St Martin Church, Donaborów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Church of St Martin is a log structure covered with weatherboards. It is an example of a rural wooden church typical of the southern parts of Greater Poland. It represents wooden architecture characteristic of the Silesian school of the 17th and 18th centuries.

History

A parish was established by the wooden Church of St Martin in 1405.

In 1614, a tower with a belfry was built onto the west wall of the existing church.

The present building was probably constructed in the 1st quarter of the 18th century.

In 1892, the church tower underwent full-scale repair and renovation works.

The church was renovated in 1928. The interior was made higher and some of its structural components were replaced. The roofs were covered with new wood shingles. The flat ceilings were replaced with a barrel vault.

In the years 1950-1960, the walls were covered with paintings.

In the 1980s, the parish graveyard was enclosed with a new fence, made of stone and steel; the roofs received sheet copper covering; and a socle was constructed under the sacristy, the transept wings, and the tower.

In 1885, the pipe organ casing, the altars, and the pulpit were restored.

In 1990, the walls received additional thermal insulation and new weatherboards were installed inside the church.

In 1994, the windows were replaced.

In the years 1993-1996, a new wooden pre-funeral chapel was built; its form resembles that of the church.

Description

Donaborów is located 7 km to the south-east of Kępno, by a local road connecting Opatów with Olszowa. The parish church is situated on a small hill in the centre of the village, within a parish graveyard having the shape of a rectangle with a rounded corner on the east side. In the south-east section of the graveyard, the land steeply slopes towards the road. The graveyard originally occupied a much smaller area, probably limited to plot of land no. 158. It was most likely extended in the west and north directions. In the 1980s, it was enclosed with a new, stone and steel fence. The graveyard, currently overgrown with grass, contains a monument of John Paul II, a sculpture of Christ the King, erected on the 600th anniversary of the completion of the church, a small number of graves, and lime trees having the status of natural monuments. A wooden pre-funeral chapel was built north of the church in the years 1993-1996; its form resembles that of the main body of the church.

The first church in Donaborów was built in c. 1405. In 1614, a tower was added to the building. The present building was probably erected in the 1st quarter of the 18th century. In 1928, it underwent full-scale renovations and its interior was made higher. In the late 1980s and in the 1990s, the old roof covering was replaced with sheet copper, the window woodwork was replaced, and the church fittings were renovated. The building has a wooden log structure and the tower has a post-and-beam structure; the exterior walls are covered with weatherboards. The church is oriented towards the east; it has a floor plan having the shape of a Latin cross, with one nave and no aisles. The chancel has the same height and width as the nave and terminates in a semi-hexagon. At the north corner of the building, at the junction of the nave and the transept, there is a sacristy, built on a quadrangular floor plan. On the west side, there is a quadrangular tower with a side porch on the north side. The church has a complex structure, covered with a four-plane roof with a lantern; the tower, being the dominant feature of the building, has slightly sloped walls. The church has predominantly Late Baroque and classical fittings. The interior is covered with a false barrel vault. On the rood beam, there is a Baroque crucifix. The wooden music gallery is supported by four posts; on the parapet, there is a cartouche adorned with an acanthus motif, incorporating a painting of Madonna and Child with St Anne. The church features a bell from 1547 with the inscription: “Ave Maria, gratia plena”.

The church can be viewed from the outside. Visiting the building inside is possible by prior arrangement. More information about the parish and the Holy Mass schedule can be found on the website of the parish and the Kalisz diocese: www.diecezja.kalisz.pl.

compiled by Teresa Palacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 06-02-2015.

Bibliography

  • Anders P., Województwo kaliskie, szkic monograficzny, Poznań 1983.
  • Maluśkiewicz P., Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 2004.
  • Rocznik Diecezji Kaliskiej - 2002, Kalisz 2002.
  • Łęcki W., Wielkopolska - słownik krajoznawczy, Poznań 2002.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. 5, z. 7: Powiat kępiński, s. 6-7, Warszawa 1958.
  • Janiszewski Józef ks., Powiat kępiński z mapą powiatu na podstawie różnych źródeł, Kępno 1928.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1 ćw. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Donaborów
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district kępiński, commune Baranów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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