Filial Church of St Michael the Archangel, Gniewoszów
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Filial Church of St Michael the Archangel

Gniewoszów

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The church remains one of the examples of the ecclesiastical architecture of the Kłodzko Region as well as of a Baroque redesign of a Renaissance building performed in a restrained, minimalist manner; in addition, its appearance also bears testimony to the interpenetration of high culture and vernacular art.

History

The village was mentioned in written records for the first time in 1358. During the Reformation period, the Protestants erected a church made of brick and wood in 1568. In 1624, the church was taken over by the Catholics and became a filial church of the Domaszków parish. The Renaissance church in Gniewoszów was extended in 1664, while in the years 1693-1694 it underwent a Baroque redesign, incorporating solutions introduced by North Italian architects and builders who remained active in Bohemia at the time. During that period, the building was a towerless church with a vaulted ceiling inside the chancel and a flat ceiling in the nave, its roof ridge surmounted by a steeple. The Baroque redesign was rather restrained and minimalist, most likely due to the limited resources available to the Catholic community at the time. In 1785, Andreas Jäger, an architect from Międzylesie, oversaw the construction of the tower, while somewhere around the year 1800 the new, painted ceiling was added inside the nave. The painted decorations gracing the interior, created using the fresco-secco technique and taking the form of scrolls made up of laurel leaves, reminiscent of Early Baroque plasterwork decorations, were executed either in the 18th century or during the first half of the 19th century. These painted decorations were subsequently painted over in 1908, in the course of restoration of the interior conducted by professor Wilhelm Reinsch from Lądek. They were replaced by new, Historicist decorations, influenced mostly by the Baroque Revival style and executed in oil and tempera. In the early 20th century, the wooden organ loft and side galleries were redesigned in the Historicist style, the primary influences being Renaissance Revival combined with Neoclassicism. In years 1970-1971, during the restoration of the church interior, the relics of the older wall paintings were rediscovered and subsequently recreated. The painted decorations from 1908 were restored, with new decorations reminiscent of folk art being added on the western wall of the nave.

Description

The church in Gniewoszów is located in the middle of the village, on a small hill, instantly defining the surrounding landscape. The church, designed in the Baroque style with relics of the original, Renaissance structure, is made of stone with brick elements. It is oriented towards the east. It was designed as a single-nave church with an almost completely integrated chancel featuring a semi-hexagonal end section. Inside, the chancel features a vaulted ceiling of the barrel type, with lunettes. The rectangular nave features a dropped ceiling adorned with a crown moulding. The wooden organ gallery is supported by wooden pillars and crossbeams and connected to the nearby side galleries. The church body is covered with a single roof. The western façade of the nave is adjoined by a four-storey tower designed on a quadrangular floor plan, with an octagonal top section crowned with a Late Baroque cupola with no roof lantern. The façades of the church are pierced with Diocletian windows. The design of the façades of the church consists of a profiled crowning cornice, a stone cornice adorning the walls of the tower, a Late Baroque stone portal in the tower, stone window sills and Rococo urns gracing the corners of the lower level of the tower. A two-storey annex adjoins the northern façade of the chancel. The interiors of the church are adorned with painted decorations. The edges of the window reveals, the groins positioned at the intersection of the barrel vault and lunettes as well as the outline of the rood arch are accentuated with reconstructed, Baroque decorative bands made up of laurel leaves. The plafonds incorporating images of the Holy Trinity as well as various inscriptions (on the vaulted ceiling inside the chancel) as well as the decorations which grace the underside of the rood arch and the ceiling of the nave all form part of the Historicist polychromy made using stencils in 1908. The western wall of the nave is adorned with painted decorations inspired by folk art (laurel wreaths and flower bouquets in vases), created in the years 1970-1971. The church features surviving stone portals, wooden doors and interior fixtures and fittings in the form of the Late Baroque main altarpiece devoted to St Michael the Archangel from ca. 1760-1790, featuring a pair of gated side passages and believed to have been executed by the atelier of Michael Ignatz Klahr; a pair of side altarpieces dedicated to St Anne and St Barbara, designed in the Late Baroque style with Rococo and early Neoclassical influences and constructed at the atelier of Michael Ignatz Klahr in the years 1790-1800 or thereabouts; a stone baptismal font designed in the Renaissance style (turn of the 17th century) with an 18th-century wooden lid as well as a pulpit from the fourth quarter of the 19th century and a pipe organ casing from ca. 1880, both of them designed in the Historicist style.

The building is available all year round; interior tours upon prior telephone appointment.

compiled by Iwona Rybka-Ceglecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 19-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Berger A., Eine Übersicht über die Pfarreien und Kuratien der Grafschaft Glatz betreffend die Zeit von 1841-1946, Kirchlengen, Kreis Herford 1961.
  • Kögler J., Historische und topographische Beschreibung der in der Grafschaft Glatz und zwar Habelschwerdter District glegenen Rosenthal und Schnallenstein, 1804, Vierteljahrschrift für Geschichte und Heimatkunde der Grafschaft Glatz, T. III, 1883/1884

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gniewoszów
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district kłodzki, commune Międzylesie - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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