Filial Church of St Clare, Dobra
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Filial Church of St Clare

Dobra

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It is a typical example of an early Gothic church built of granite ashlars in Western Pomerania. Its interior is covered with a unique late-Gothic ceiling with a crown moulding, decorated with rich figural wall paintings.

History

In the Middle Ages, Dobra Nowogardzka was a private town and originally belonged to the von Fürstenberg family, and later to the von Dewitz family until 1808. The owners of the town also have the patronage of the church. Its chancel with a sacristy was built in the first half of the 15th century. The nave body was built in the late 15th century and early 16th century, while the chapel next to the chancel with a founder’s gallery in the 16th century. Since the Reformation, i.e., since the 1530s, the church was used by the Protestants. A late Renaissance ambo and baptismal font were built in 1596. In 1614, Zofia von Dewitz funded a late Renaissance altar. The half-timbered top section of the tower was erected in 1742. In 1819, 1840, 1842, the church underwent renovations. In 1897, the old tower which fell into disrepair was replaced with a new one designed in the Gothic Revival style. Between 1897 and 1898, the church underwent comprehensive restoration according to a design by Prüfer, master builder specialising in churches. During that period, the walls of the interior were decorated with wall paintings with geometrical and floral motifs. In 1945, the church was taken over and consecrated by Catholics. In 1959, the church underwent renovation involving adaptation to the Catholic liturgy.

Description

The church is situated in the north-western part of the town. It is oriented and designed in the late Gothic style with a Gothic Revival tower. The three-aisled and four-bay hall features a two-bay chancel closed off on three sides, chapel to the south and sacristy to the north, large rectangular chapel on the south side of the nave body, and square-shaped tower to the west. The tower is tall, slender, and features a cuboid body topped with corner turrets-pinnacles on the top two floors. The octagonal top section of the tower features a spiked pyramid dome and a cross. The nave body and the chapel on its south side are covered with tall gable roofs, chancel; the chancel and the adjoining chapel and sacristy are covered with a common gable roof with three additional faces over the alter apse. The church was built of Gothic brick laid in Gothic bond, whereas the tower was made of factory brick in a smaller format. The roof is clad with beaver tail tiles, and the tower dome with sheet metal. The end sections of the chancel and the wall of the tower and aisles are buttressed and pierced by pointed-arch windows with brick bar tracery. The nave body and southern chapel are crowned with gables featuring pointed-arch blind windows. The façades of the tower body are characterised by a separate plinth and lower storey and a divided by tall pointed-arch blind windows at the level of the upper two storeys, and topped with a brick frieze with a quatrefoil motif. The top storey of the body is separated by a step and gallery with corner turrets, pierced by bell openings with stepped reveals, and topped with clock faces and corner pinnacles. The octagonal finial feature four narrow bell openings. The main entrance portal was designed in the Gothic Revival style and is characterised by stepped reveals. The interior of the nave body is divided by octagonal pillars. The nave is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes, and the aisles with groin vaults. A wooden neo-Gothic choir is located at the western wall. The chancel is partitioned by a wide rood arch, profiled brick mouldings, and covered with stellar vaulting. The interior of the large chapel next to the southern aisle is topped with two bays of diamond vault; the sacristy is covered with a stellar vault. The chapel next to the chancel has two storeys, features a founder’s gallery, and is covered with a groin vault. The preserved rich late Renaissance furnishings of the church include carved, painted and gilt altar with the Crucifixion scene from 1614, an ambo from 1596 made using the same technique, baptismal font, forepart of the founder’s gallery, organs with neo-Gothic casing, and two Renaissance grave slabs affixed to the walls of the chancel — the first one of chancellor Jobsta von Dewitz (died in 1542) and his wife Otilie von Arnim (died in 1576) and the second one of Wolf von Borcke and his wife Jutta von Putbus (died in 1576).

Viewing of the structure is only possible by arrangement with the parish priest.

compiled by Maciej Słomiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 20-09-2015.

Bibliography

  • Lemcke, Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungsbezirks Stettin, H. IX, Der Kreis Naugard, Stettin 1910, s. 156-167
  • Pilch J., Kowalski S. Leksykon zabytków architektury Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012, s. 50-5
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury, opr. A. Szerniewicz, 1994 (mps w WUOZ Szczecin)

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1. poł. XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Dobra
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district łobeski, commune Dobra - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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