Parish church of St Agnes and St Anthony of Padua, Goniądz
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Parish church of St Agnes and St Anthony of Padua

Goniądz

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The church presents a substantial historical value due to the fact that it was designed by the renowned architect Oskar Sosnowski; the impeccable quality of its Baroque Revival design likewise makes it immensely valuable from a purely artistic standpoint.

History

The parish in Goniądz was first mentioned in documents dating back to ca. 1430. In 1520, Mikołaj Radziwiłł founded the hospital church of the Holy Spirit, designed to accompany the local infirmary and almshouse. Another, wooden church was erected here at the initiative of rev. Antoni Betański in the years 1775-1779. The church suffered extensive damage in 1915; it was rebuilt shortly afterwards, only to be lost to the blaze in 1921, along with all parish records. The side altarpiece of this church incorporated the painting of St Anthony of Padua, believed to possess miraculous qualities. The new parish priest, rev. Adam Abramowicz, invited the renowned architect Oskar Sosnowski to participate in the efforts to erect a new church; later on, these two eminent individuals have also led the efforts resulting in the construction of the modernist church of St Roch in Białystok. Sosnowski decided to eschew the Gothic Revival aesthetic - which was already going out of fashion at the time - in favour of the Baroque Revival style, even though another, earlier design containing numerous nods towards the Gothic style, prepared by the architect Józef Pius Dziekoński, had already been approved. The church was erected in the years 1922-24, on a completely new site. Having been destroyed by the German forces in August 1944, the church was ultimately only reconstructed in the 1970s.

Description

The church is situated in the centre of the town, about 100 metres south of the market square. It rises atop a small hill and is surrounded by a cemetery overgrown with trees and circumscribed by a stone wall.

The edifice was designed in the Baroque Revival style. With its tall, two-tier roof and towers angled away from the concave front façade, its silhouette was considered to be remarkably dynamic and modern for its day, taking its cues from the architecture of the Baroque period.

The church is oriented towards the east. It is a three-nave basilica church with two towers, designed on a floor plan consisting of two intersecting ellipses of the nave and the transept. The building is made of brick, its walls covered with plaster. The vaulted ceilings in the main nave and the chancel are of the barrel type, featuring lunettes positioned between the structural arches. The façades are plain and austere, the surface decorations being limited to architectural framing; all of them feature a stone socle at the bottom and a profiled crowning cornice at the top. The front façade follows a three-axial design.

Inside, the church features a Baroque Revival main altarpiece incorporating a crucifix from the mid-18th century, usually concealed beneath a 20th-century painting of St Agnes.

The historical monument is open to visitors.

compiled by Iwona Górska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 12-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kułak, A., Świątynie i sanktuaria, [in:] Z biegiem Biebrzy. Przewodnik historyczno - etnograficzny, A. Gaweł, G. Ryżewski (eds.), Białystok-Suchowola 2012, pp. 177-8.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. IX: Województwo łomżyńskie, issue 3: Kolno, Grajewo i okolice, prepared by Kałamajska-Saeed M., Warsaw 1988, pp. 5-7.
  • Rudnicki J., Zabytki Ziemi Łomżyńskiej, Rajgród 2005, vol. 3, pp. 34-6.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1922-1924
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Mickiewicza , Goniądz
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district moniecki, commune Goniądz - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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