Church, Giecz
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Romanesque Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of St Nicholas in Giecz is one of the most valuable surviving examples of Romanesque architecture in Poland. It witnessed the very beginnings of Christianity in Greater Poland and the process of formation of the Polish statehood. The church has changed very little since its construction, which makes it exceptionally important in both research and historical terms.

History

It was most likely built in the second half of the 12th century (various researchers date it at different periods between the 10th century and the late 12th/early 13th century), replacing an earlier church. The church was restored on many occasions; the most extensive renovation works were carried out following a fire which damaged the building in 1713, and then at the end of the 18th century, in the mid-19th century, in 1881, and in 1900. In the 19th century, buttresses, a porch, and a tower were built onto the main body of the church. In the years 1953-1956, the church walls and the ground on which it stood were reinforced; the 19th-century additions were dismantled, the walls were built up, and the vaults and some of the window openings were reconstructed.

Description

The church is oriented towards the east. The building, designed in the Romanesque style, was built of stone (granite blocks); the walls are not covered with plaster, with the exception of the wall section added in 1954. The church has one nave and no aisles; the chancel is lower and narrower than the nave and terminates in a lower and narrower semi-circular apse. The nave and chancel are topped with gable roofs covered with wood shingles. In the north and south walls of the chancel, there are semi-circular niches. The reconstructed vaults inside the church are hemispherical in the apse section, whereas the chancel is covered with a barrel vault; the nave has a wooden ceiling supported by beams. The nave and the chancel are separated by a reconstructed rood arch. The window openings are splayed; the north wall has original windows, whereas the south wall has two reconstructed windows and one window which was discovered under a layer of plaster.

Notable interior fittings include a Romanesque altar stone and a sculpture of Mary with Infant Jesus dating back to c. 1630-1640.

During the archaeological works performed inside the church, remains of limestone flooring and stone foundations of two piers dated at the 1st half of the 11th century were discovered, approx. 120 cm under the ground level.

The church can be visited from the outside. Holy Masses are held on Sunday at 8:00 AM and on weekdays at 4:00 PM.

compiled by Tomasz Łuczak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 18-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Karta ewidencyjna, Giecz - kościół, oprac. Linette R., 1979, Archiwum Wielkopolskiego Wojewódzkiego Konserwatora Zabytków w Poznaniu.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. 5: Woj. wielkopolskie, z. 24, Pow. średzki, Warszawa 1964, s. 3-4.
  • Tomala J., Murowana architektura romańska i gotycka w Wielkopolsce, t. 1: Architektura sakralna, Kalisz 2007, s. 146-147.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1150-1200
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Giecz
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district średzki, commune Dominowo
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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