Complex of the Parish Church of St Barbara and Andrew the Apostle and a Pauline monastery, Częstochowa
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Complex of the Parish Church of St Barbara and Andrew the Apostle and a Pauline monastery

Częstochowa

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One of the three historic Pauline monastery complexes in the city. A representative example of a Late Baroque complex formed as a result of alterations to and extensions of the original church from the mid-14th century and monastery buildings.

History

The monastery complex, intended to be used as a Pauline novitiate complex, was built in the years 1637-1642 on the initiative of the contemporary Prior of the Jasna Góra Monastery, Fr Andrzej Gołdonowski. The monastery was located on the site where a wooden chapel of St Barbara used to stand. The chapel was related to the cult of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa painting, which was abandoned in this area and washed in a local spring after it was desecrated by iconoclasts in 1430. Originally, the complex consisted of a one-nave church, a monastery, a building for pilgrims, two wooden buildings for monastery servants, a number of various facilities, and a garden. In 1660, a monastery oratory (the Chapel of St Anne), communicated with the monastery building on the first floor by means of a roofed porch, was constructed over the sacristy adjoining the church on the east side. The complex was destroyed a number of times in the 2nd half of the 17th century and at the beginning of the 18th century. The monastery building was altered before 1740: an avant-corps was added on the north side, among other things. The Chapel at the Spring, located to the south of the church, was also built in the 1st half of the 18th century. Probably in 1773, as part of the reconstruction of the church after it was damaged during fights related to the Bar Confederation, the nave part of the church was enlarged by side naves and the church façades were plastered. In 1864, the monastery complex was taken away from the Pauline Fathers by tsar order due to the active participation of the monks in the January Uprising. In 1891, the complex started to be administered by the diocese, which turned the complex into a parish. In 1892, thorough renovations of the complex were initiated, including the construction of arcades to the side naves in the church, the erection of the Chapel of Archangel Michael next to the chancel, alterations to the ground floor of the monastery building, and replacing the structure and roof of the church. The next major repair and maintenance works aimed at restoring the original external appearance of the complex were carried out in 1954. The brick façades of the oldest parts of the church, i.e. the main nave, the chancel, and the tower, were unveiled then. The last significant maintenance and renovation works, consisting in the inhibition of destruction processes and the restoration of the original architectural details, were completed in 2010.

Description

The monastery complex is located in the former suburban area of St Barbara, situated to the south of Jasna Góra, at the intersection of Św. Barbary Street and Słowackiego Street. The complex consists of a church, located in the west part, a four-wing building of the former monastery, standing to the east of the church, and the Chapel of the Holy Spring, situated to the south of the church.

The church is made of brick and stone and constructed on a rectangular floor plan; it consists of a three-nave, two- and three-bay nave part and a narrow, two-bay chancel part, terminating in an apse on the south side, with rectangular annexes on the sides. The dominant feature of the church building is the central, oldest, brick part of the church, i.e. the main nave covered with a gable roof, a slightly narrower chancel covered with a similar roof to the south and — to the north — a tower on a square plan, passing into an octagonal and then a circular plan at the higher storeys and surmounted by a bulbous, dome-like roof with lanterns. On both sides of the main nave, there are low side naves with mono-pitched roofs. The low Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, adjoining the chancel on the west side, is also covered with a mono-pitched roof. The two-storeyed sacristy with the Chapel of St Anne, adjoining the chancel on the east side, is topped with a bulbous, polygonal roof with a lantern.

The triaxial façade consists of a three-storeyed brick tower framed by one-storeyed, plastered façades of the side naves, topped with triangular pediments. On the tower axis, there is a Neo-Baroque main portal from 1893, framed by an arcade on pilasters supporting an entablature and a triangular gable crowned with a statue of Jesus Christ, whereas niches in the side naves contain statues of Blessed Virgin Mary and Child and of Saint Joseph. There are also statues of St Adalbert and St Stanislaus in the top corners of the front façade. The other façades of the main nave and the chancel are decorated with a reduced entablature running around the nave and with newer window surrounds, whereas the façades of the side naves and of the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament feature profiled crowning cornices and similar window surrounds. On the south facade, on the apse axis, there are two niches: an upper one with a wooden crucifix and a lower one with a stone sculpture of St Stanislaus Kostka.

The interior of the church consists of a three-nave, basilica-type nave part connected with the tower on the north side and of a narrow chancel terminated with an apse. The interiors of the two-bay chancel and the two-bay main nave are covered with groin-barrel vaults on arches. The chancel and the nave are separated by a semi-circular rood arch. Pairs of round-arch arcades supported by low pillars lead from the main nave to the side naves. The walls of the main nave and the chancel are decorated with pilasters crowned with imposts in the form of entablatures. In the west part of the nave, there is a wooden music choir supported by two columns. The three-bay side naves, just like the interiors of the sacristy, the porch, and the chapel on the first floor, are covered with double barrel vaults.

The preserved elements of the church interior include a Neo-Baroque, architectural main altar from 1882 with sculptures of St Augustine, St Ambrose, and St Barbara on the main panel, two Late Baroque, architectural side altars from the 1st half of the 18th century beside the chancel arch wall, two Late Baroque altars along the south walls of the two side naves, altered in the 19th century, as well as an architectural tabernacle from the 19th century, an Early Baroque pulpit from c. mid-17 century, a Neo-Baroque, wooden organ gallery from the mid-19th century, supported by two columns, and altars in the chapels (a 19th century one in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and a Late Baroque one from c. mid-18th century in the Chapel of Saint Anne).

The free-standing, four-winged former monastery building is made of brick and stone and constructed around a rectangular garth, communicated with the church by means of a roofed porch on the west side. Each monastery wing is a two-storeyed, rectangular structure covered with a high gable roof, framed by round pseudo-towers in the corners. The north wing features an avant-corps on its central axis.

The multiaxial façades of the monastery building are decorated with sparingly arranged horizontal divisions and restored window casings. The avant-corps at the front is decorated with corner Tuscan pilasters in the giant order, supporting an entablature at the top. The entrance opening on the avant-corps axis is embellished with a Late Baroque stone portal of the so-called “długoszowy” type (characterised by “stairs”), possibly coming from the Gothic buildings of Jasna Góra dismantled in the 1640s. Over the portal, there is a stone plaque commemorating the completion of the construction works.

The interior of each wing consists of one suite of rooms communicated with the corridor on the garth side. Rooms on the ground floor and on the first floor are covered with groin-barrel vaults and barrel vaults with lunettes and the corridors are covered with double barrel vaults. The avant-corps of the north wing contains an open entrance hall and the north wing contains an altered half landing staircase with a barrel vault. On the first floor of the north wing, there is a former monastery library room covered with a flattened cloister vault with lunettes, embellished with stuccowork and painted decorations, neighbouring a former refectory.

The roofed porch adjoining the west wing and providing communication between the monastery and the church is a two-storeyed structure covered with a gable roof, with arcades on the ground floor supporting a storey containing a narrow corridor.

The Baroque Chapel of St Barbara at the Spring is made of stone and brick and built on a square plan. The building has the form of a slender cuboid with cut-off corners surmounted by a dome with a lantern. The interior of the chapel is divided by means of evenly spaced pairs of pilasters in the giant order, supporting a broken entablature. Over the entablature, the ceiling of the dome is covered with paintings from 1747, repainted in the 1950s, depicting the history of the painting of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa from 1430. Between the pilasters, at two storeys, there are niches containing window and door openings. The altar is located in a segmental-arched niche on the east side, with framing wider at the top and narrower below. In the middle of the chapel, there is a spring enclosed with a modern stone casing. The chapel façades on the sides and in the corners are decorated with Tuscan pilasters, supporting a broken entablature. On the axis of each facade, there is a round-arch arcade (on the east side — a pseudo-arcade), over which there are segmental-arched window niches.

The church is open to visitors.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 09-09-2015.

Bibliography

  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury. Kościół p.w. śś. Barbary i Andrzeja Apostoła [w Częstochowie], opr. J. Perczak, 1996, Archiwum NID.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury. Budynek nowicjatu, ob. plebania kościoła p.w. śś. Barbary i Andrzeja Apostoła [w Częstochowie], opr. J. Perczak, 1996, Archiwum NID.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury. Kaplica p.w. Św. Barbary nad źródłem przy kościele p.w. śś. Barbary i Andrzeja Apostoła [w Częstochowie], opr. J. Perczak, 1996, Archiwum NID.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki, T. VI, Miasto Częstochowa, cz. 1: Stare i Nowe Miasto, Częstochówka i Przedmieścia, red. Z. Rozanow, E. Smulikowska, Warszawa 1995, s. 9-22.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1637-1642
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Św. Barbary 51, Częstochowa
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Częstochowa, commune Częstochowa
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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