The parish church of St Nicolas the Bishop, Gierczyce
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

The parish church of St Nicolas the Bishop

Gierczyce

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A valuable example of wooden sacred construction from the early 18th century, with lavish Rococo fittings.

History

The first wooden church was founded in ca. 1390 by the owners of Treszczyn, brothers Jan and Mikołaj, and their mother Pachna, the widow of Paszkon. The current church was built in the same place in 1708. It was founded by priest Maciej Kurnicki and parishioners. The church was consecrated in 1741,  by bishop Mikołaj Kunicki, suffragan of Cracow, which is commemorated by the inscription over the door leading from the presbytery to the sacristy. In 1755, bishop of Płock Antoni Sebastian Dębowski consecrated the altar of Our Lady of Consolation. In 1797, the church was adjoined from the north by a brick and stone sacristy with a vestibule. It was founded by Benedykt Kołaczewski, parish priest, canon of Opatów, whose epitaph can be found in the church. Over the sacristy, there was a library and a patron's lodge, with a window overlooking the presbytery. Western and southern porches were constructed later. In the 18th century, also a belfry was built. The church was renovated inter alia in 1816. In 1910, the main altar was renovated. After the World War II, damages of 1944-45 were removed, and roof cladding and formwork of the belfry were replaced. Further works were carried out in years 1978-1980, in 2000, and in years 2009-10. The files kept by the parish date back to 1662.

Description

The church is situated in the southern part of the village, on a hill. It is an oriented, larchwood church based on a log structure, on a stone foundation, and with a pine wall base. The nave is rectangular, with corners bevelled from the east.  The presbytery is narrower than the nave and in the ending section, it features a straight wall with triangular gable. From west and south, there are porches. From the north, the church is adjoined by a brick and stone, two-storey annex with a vestibule, containing the sacristy on the ground floor, and on the first floor — a storage facility. The nave, presbytery, and porches are covered with separate gable roofs, and the annex has a gable roof with a hip. All roofs are covered with sheet metal. On the roof ridge, there is a steeple in the form of a hexagonal turret, covered with a hexagonal tented roof, ending with a lantern with a bulbous roof and topped with a spire with a cross on a globe.  Façades are straight, clad with horizontal weatherboards. To the south-east from the church, there is a pine wood belfry, built on the basis of a post-and-frame structure on a square plan, with a tented roof on which there is a narrower and lower storey topped with a stepped roof with a lantern, with a cast iron cross and a cock on a spire. In the church's interior, there is a faux flattened vault, with connecting section in the nave.  The rood opening has a Baroque profile. Over it, there is a late-Baroque crucifix. The church's décor is uniformly Rococo, originates from the 4th quarter of the 18th century, and is a work of Kwiatowicz of Nowy Korczyn, W. Pogoda and Czerny, with visible inspiration derived from the workshop of Maciej Polejowski. It includes the main altar with late-Baroque paintings of St. Nikolas and Our Lady of Consolation with St. Augustine and St. Monica, sculptures of saints (among others St. Gregory and St. Augustine) and God the Father among Angels in the top section; side altars with paintings from the 18th century of St. Benedict of Nursia in the left altar, and St. John of Nepomuk in the right one. In addition, one can found here also an ambo with a sculpture of Christ the Good Shepard and a baptismal font in the form of an ambo with a sculpture of an angel on the canopy, and a relief of Baptism of Christ on the backrest. Worth attention are also wooden doorways from the early 18th century, leading from the presbytery to the sacristy, with reliefs of St. Nicolaus and St. Stanislaus. The choir gallery rests of four pillars with a Rococo parapet.

The historic building is accessible from outside, access to the interior upon consent of the parish priest.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland Kielce, 23.09.2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. III: Województwo kieleckie J.Z. Łoziński, B. Wolff (ed.), fasc. 7: Powiat opatowski (compiled by K. Kutrzebianka), Warszawa 1959, pp. 17-19.
  • Słownik artystów polskich i obcych w Polsce działających (zmarłych przed 1966 r.), vol. IV, Warszawa 1993, pp. 412.
  • Adamczyk A., Modras J., Polanowski L., Prace przy zabytkach architektury sakralnej i zabudowie miejskiej [in:] compiled by Cedro J. and others, Prace konserwatorskie w woj. świętokrzyskim w latach 2001-2012, Kielce 2014, pp. 51.
  • Kornecki M., Kościoły drewniane w Małopolsce, Kraków 1999, pp. 184, 213.
  • Mirowski R., Drewniane kościoły i dzwonnice ziemi świętokrzyskiej, Kielce 2002, pp. 24-25.
  • Wiśniewski J., Historyczny opis kościołów, miast, zabytków i pamiątek w Opatowskim, Radom 1907, pp. 163-171.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1708 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gierczyce
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district opatowski, commune Wojciechowice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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