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Filial church of St Lawrence, Cynków
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Filial church of St Lawrence



An example of historical wooden ecclesiastical architecture of the Upper Silesia region, its post-and-plank structure being a truly unique feature that sets it apart from other buildings of its kind which have survived in the surrounding area. The church of St Lawrence is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the northern part of the region, forming part of the Trail of Wooden Architecture of Silesia which forms a loop around the city of Częstochowa. In addition, the church remains exceptionally valuable due to its original form which has barely changed throughout the centuries as well as due to the presence of surviving period fixtures and fittings of excellent artistic quality.


Erected in 1631 by Walenty Ruray, a master carpenter from Pyskowice, the church of St Lawrence was the first ecclesiastical building to be erected in the village. The building has survived almost entirely unchanged despite the passage of time, with the western porch being the only subsequent addition, having most likely been added in the 19th century. Despite its almost 400-year history, the church was officially designated as the centre of the parish on October 4, 1977, by decree of the bishop of Częstochowa, thereby allowing it to function independently from the parish in

Koziegłowy. However, the church enjoyed its parish status only briefly, with most of the church services being held instead in the new chapel, erected alongside the rectory in 1983, in the centre of the village. Today, the building serves as a filial church. Services conducted on an everyday basis are held at the new church of the Virgin Mary the Queen of Poland, erected in the 1990s. No detailed analyses of the church have been performed so far, thereby making it impossible to make a definite determination as to the exact construction history of the structure. The very first information concerning the renovation of the church date back to the years 1951-1958 and pertain to the comprehensive restoration conducted at the initiative of the erstwhile parish priest, rev. Wacław Kałuski. The works performed during that period included, among others, the addition of a lightning rod, comprehensive roof refurbishment (1955), including the replacement of the wood shingle cladding as well as a few dozen damaged rafters, as well as the replacement of the weatherboard cladding of the walls (1956). Numerous interior conservation works were also performed one year later, including the renovation of the main and side altarpieces.


The church of St Lawrence is situated by the road, at the north-eastern edge of the village. The church, located in a picturesque spot among the fields, stands on a small plot of land surrounded by a brick perimeter wall, with the main entrance being located on Świętego Wawrzyńca street, while a pair of auxiliary wicket gates can be found in the northern and southern sections of the perimeter wall. The church stands in the shade of old trees forming a ring around the building, growing on the site of what had once been the local cemetery. The presence of lush greenery lends the church an additional, idyllic charm.

Designed on a roughly rectangular floor plan, the church consists of two main sections: the short, square nave and the narrower, rectangular chancel with a semi-hexagonal end section, adjoining the eastern side of the nave. The silhouette of the church is enlivened by the presence of a small sacristy, designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan and adjoining the northern side of the chancel, as well as by the 19th-century porch preceding the western façade of the nave. The church, oriented towards the east, is a single-nave post-and-plank structure made of larch wood, positioned on stone foundations. The main body of the church is covered with a gable roof with pronounced eaves, while the sacristy features a shed roof. A hexagonal steeple topped with a cupola rises above the eastern section of the nave. The main entrance is positioned on the middle axis of the western façade of the nave and leads through the front porch, while two additional side entrances can be found in the northern and southern façades. The sacristy entrance is located in its western façade; from the sacristy, a passage leads into the chancel. Single-flight stairs located in the north-western corner of the nave facilitate access to the organ gallery. The façades of the church are simple and austere, devoid of any decorative detailing, their entire surface clad with wood shingles. All of the façades follow a single-axial layout, with the exception of the southern façade, which features a four-axial layout instead. The nave and the chancel are separated by a chancel arch wall with a rectangular aperture topped with a pair of sturdy beams forming an outline reminiscent of a pointed arch, surmounted with the vernacular sculptures of Christ Crucified, St Sebastian and St Lawrence. The simple organ gallery supported by a pair of pillars is located in the western part of the nave. Beneath the simple, wooden beamed ceilings lies a trio of old portals arranged symmetrically across the peripheral walls of the nave, featuring distinctive lintels in the form of paired arches. The interior, designed in the Baroque style, features a Late Renaissance main altarpiece with a 19th-century painting of St Lawrence, with the side altarpieces (especially the left one) being graced by numerous Gothic sculptures; another notable item is the Late Renaissance pulpit.

The building can only be viewed from the outside, its interiors only being made available during church service.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 27-11-2015.


  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa. Kościół filialny pw. św. Wawrzyńca, oprac. J. Puźniak, 1987 (przechowywana w AZ WUOZ w Katowicach);
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. VI woj. Katowickie, red. I. Rajduch-Samkowa, J. Samka, z. 9 powiat myszkowski, oprac. A. M. Olszewski, O. Solarzówna, Warszawa 1962, s. 3-4

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1631 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Świętego Wawrzyńca 2, Cynków
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district myszkowski, commune Koziegłowy - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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