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Filial Church of St Roch - Zabytek.pl

Filial Church of St Roch

church Dobrzeń Wielki

Dobrzeń Wielki

woj. opolskie, pow. opolski, gm. Dobrzeń Wielki

A wooden pilgrimage church of the 2nd half of the 17th century with rich and stylistically uniform decor and fittings.

The temple is an integral component of the cultural landscape of the village; the August church fair of St Roch attracts thousands of pilgrims. The church is located on the Sacred Wooden Architecture Route.


During the outbreak of plague, the current location of the church was occupied by a cemetery where the victims of the disease were buried. The cemetery was located outside the village limits, at the edge of a forest owned by the nearby monastery in Czarnowąsy. In 1658 a pilgrimage church was erected on the cemetery premises dedicated to St Roch, the patron of the sick, protecting people against the plague. According to an inspection report of the time, the church’s equipment comprised two altars dedicated to St Roch and St Hedwig and a richly decorated pulpit. The then church was already surrounded by walkways. Shortly after construction, i.e. the end of the 17th century, there was a plan to extend the temple. According to J.G. Knie, the project took place in 1752, however, this is not confirmed in the church records. In the early 20th century, new wall paintings were added by Paulus from Opole. Further repairs and renovations were conducted in 1928, 1958, 1997-1998, and 2006.

In 1910 the cemetery was enclosed with a stone wall with incorporated Stations of the Cross. Before the entrance to the church, there is a stone statue of St Roch of 1913 made by the stonemason Stehr, with an inscription in Polish. The church belongs to the Parish of St Catherine of Alexandria in Dobrzeń Wielki, established after the exclusion of the parish in Czarnowąsy which was dissolved in 1325 and re-instituted in 1810.


The church is located in the north part of the village, on a gentle elevation, surrounded by a cemetery. Its chancel faces the north-east. It has a rectangular nave with the slant walls by the narrower chancel with a three-sided termination which adjoins the sacristy from the south-east. The church is surrounded by extensive walkways, reaching up to the eaves and boarded, forming an irregular area in terms of the floor plan. At the front façade over the walkways, there is a porch with an entrance to the choir, covered with a lean-to roof. The interior of the church can be reached via three entrances: in the gable and side façades of the nave. The roof over the nave is high and double-pitched; it touches a gable roof over the lower chancel. The ridge of the nave supports a three-level ave-bell turret and a lantern, topped with a bulbous cupola. The walkways are covered with lean-to roofs.

The church is built of wood in a log structure, on a base course. The walkways are supported on braced pillars, with rafters performing the function of the parapet of a wooden balustrade. Above the nave, there is a beam ceiling with boarding; over the chancel, a false boarded vaulting. King post truss, roofs covered with shingles. The church façades over cloister-type walkways are covered with vertical weatherboards. The side façades have three rectangular windows each, with muntins forming simple tracery.

The interior boast rich fittings and equipment, including the Baroque main altar with a reredos in the shape of a carved frame with the painting of St Roch; Mannerist, architectural side altars with decorative side sections with auricular ornaments; the Baroque pulpit from the early 18th century by the east nave wall with the sculptures of the Evangelists and a canopy. The Regency-Rococo (ca. mid-18th century) organ casing has a full balustrade; its central part is protruded and supported on four pillars. The doorway lintels are cut in a decorative manner, in the sacristy door also profiled surrounds.

The church is available from outside; access to the interior during services or after an arrangement with the parish priest.

Compiled by Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 29-07-2014 r.


  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. VII: Województwo opolskie, z. 11: Miasto Opole i powiat opolski, oprac. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, s. 69-70.
  • Emmerling D., Wierzgoń A., Opolskie kościoły drewniane, Opole 2011, s.26-27.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, red. S. Brzezicki, Ch. Nielsen, Warszawa 2006, s. 240.
  • http://dobrzen.opole.opoka.org.pl/, dostęp 28.07.2014.

Category: church

Building material:  drewniane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_16_BK.19467, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_16_BK.19853