Evangelical church, currently the Roman Catholic filial Church of St Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr, Dzisna
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Evangelical church, currently the Roman Catholic filial Church of St Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

Dzisna

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It is one of the oldest surviving timber-framed churches in Western Pomerania built in the late 16th century. The church is an example of a small rural church typical of the traditional half-timbered architecture in Western Pomerania. The interior of the church features the preserved original Renaissance and Baroque décor with lavish wall paintings depicting the scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

History

The exact date of construction of the church remains unknown; its existence is confirmed by the first church visitation in 1595. The church was built at the request of the von Köller family, the then owners of the village. It was a modest building erected on a rectangular floor plan with a timber frame structure built of oak with wattle-and-daub infill. Its interior was aisleless. Extensions to the church and closing off its east sections with a three-sided chancel were based on the architecture of a church in Łoźnica built in 1695 - 1697. Later, a wooden tower-belfry was built along the western wall. The lavish décor of the church interior was created gradually and founded by various commissioning entities. The earliest component of the décor is Renaissance foliage decoration made using a tempera technique around 1600. The ornament covers the boards of the church ceiling. The Renaissance and Baroque altar was founded in 1607; it is also the date of construction of the architectural structure of a pradella and reredos. Later, in 1682, Jakub von Köller with his wife founded the openwork side sections flanking the reredos and finial. At the request of the von Köller family, a Baroque epitaph was made around 1700. In the late 18th century, three statues were installed in the altar finial. The ambo was built in 1650 from the funds provided by pastor Johann Neander and Judyta Redlichs. During the same period, Michael Räddemar financed the painting decorations made by Michael Wurm, which decorated the balustrade of the choir gallery, featuring the images of Christ and the 12 apostles. In 1673, the same artist commissioned by the patrons of the church from the von Köller family made a wall painting covering the crown moulding running along the perimeter of the church interior. It is a continuous strip of paintings made using a tempera technique and depicting 9 scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

Two bells were founded in the 18th century, and in 1734 and 1770 the church tower underwent renovations. The tower was demolished in 1906 and replaced with a free-standing bell tower located in the western part of the cemetery next to the church. Due to the lack of repairs the church building was so neglected that, in 1927, the members of the church community applied for permission to demolish the old church and build a new one of brick. Dr Franz Balke, employee of a museum in Szczecin, protested against the demolition of the historic church. The necessary repairs and restoration of the church were carried out in two stages: in 1928, bricklaying and carpentry works were carried out which involved replacing the damaged beams of the roof truss, sealing the roof and replacing the boards of the west gable; the paintings of the ceilings and the choir gallery underwent renovation 1936.

After 1945, the church was not used. In 1968, the Regional Monument Inspector in Szczecin commissioned securing window openings, sealing the roof, removing an ambo for maintenance. In 1976, ownership of the building was transferred to church authorities. Between 1978 and 1981, the church underwent renovations involving replacing the ground plates, reinforcing the statics of the walls, reconstructing wall infills, replacing floors, repairing the roof truss, and adding a tower-belfry by the west wall. At the same time, the ambos underwent conservation. The epitaph of the von Köller family underwent comprehensive conservation in 1993-1994, and the wall paintings between 2000 and 2003.

Description

The church is located in the centre of the town, in the western part of a village square, in a slightly raised area of land, separated by a stone wall from a rural road. The church was built on a rectangular floor plan, with a chancel closed off on three sides and its main entrance located in the south wall. The nave is covered with a gable roof, while the chancel with a gable roof with a hip end. A wooden tower covered with a tented roof adjoins the west wall of the church. The roof is clad with bituminous roof tiles with red sprinkles, in the shape of beaver tails (it was not possible to restore the ceramic roofing because of the poor condition of the structure). The church is built on the ground plate resting on a shallow foundation made of field stones. The peripheral walls feature a wooden timber-frame structure; the spaces between the timbers are smoothly plastered and whitewashed. Timbers are exposed on the outside and inside; post are rectangular and their cross-section varies from 18 to 30 cm. The original oak timbers were shaped by hand using an axe; the new components are made of pine wood using a machine. The wooden ceiling made of exposed beams resting on the top plates of the side walls forms a single structure with the roof truss; rafters are embedded in the beams; the cross-section of the beams measures 24 cm by 24 cm in the transverse structural layout. The crown mouldings made of boards rest on braces above the struts of the walls between the ceiling joist and the wall post. The entrance openings to the church in Dzisna are arranged in a non-typical way. It was common to locate the main entrance with a double-leaf door, called “porta maior” in the west wall, whereas the second entrance with a single-leaf door, called “porta minor”, were located in the south wall. The main entrance to the church in Dzisna is located in the south wall, and the second entrance in the east wall of the chancel. A similar solutions was used in the church in the nearby village of Łoźnica. Window openings are stylistically uniform, arranged on the same level; window joinery was designed in the modern style. The white plaster on the walls contrasts with the dark timber frames. The ceiling beams and boards are covered with an ornament consisting of acanthus leaves and vines, flowers, bunches of grapes, heads with wings arranged along an axis. The crown moulding is covered with a row of paintings creating a narrative series with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. There are five scenes on the south side, starting from the east: Creation Myth, Creation of Adam, Original Sin, Expulsion from Paradise and Birth of Jesus. The northern wall features the following scenes: Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension and Last Judgement.

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

compiled by Anna Walkiewicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 14-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bronisch G., Ohle W., Kreis Kammin Land. Die Kunst und Kulturdenkmäler der Provinz Pommern, Stettin 1939
  • Viering P., Pommersche Denkmalpflege 1935 - 1936, „Baltische Studien“, N.F., Bd. 38, Stettin 1936
  • Dzisna, gm. Przybiernów, woj. szczecińskie. Kościół. Dokumentacja historyczno-architektoniczna, opr. K. Kalita-Skwirzyńska, PP PKZ O/Szczecin 1978 r., archiwum NID OT Szczecin
  • Kościół. Dzisna, gm. Przybiernów, woj. szczecińskie. Karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa, opr. A. Gerlach-Jósewicz, Szczecin 1979 r., archiwum WUOZ Szczecin
  • Dzisna - kościół. Sprawozdanie z przebiegu prac remontowo - budowlanych prowadzonych w kościele w latach 1978 - 1981, opr. K. Kalita - Skwirzyńska, PP Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków O/Szczecin 1987 r., archiwum NID OT Szczecin
  • Ekspertyza konserwatorska dotycząca drewnianego wystroju kościoła filialnego w Dzisnej, gm. Przybiernów, opr. M. Zyzik, Szczecin 2000 r., archiwum WUOZ Szczecin
  • Kościół fil. p.w. Św. Stanisława BM. Dzisna, gm. Przybiernów, woj. zachodniopomorskie. Karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa, opr. A. Hamberg-Federowicz, Szczecin 2003 r., archiwum WUOZ Szczecin
  • Dokumentacja konserwatorska stropu z kościoła p.w. Św. Stanisława w Dzisnej, opr. J. Zajączkowska-Kłoda, P. Kłoda, Łódź 2003 r., archiwum WUOZ Szczecin

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: koniec XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Dzisna
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district goleniowski, commune Przybiernów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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