The church of St Stanislaus the Bishop (church complex), Górecko Kościelne
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The church of St Stanislaus the Bishop (church complex)

Górecko Kościelne


The church, funded by Jan Jakub Zamoyski and erected in 1768, is an interesting example of wooden ecclesiastical architecture. Along with the brick belfry and perimeter wall which were built at the same time as the church itself, the cemetery and the wooden shrines linked to the cult of St Stanislaus the Bishop, the church forms a fascinating architectural ensemble that rises amongst an unspoilt, picturesque landscape.


Górecko Kościelne is a former forest settlement previously known as Huta or Wola Górecka, forming part of the Szczebrzeszyn estate which remained in the hands of Jan Zamoyski, the great crown hetman, from 1593 onwards. According to traditional beliefs, it was here that the revelation of St Stanislaus the Bishop and Martyr took place on 7 October 1648; initially, a wooden chapel was erected on the site of the revelation, followed by a wooden church, two shrines dedicated to the cult of St Stanislaus as well as a small Franciscan monastery, erected in 1668 for the funds provided by Marcin Zamoyski, the podstoli (deputy pantler) of Lviv who later went on to become the great crown vice treasurer. The entire parish remained under the administration of the Franciscan monks right until the dissolution of the monastery in 1864 and was intended as a sign of gratitude for the victorious battle of Chocim. The present-day church, funded by Jan Jakub Zamoyski, was erected in 1768, replacing its predecessor which was destroyed by the Swedish forces. It was consecrated in 1778. The belfry and the perimeter wall with embedded shrines were erected at the same time as the church itself. In years 1897-98, the church was extended by about 8 metres towards the north, with a new tower also being added. During the renovation works performed in 1927, the interior walls were covered with wood panelling, while the exterior weatherboard cladding was replaced. In 1975, the original wood shingle roof cladding was replaced with sheet metal. The most recent replacement of roof cladding the exterior weatherboards took place in years 2007-2010.


The church complex is located in the central part of the village, opposite the cemetery. The church exhibits numerous features of the Baroque style; it was designed on a pseudo-basilica layout, its chancel facing the south. Erected on an elongated plan, the church consists of a three-nave main body and the narrower chancel with a semi-hexagonal termination, flanked by a sacristy and a treasury, located east and west of the chancel respectively. The church itself is a larch log structure positioned on a brick foundation and clad with weatherboards inside and out. The main nave is separated from the side aisles by a row of wooden posts which support two series of arches. The interior features false barrel vaults which are positioned at exactly the same height in the nave and the chancel, the vaults inside the side aisles being visibly lower. The nave features a gable roof with an embedded quadrangular tower towards the north and a steeple towards the south; both the steeple and the tower are crowned with cupolas whose design is clearly reminiscent of the Baroque style. The roof of the chancel is likewise of the gable type, albeit slightly lower and featuring a three-sloped end section. The roofs of the sacristy and treasury follow a two-sloped design. All roof surfaces are clad with sheet metal. The front façade follows a single-axial layout and features a lavishly decorated woodcarved portal, most likely originating from the late 19th century; directly above the portal there is a single, large window. The tower, with its pair of louvered bell openings, rises from the façade above the window. The side façades are virtually identical, with five rectangular windows placed at regular intervals. Each façade features a doorway in the second bay from the south. The weatherboard cladding is a modern replacement which was closely modelled after the original, with board and batten siding arranged vertically and a broad, profiled soffit under the eaves designed to resemble a crowning cornice. The interior fixtures and fittings, designed in the Rococo style, date back to the second half of the 18th century (altarpieces, pulpit, baptismal font) and were made by the expert carpenters Jan and Jakub Maucher. The belfry, embedded in the perimeter wall, is an architectural, arcaded structure with three bell openings in the upper section and a gate and wicket gate in the lower part. The belfry is made of stone, its walls covered with plaster, covered by a hip roof clad with sheet metal. The façades are partitioned by lesenes and cornices, with the date “1787” visible up front. A brick perimeter wall surrounds the cemetery, featuring four embedded shrines in the corners. In the cemetery itself, there are stone sculptures of St John of Nepomuk - designed in the Rococo style and crafted during the 18th century - and of the Immaculately Conceived Virgin Mary, which is an example of 19th-century folk art.

The historic monument can be visited from the outside; interior tours available by appointment.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 03-11-2015.


  • Górak J., Kościoły drewniane Zamojszczyzny, Zamość 1986, pp. 43-45.
  • Grzelachowski S., Sanktuarium w puszczy, “Spotkania z Zabytkami, 2002, no. 7, pp. 23-25.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Województwo lubelskie, issue 3: Powiat biłgorajski, compiled by Kwiczala M., Szczepkowska K., R. Brykowski R., Warsaw 1960, pp. 10-13.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1768 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Górecko Kościelne
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district biłgorajski, commune Józefów - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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