightly tapering shaft. The nave and the chancel are covered with a gable roof, with the chancel roof being visibly lower than that of the nave. The sacristies are covered with mono-pitched roofs. The tower is covered with a bulbous cupola. The hexagonal steeple projecting from the roof ridge and topped with an openwork lantern likewise features a cupola, its design similar to that which crowns the tower. The main entrance with a wooden double door is positioned on the middle axis of the front façade. It is preceded by a flight of steps and protected by a small rooflet. Above the entrance there is a niche containing a free-standing sculpture of an angel. The door is flanked by wooden plaques bearing the names of the victims of World War I as well as the Silesian Uprisings. The chapel, positioned on the southern side of the church, is accessible through a door topped with a semi-circular arch and adorned with ornamental metal fittings. The door is believed to originate from the 16th century. In the northern section there is also a double door, topped with a semi-circular arch and protected by a small rooflet. Above the doorway there is a slightly offset overlight above which the wall is pierced with a segment-headed window protected by wooden louvres. The northern side of the chancel features two rectangular windows, while the windows of the nave are topped with segmental arches. A single, rectangular window can be seen on the southern side of the chancel, while the nave features a pair of rectangular windows topped with segmental arches as well as two smaller, rectangular windows. The organ gallery in the western part of the church is supported by two pairs of pillars topped with decorative capitals. The edge of the gallery is marked by a balustrade. The faux-Baroque pipe organ casing was made by Zdzisław Zasada from Mikołów in 1982. The nave and the chancel feature a modern, flat coffered ceiling. The nave and the narrower chancel are separated by a flattened arch. The western entrance into the nave is preceded by a vestibule which forms part of the tower interior. The interior is covered with painted decorations. The walls of the nave are adorned with the scenes of the Passion of Christ and the figures of apostles, while those of the chancel are graced by the images depicting the legend of St Martin. The painted decorations were executed using the tempera technique. They are attributed to Christian Wilhelm Tischbein from Wrocław. Inside the chancel there is a Late Baroque main altarpiece, dating back to the 18th century and incorporating the painting of St Martin. The rood arch is flanked by a pair of side altarpieces, likewise dating back to the 18th century.

The church can be viewed from the outside; it is open during church service. More information is available on the website of the parish: www.marcin-cwiklice.pl

compiled by Sabina Rotowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 26-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Cenda B., Kościoły, kaplice i dzwonnice drewniane: województwo śląskie, Cracow 2015, pp. 123-125.
  • Dobrowolski T., Sztuka województwa śląskiego, Katowice 1923
  • Klajmon B., Kościół pod wezwaniem św. Marcina w Ćwiklicach w świetle najnowszych odkryć. Wstęp do badań. [in:] Rocznik Muzeum Górnośląski Park Etnograficzny w Chorzowie, 1, 2013, pp. 121-139.
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture and urban design [Parish church of St Martin in Ćwiklice], compiled by Anna Mieszkowska-Rutkowska, Wacław Rutkowski, 1996, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland
  • Kościoły drewniane na Górnym Śląsku: wystawa fotografii Józefa Dańdy, Aleksandra Niesyto (ed.), Katowice 1995.
  • Kreis A., Z drewna ciosane. Drewniana architektura sakralna w województwie śląskim, Chorzów 2004
  • Nowok R., Ćwiklice. Dzieje wsi na starej fotografii, Ćwiklice 2002
  • Płazak I., Pszczyna. Zabytki miasta i regionu. Przewodnik po muzeum. Pszczyna 1974.
  • Wyrobek A., Parafia p.w. św. Marcina w Ćwiklicach w latach 1922-1945: z dziejów duszpasterstwa na Ziemi Pszczyńskiej, Pszczyna 2012.
  • Zabytkowe kościoły drewniane w województwie śląskim, Bydgoszcz 2003.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Brzezicki S., Nielsen Ch. (eds.), Warsaw 2006, p. 718.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1466 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zawadzkiego 9, Ćwiklice
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district pszczyński, commune Pszczyna - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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