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Parish Church of St James the Apostle - Zabytek.pl


woj. śląskie, pow. zawierciański, gm. Ogrodzieniec-obszar wiejski

One of the few Romanesque hillfort churches that survived in Poland, dating from the 1st half of the 13th century and considerably extended at the beginning of the 20th century.


Various written sources estimate the date of the completion of the church at the 12th century or even the year 1315, however, the most probable period is the 2nd quarter of the 13th century. In its original, Romanesque form, the hillfort church was a one-nave structure with a narrower chancel on the east side and a massive tower on the west side. The chancel was lit by a narrow window opening in the east wall and possibly also two openings in the side walls. The entrance to the nave was marked by a portal with two window openings on its sides. In the western part of the nave, there was a typical Romanesque founder’s gallery, supported by two piers and accessible by a staircase in the tower. The hillfort church, being part of the Irządze deanery, was granted the status of a parish church before 1325. In 1647, the church, at that time subordinate to a collegiate church in Pilica, was extended, which was indicated by an Abdank coat of arms of the Warszycki family, who were the owners of Pilica at that time, which was preserved on the sacristy keystone until 1912. A stone sacristy was added on the north side of the chancel and communicated with the chancel. It was probably then that a south porch, no longer existing, topped with a Baroque gable and sheltering a Romanesque, three-step portal, was erected, the window openings in the nave and the chancel were enlarged, and a groin vault was constructed over the chancel. In the last quarter of the 18th century, on the initiative of Rev. Zaborski, new, Late-Baroque altars were made, including the main altar with a painting of St Mary of the Snows, brought here from the dismantled Church of St Nicholas in Nowe Miasto Korczyn. In 1787, a fencing wall, which partially survived to this day, was constructed. The Romanesque form of the church in Giebło remained unchanged until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1912, the church was extended, which necessitated the dismantling of a major part of the Romanesque structure, including the western part of the nave and the tower with the founder’s gallery. In their place, two new axes were added to the nave and the present tower was constructed. The Baroque south porch and the sacristy were also dismantled. A new sacristy, made of brick, was constructed on the east side of the chancel. As the church wall height was increased by approx. 1 m and the early modern window openings were enlarged, the roof was replaced. The original roof slope gradients were lost, the crowning cornice made of cut stones was destroyed, and the wooden ceiling over the nave was replaced with a reinforced concrete structure. In 1934, new wall paintings were made in the church interior.


The church is oriented, situated in the western part of the village, on the south side of Częstochowska Street, surrounded by a former graveyard enclosed with a stone wall. In the immediate neighbourhood of the church, there is an active parish cemetery (to the west), a former morgue (to the north-west), and a chapel located in the southern part of the church yard.

It is a one-nave structure having the shape of an elongated rectangle, with a narrower chancel whose floor plan approximates a square and which terminates in a flat wall. A small sacristy with a narrow corridor on the north side adjoins the chancel on the east side. On the west side, there is a tower framed by two annexes; together, the three parts are as wide as the nave. The church is characterised by a compact structure. It consists of a cuboidal nave covered with a gable roof, a slightly lower, cuboidal chancel having a separate, three-pitched roof, the dominant tower topped with a conical tented roof and framed by two low annexes covered with separate gable roofs, and a small, cuboidal sacristy with a gable roof, adjoining the chancel on the east side. The Romanesque part, situated on the east side, at the west side, constructed in the 20th century, are made of cut limestone, and the sacristy is made of brick. Currently, the whole building is covered with copper roofing sheets. The west façade has three axes; the four-storeyed tower, situated on the central axis and projecting before the one-storeyed annexes, contains the main entrance to the church. As in the case of the other façades, a low socle protrudes from the wall. The multi-axial side façades — the south and north ones — have rows of evenly-spaced, round-arched window openings in the nave and chancel parts. Between the first and the second openings in the south façade of the nave, there is an original three-step Romanesque portal, headed by a round arch with a tympanum (partially walled up). The east façade, made of brick, having an individuated socle zone, and framed by stone lesenes, has four axes. It has four small window openings. Stairs lead to a receded entrance to the sacristy. The upper part of the Romanesque façade of the chancel is visible above the sacristy; originally, it had a small window opening, currently concealed by the sacristy roof.

The church interior consists of a spacious nave separated by a round-headed chancel arch from the lower and narrower chancel. The chancel is covered with an early modern groin vault and the nave is covered with a flat ceiling from the early 20th century. In the east wall of the chancel, there is still a small niche intended for storing cruets or relics, and in the north wall, there is an early modern, rectangular opening leading to the sacristy. In the western part of the nave, there is a brick music gallery from the early 20th century, enclosed with a full balustrade with patterned wooden panels. Part of the nave and chancel interiors is decorated with contemporary paintings of saints. On the ground floor of the tower, there is a small porch covered with a groin vault, communicated with the southern side porch and a staircase leading to the tower. The sacristy is covered with a flat ceiling and communicated with the chancel by means of a narrow corridor on the north side. The church equipment includes the Late-Baroque main altar and two side altars from the 18th century, a baptismal font from the same period, an iron door to the sacristy dated at 1788, and a bell from 1825.

The structure is open to the public.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 27-06-2014.


  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, T. I, z.12, pow. olkuski, red. J. Szabłowski, Warszawa 1953.
  • Szydłowski T., Pomniki architektury epoki piastowskiej w województwie krakowskim i kieleckim, Kraków 1928.
  • Świechowski Z., Budownictwo romańskie w Polsce: katalog zabytków, Wrocław 1963.
  • Świechowski Z., Zachwatowicz J., Dzieje budownictwa w Polsce wg Oskara Sosnowskiego, Warszawa 1964.
  • Wawrzeniecki M., Kościół romański ciosowy pod wezwaniem Ś. Jakóba w Gieble pod Pilicą, [w:] Sprawozdania Komisyi do badania Historyi Sztuki w Polsce, T.VIII, z.1, Kraków 1907.
  • Wiśniewski J., Historyczny opis kościołów, miast, zabytków i pamiątek w Olkuskiem, Marjówka Opoczyńska 1933.
  • Wojciechowski J., Giebło, „Ziemia“ T.III, nr 1, Warszawa 1912

Category: church

Architecture: romański

Building material:  ceglane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_24_BK.94058, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_24_BK.365796