Parish Church of St Catherine, Dąbcze
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish Church of St Catherine

Dąbcze

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The church was built in the 2nd half of the 17th century. It has a timber frame structure with clay and brick infill. The walls are covered with plaster. A high tower adjoins the nave on the west side; its lower storey forms part of the main body of the church.

History

The original, non-extant wooden church was probably built in the 13th century. Written sources from 1391 mention a parish-priest of a local parish, which existed in the village until 1410. From 1510 to 1976, the church was a filial church of the parish in Rydzyn. The present building was constructed in 1660 or in the years 1666-68 owing to the contemporary parish-priest, Wawrzyniec Wieczorkowski. Most likely, the graveyard surrounding the church was also established at that time. The parish was revived in 1976. Extensive renovation and conservation works were carried out in the years 1970-1971; they included the replacement of wooden structural wall components, the wall infill, and the tower wall weatherboards. The interior plaster covered with paintings, which were not regarded as valuable from historical and artistic points of view, were removed.

Description

The church is located in the northern part of the village, in an irregular, elongated yard, tampering into a sharp wedge in the southern part, which is a point of intersection of local roads: one leading from the north (Nowa Wieś), one leading from the west (Leszno), one leading from the south (Rydzyna), and one leading from the east (Tworzanice). The church is enclosed with a fence made up of wooden pickets on a brick wall stretching between brick posts, with a gate in its western section. Outside the fence, there is a graveyard and a procession path. Individual deciduous and coniferous trees grow along the fence.

The church is oriented to the east; it has one nave, without aisles. The nave, having a floor plan in the shape of an elongated rectangle, is adjoined by a narrower chancel having a similar floor plan. The chancel terminates in a flat wall. On the west side, the nave is adjoined by a tower having a nearly square floor plan. A rectangular sacristy adjoins the chancel on the north side. It can be entered from the east. On the second axis of the south nave façade (counting from the east), there is a porch, nearly square in shape.

The church has a compact structure made up of cuboids. It has one storey. The nave and the lower and narrower chancel are covered with tall gable roofs. The extended northern plane of the chancel roof covers the adjoining sacristy. The south porch is topped with a gable roof. The tower adjoining the nave on the west side is higher than the main body of the church — it has two storeys. It lower, wider storey is merged with the nave; it is separated from the upper, narrower storey with three roof planes. The upper storey of the tower is covered with a tented roof surmounted by a spire with a cross on a sphere.

The building has a timber frame structure with clay and brick infill. The walls, covered with plaster, rest on a plinth made of square stones. The tower has a post-and-beam structure; on the outside, it is covered with vertically positioned weatherboards. The roofs are covered with wood shingles and the roof ridge is covered with wooden ridge tiles.

Inside, there are flat ceilings. The interior walls of the nave, the chancel, the sacristy, and the porch are covered with boards.

The nave, chancel, sacristy, and porch walls have a timber frame structure, with brick and clay infill covered with plaster. In the side walls of the nave and the chancel, there are small, square windows, arranged symmetrically.

On the west side, the nave is adjoined by a two-storeyed tower, taller than the nave. The lower storey of the tower is as wide as the nave; the upper storey is narrower than the nave and separated from the lower storey with three roof planes. The tower is surmounted by a spire with a cross on a sphere. On the central axis of the west façade of the tower, there is a rectangular, segment-headed door opening with a three-pitched roof, preceded by stone steps. In each of the side façades of the lower storey of the tower, there are two rectangular window opening, one over the other. In three façades of the upper storey (containing a belfry), there are pairs of rectangular window openings.

The church has one nave, separated from the chancel with a rectangular opening incorporating a rood arch (the beam is new). Two steps lead to the chancel. In the western part of the nave, there is a music gallery supported by two piers.

In the chancel, there is a Late Renaissance main altar from the late 16th century, with paintings depicting Christ (in the central panel; 1591) and the Descent from the Cross (2nd half of the 17th century). In the north-east corner of the nave, there is a Rococo pulpit from the mid-18th century, which comes from a church (no longer existing) in Kłoda near Rydzyna. The Late Baroque pipe organ casing comes from the early 18th century.

The church is open to visitors. More information, including the Holy Mass schedule, is available on the website: http://www.archpoznan.pl/component/option,com_contact/Itemid,0/task,view/contact_id,301/ (last accessed: 6-11-2015).

compiled by Anna Dyszkant, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 6-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, koncepcja, opracowanie tekstów i wybór fotografii Piotr Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2004, s. 53.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V: Województwo poznańskie, z. 12: Powiat leszczyński, oprac. T. Ruszczyńska, A. Sławska, Warszawa 1975, s. 1-3.
  • Zgodziński B., Województwo leszczyńskie, Warszawa-Poznań 1989, s. 152-153.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1668 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Dąbcze 46
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district leszczyński, commune Rydzyna - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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