Collegiate church of Our Saviour and All Saints and college of canons in Dobre Miasto; currently the Basilica Minor., Dobre Miasto
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Collegiate church of Our Saviour and All Saints and college of canons in Dobre Miasto; currently the Basilica Minor.

Dobre Miasto

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The only preserved Medieval collegiate complex in Warmia. The church is among the best examples of so-called Warmia hall churches.

History

A location privilege under the Kulm law was granted to the town in 1329 by bishop Henryk II Wogenap. The canons, who came to Dobre Miasto in 1347 from nearby town of Glotowo started to erect monastery buildings, initially limited to the western and southern wings. Construction of the current church began in 1376 owing to the efforts of the bishop Sorbon and was completed for all practical purposes by 1389. Finishing works were completed in 1396. In the same year, the church was consecrated. Construction of the tower started in 1496 and ended in the 2nd half of the 16th century. In 1719 the gable roof was enriched with a Baroque steeple perched on the roof ridge, based on the design by Krzysztof Reimers from Orneta. In 1871-1881 the church was restored in the Neo-Gothic style; the alteration works performed including the alteration of the church windows, the resurfacing of the damaged parts of the walls, the renovation of the eastern gable (including the replacement of missing parts) and the addition of porches in the Gothic Revival style. In 1900, the tower received its current top section; the roof of the tower was replaced in the same year. The church survived World War II without any significant damage. Since 1978, systematic conservation works are being performed at the complex. In 1983-86, the 19th-century plasterwork was removed from the pillars and part of walls inside the church the niches of the western part of the temple were exposed, the damaged parts of walls were repaired and the traceries adorning the blind windows in the gables of the main body of the church were made visible once again. The buildings of the college are concentrated on the southern side of the church, around a quadrangular yard. During the first stage of construction - around the mid-14th century - the southern wing was erected; the eastern wing with the Mill Gate was added t some point in years 1373-1386, while turn of the 14th and 15th centuries the western wing was constructed. At the end of the 15th century cloisters were added along the western and southern monastery wing and a wall closing the yard in the south-east corner was erected; diamond and stellar vaults were constructed inside the chambers of the refectory and the sacristy during the same period. In 1719, a raging fire destroyed the roofs and parts of the vaults. During reconstruction in 1720 the gables were lowered and modified, as was the gateway, the shape of windows and the arrangement of rooms. Following the liquidation of the chapter in 1810, the buildings were adapted to serve as a school; it was probably also during the same period that the arcades of the cloisters were bricked up and the southern wing was considerably transformed. As a result of maintenance and adaptation works in 1978-1983 the western wing received a new roof, the arcades of the cloister were reconstructed and exposed once again and parts of the vaults inside the refectory were also restored. In 1981, the southern wing was adapted as the seat of the “Hosianum” Warmia Theological Seminary. From 1991, the complex is also used as a House of Retreat.

Description

The former collegiate complex is located in the south-western part of the town. It is a three-wing complex forming a quadrilateral yard, the fourth side of which is formed by the southern facade of the church which adjoins the yard from the north. The church is a brick structure, oriented towards the east, its interior featuring a three-nave, seven-bay hall layout on a rectangular floor plan. The building is covered with a gable roof accentuated with an octagonal steeple perched atop the roof ridge. From the west it is preceded by a tower positioned along the axis of the central nave. The tower is a seven-storey structure, covered with a gable roof. Interior partitioned with pairs of octagonal pillars supporting the stellar vault. The eastern, stepped gable is adorned by blind windows, pinnacles positioned at an angle of 45 degrees to the wall and flowing seamelessly into lesenes below and a frieze running along the entire width of the gable, separating it visually from the gable wall below. Buttresses adjoining the eastern and northern facades are crowned with pinnacles which incorporate decorative blind windows in their top sections. The individual storeys of the tower are partitioned with friezes, decorated by pointed-arch blind windows and stepped gables embellished with pinnacles. The wings of the monastery are brick structures set atop a stone footing, their walls featuring exposed brick (no plasterwork); each wing was built on an elongated rectangular floor plan as a single-bay building with a gable roof, the decorative stepped gables providing a finishing touch. The basements of the monastery are located in its southern and western parts. A two-bay sacristy is located in the northern section of the eastern wing, featuring a four-pointed stellar vault. Another room, located directly adjacent to the sacristy, features a similar vault, incorporated into a rhombus-shaped outline. Another stellar vault can be found in the western wing (northern section), while the middle section thereof contains a chamber with a diamond vault. The western section of the southern wing contains a two-bay chamber which also features a diamond vault. The most valuable interior fittings include the fragments of Gothic choir stalls from 1396, installed in 1673, a sculptured triptych from around 1420, two Late Gothic altars with the central image of the Throne of Mercy and the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne from around 1520, the Baroque main altar funded by bishop Adam Grabowski and made in 1747, modelled on the altar in Frombork, with sculptures by Krzysztof Perwanger and Jan Henryk Meissner and a Baroque ambo by Jan Krzysztof Döbel from Königsberg, dating from 1693.

Accessible structure. The building may be visited upon prior appointment.

Compiled by Maurycy Domino, 4.12.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Arszyński M., Mroczko T., Architektura gotycka w Polsce, Warszawa 1995, p. 56 - 57. 
  • Bötticher A., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Ostpreussen, h. IV.  Ermland, Koenigsberg 1894, p. 122-126.
  • Chrzanowski T., Przewodnik po zabytkowych kościołach północnej Warmii, Olsztyn 1978, p. 30 - 34.
  • Łoziński Z. Ł., Pomniki sztuki w Polsce, t. II, Warszawa 1992, p. 372 - 373.
  • Rzempołuch A., Przewodnik po zabytkach sztuki dawnych Prus Wschodnich, Olsztyn 1992, p. 38-40.
  • Rzempołuch A., Zespół kolegiacki w Dobrym Mieście, Olsztyn 1989.

   

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1376-1396
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Orła Białego 30, Dobre Miasto
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district olsztyński, commune Dobre Miasto - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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