Evangelical church, currently used as a Greek Catholic church, Górowo Iławeckie
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Evangelical church, currently used as a Greek Catholic church

Górowo Iławeckie

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A well-preserved Gothic parish church with a monumental form and interesting detail. An interesting example of interior decor with immense artistic value, forming a successful combination of historic and contemporary fittings.

History

The parish church, from 1525 onwards serving as an Evangelical church and currently used as a Greek Catholic temple was designed as a large edifice with a single, open interior space and built before 1367; parts of the tower are believed to also have been constructed during that period. Towards the end of the 15th century, the second stage of construction took place. It was at that time the tower was built, its lower section being made of brick while the upper part was designed as a wooden structure. In addition, two northern portals of the nave and the five-bay vaulting was also built during that time. In 1535, Górowo Iławeckie was transferred as a fief to the Truchsess von Waldburg family who also took over the patronage of the church. In 1655, a great fire engulfed the entire town along with the church, resulting in the collapse of the vaulted ceilings in both the nave and chancel. The vaults were never reconstructed and were replaced with a wooden ceiling which was subsequently enlivened with painted decorations, executed somewhere around the year 1720 and founded by the patrons of the church. In the 2nd quarter of the 19th century, due to the poor state of repair, the eastern gable of the church collapsed, damaging the roof and the tower. The building was restored in the mid 19th century; the restoration works were completed in 1866. Further works were carried out in years 1910-1911 and had a considerable influence on the appearance of the church and the tower, whose wooden upper section was replaced with a brick structure matching the rest of the church in terms of style. After World War II, the church remained disused; the Greek Catholic parish took over the church in the 1970s and has functioned there ever since.

Description

The church was built of ceramic brick, on a foundation of made of field stones; designed on a rectangular floor plan, the church is oriented towards the east, with a massive square tower on the western side, a chancel terminating with a straight wall, a two-bay sacristy and an entrance porch on the northern side. The body of the church is bolstered by diagonal, stepped buttresses and covered with a tall gable roof, with a tall, stepped gable in the east. Facades of the church are partitioned by pointed-arch windows, while the facades of the tower are adorned with plastered blind windows. The church features an aiseless, open-space interior layout, with the southern part of the interior now being separated from the rest by a contemporary iconostasis. The nave features a beamed ceiling, with cross-rib vaulting used for the porches. The once-lavish Baroque interior fittings of the church have been destroyed and plundered after World War II. The only remaining part of the original fittings is the painted Baroque ceiling, funded around 1720 by Friedrich Wilhelm von Schwerin and his wife, baroness Charlotte Louise von Heiden. The elaborate iconography of the ceiling consists of complex Biblical scenes involving a large number of human figures, depictions of the Evangelists and sumptuous floral ornamentation. Another valuable component of the interior decor of the church are the decorations linked to the Eastern rite (the iconostasis, the altar crucifix and the wall paintings) executed by Jerzy Nowosielski in years 1982 - 1985.

Accessible historic building. The building may be visited upon prior telephone appointment.

Compiled by Marzena Zwierowicz, 4.12.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Dehio-Handbuch der Kunstndenkmäler der West- und Ostpreussen, bearb. Von M.Antoni, München 1993, p. 348-349.
  • Czerni K., Projekty i realizacje sakralne Jerzego Nowosielskiego dla cerkwi greckokatolickiej, w: Światło Wschodu w przestrzeni gotyku, Górowo Iławeckie 2013, p.81-90.
  • Herrmann Ch., Mittelalterliche Architektur im Ostpreussen. Untersuchungen zur Frage der Kunstlandschaft und -Geographie, Petersberg 2007, p. 544-545.
  • Rzempołuch A., Przewodnik po zabytkach sztuki dawnych Prus Wschodnich, Olsztyn 1992, p.8.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1365-1366
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Górowo Iławeckie
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district bartoszycki, commune Górowo Iławeckie (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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