Hospital church of Corpus Christi in Elbląg, currently the seat of the Diocese Priesthood Centre and Centre for Christian Culture, Elbląg
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Hospital church of Corpus Christi in Elbląg, currently the seat of the Diocese Priesthood Centre and Centre for Christian Culture

Elbląg

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An example of the Gothic hospital church with preserved inscriptions in the form of glazed mouldings.

History

The church was erected alongside the leper hospital of St George, established around 1300. According to legend, following a fire which engulfed the chapel in year 1400, only one item has survived - a satchel full of sacramental bread. This event was regarded as a miracle, which contributed not only to the quick reconstruction of the temple, which was completed in 1405, but also to the change of the name of the church. The newly erected structure was a hall church with a wooden suspended ceiling imitating a vault, reinforced with buttresses with an octagonal tower in the western part of the church. The facades of the church were covered with capitalized inscriptions composed using glazed mouldings. In years 1662 - 1643, the church was extended through the addition of an annex from the northern side; it was also during that period that the tower received a Baroque dome with a gallery and a spire on its top. In 1755, a post-and-beam organ gallery was constructed, only to be replaced with a brick gallery in 1896, the latter being designed in the Gothic Revival style and incorporating a transept. The building burned down in February 1945. It was only in 1976 that the reconstruction of the medieval section of the church was completed. In view of popular demand, the edifice were adapted to serve as a “Pegaz” (“Pegasus”) Cooperative Community Centre, its interiors being rebuilt in a rather functional style. Parts of the original body of the church was replaced with a cuboid structure made of concrete and glass, topped with reinforced concrete rafters imitating a gable roof. In 1981 the building was handed over to the Catholic Church, and in 1993 a new roof was constructed using traditional methods, with the eastern wall being redesigned in a faux-Gothic style. Today, the church houses the Diocese Priesthood Centre and Centre of Christian Culture.

Description

The Corpus Christi church in Elbląg is situated in north-east part of the city, outside the territory surrounded by historic fortifications. It is a one-nave, three-bay brick edifice built on a rectangular floor plan, adjoined from the west by an octagonal tower surrounded flanked by circular staircases on both sides; the church also features a porch abutting it on the ground floor level, its cross-rib vault resting on pillars made of artificial stone. The walls of the church originate from the Gothic period, with the exception of the eastern wall. The south facade follows a three-axis design, with a profiled portal on the central axis. The portal and side windows are flanked by niches topped with pointed arches. A frieze composed of capitalized letters on glazed ceramic tiles runs around the circumference of the church at the middle of the height of its facades, the resulting inscription containing the words of a prayer as well as the date of completion of the church.

Accessible structure. The church may be visited upon prior telephone appointment.

Compiled by Maurycy Domino, 4.12.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Dzieje sztuki polskiej, tom drugi: Architektura gotycka w Polsce, pod red. Teresy Mroczko i Mariana Arszyńskiego: t. II Katalog Zabytków, pod red. Andrzeja Włodarka, Warszawa 1995, p. 63.
  • Fuchs M. G., Beschreibung der Stadt Elbing und ihres Gebietes In topographischer geschichtlicher und statistischet hinsicht, BD. III, Elbing 1818-1856 MGIII p. 125-166.
  • Hauke K., Stobbe H., Die Baugeschichte und die Baudenkmaler der Stadt Elbing,  Stuttgartt 1964, p. 240-241.
  • Mamuszka F., Elbląg i okolice, Gdańsk 1978, p. 87.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1400-1405
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Robotnicza 29, Elbląg
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district Elbląg, commune Elbląg
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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