Wayside Shrine, Gnojewo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Gothic wayside shrine in Gnojewo is a unique structure not only in the region but also in the country.


The earliest mention of the name of the village of Gnojewo (Gnoyow, Gnojow) is in a document for Stara Kościelnica () of 1323 (description of the boundaries). Four voloks for the pastor were mentioned in the foundation charter for the village of Gnojewo dated 1338, which was issued by Dietrich von Altenburg, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. The first half-timbered phase of the Gothic Church of Saint Simon and Jude Thaddaeus dates back to the early 14th century; an additional layer of masonry was added in the following decades of the 14th century, and the northern aisle was constructed in the late 15th century. It can be assumed that the construction of the shrine took place in parallel to the work on the last fifteenth-century extension to the church. The shrine is mentioned in the visitation records of the church dated 1724. Conrad Steinbrecht (Chief Conservator of the Malbork Castle in 1882-1921) paid attention to the valuable shrine and described the structure in his article published in Zeitschrift fuer christliche Kunst of 1892. During World War 2, the construction work on the so-called “Berlinka” road involved the relocation of the shrine to its current place; originally, the shrine was located at a crossroads. In 2009, the structure was restored by the municipality from the funds received from the German-Polish Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Monuments.


It is situated on the north side of national road no. 22, on the axis of the eastern entrance to Gnojewo; the front of the shrine faces the south. The Late Gothic structure is erected on the floor plan of a square with a side of 1.95 metres. The tower-like cuboidal two-storey body is set on a wide low plinth and supported by four arcades. The roof of the shrine has the shape of an irregular barrel clad with bricks arranged in a flat pattern; the shrine is crowned with one centrally positioned and four corner pinnacles. The brick structure (with little use of stone in the plinth section) is faced with brick using profiled mouldings; the lower sections features a groin vault; the uppers is topped by a barrel vault; the niches, intrados and blind windows are plastered and whitewashed. The façades of the ground floor feature low semicircular arcades embedded in plastered blind windows separated by an arch (the arcade to the west is reduced to an oculus; the blind windows to the east incorporates a delicate tracery motif in plaster). The storeys are separated by a smooth row of plastered frieze and diagonal dripstone. The front of the second storey (south side) features a pointed-arch blind window, which incorporates a lower semicircular arcade and reinforcing arch (to the east are semicircular blind windows with vertical bar tracery and narrow slits). The lower storey features open interior adapted for a statue (currently a statue of Christ); the upper storey is a niche (currently a metal crucifix).

The monument is open to visitors.

compiled by Krystyna Babnis, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 15-10-2014.


  • Schmid B., Bau-und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Marienburg (Die Städte Neuteich und Tiegenhof und die lädlichen Ortschaften), Danzig 1919, s. 55-65.
  • Starczewski A. ks., Gotyckie zabytki sakralne na terenie gminy Miłoradz, Sztum 2009, s. 19-39.

General information

  • Type: sacral architecture
  • Chronology: koniec XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gnojewo
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district malborski, commune Miłoradz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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