Church of St Nicholas, currently the Greek Catholic church of St Nicholas, Dobre Miasto
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Church of St Nicholas, currently the Greek Catholic church of St Nicholas

Dobre Miasto


An example of brick Baroque architecture prevalent in the Warmia region in its days, the church serves as testimony of the history of the town and of its development.


Following its establishment, the town of Dobre Miasto was formally chartered in 1329. Since 1347 it was a seat of the only collegiate chapter in Warmia. It formed the main centre of the Dobre Miasto bailiwick, which remained under the supervision of the bishop of Warmia. No residential buildings were built beyond the town walls until the late 17th century and the early 18th century; utility buildings owned by the local bourgeoisie as well as the hospitals and the associated cemeteries were traditionally built beyond the boundaries of the town. A cemetery for criminals, along with a chapel of St Nicholas, was located beyond the Jeziorańska Gate. The chapel, mentioned in source documents, was founded in 1597 by Walenty Helwing, the dean of the chapter. A second chapel was built in 1660; the existing structure was erected with the consent of bishop Krzysztof Andrzej Szembek, following the demolition of the previous chapel in 1736. The new church was consecrated by the suffragan (subordinate) bishop Michał Remigiusz Łaszewski. Following the construction of a hospital in today’s Olsztyńska street, it performed the function of a hospital chapel (after years 1877-1945). During World War II masses were held here for those who were subjected to forced labour in Eastern Prussia, including Poles. After 1945, the church became a filial church of the main Dobre Miasto parish. In 1958 a Greek Catholic parish of St Nicholas, intended to accommodate the pastoral needs of people relocated to the territory of the the erstwhile Olsztyn voivodeship during Operation Vistula, was established in Dobre Miasto. From that moment onwards, the church performed the function of Greek Catholic tserkva. The seat of the parish is in Lidzbark Warmiński.


The church is located to the south-east from the old town complex, on a plot of land positioned between roads leading from Olsztyn and Jeziorany. Designed in the Baroque style and featuring exposed brick facades, it is an example of the so-called brick Baroque, the choice of the construction material being a nod towards the resilient Gothic tradition. The church was built on a rectangular floor plan, with a simple, compact body covered with a gable roof. The chancel faces the south-east. The smooth, austere facades are modestly accentuated by window and door openings framed with plastered surrounds. Decorative gables with slightly undulating fractables crown the front and rear facades. The facade incorporating the entrance features a more lavishly decorative gable, adorned with a pair of pilasters and plastered panels. A weathervane with the date 1737 juts out of the roof ridge, while a polygonal steeple rises above the rear facade. The interior features a three-bay aiseless layout with barrel vaults resting on an entablature supported by a series of pilasters. The brick organ gallery is supported by three semicircular arches. The church also features some surviving interior fittings from the Baroque period (three altars and a painting of the Holy Trinity); a modern iconostasis is positioned in the chancel and incorporates parts of the main altar which was damaged in 1945. A modern mosaic of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus is incorporated into a niche above the main entrance in the front facade; the Virgin Mary is depicted in a manner reminiscent of the Hodegetria tradition, while both the artistic technique applied and the iconography of the mosaic are a nod towards the Byzantine traditions which the Greek Catholic Church draws heavily upon. The mosaic forms an example of an application of modern art in a historic building that remains harmonious in terms of both its content and artistic values.

Limited access to the historic building. The church is open exclusively during church service.

Compiled by Joanna Piotrowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn, 29.10.2014.



  • T. Chrzanowski, Przewodnik po zabytkowych kościołach północnej Warmii, Olsztyn 1978, p. 37.
  • Dobre Miasto na starych widokówkach, Z. Suchenek (oprac. i tekst), J. Sikorski (wstęp), D. Kalinowski (wybór pocztówek), Dobre Miasto 2007, p. 12, 42.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1736-1741
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Olsztyńska 1, Dobre Miasto
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district olsztyński, commune Dobre Miasto - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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