The parish church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Częstochowa, Gościszów
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The parish church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Częstochowa

Gościszów

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A Romanesque church erected during the second quarter of the 13th century, with a tower added in the 16th century. The interiors of the church were redesigned in the Renaissance style in the years 1595-1615.

History

The first mentions of a local church date back to 1305; originally, it was known as the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John the Baptist. Based on the analysis of the surviving stone detailing, it has been concluded that the church was erected during the second quarter of the 13th century. A redesign of the church took place somewhere around the year 1519 and involved the addition of a tower, the extension of the chancel (addition of a second bay) and the construction of a new apse, albeit with the use of some of the elements of the original one. In 1595, a new, polychromed coffered ceiling and galleries were constructed. The church was subjected to conservation works in the years 1939-40, when some of the Romanesque architectural detailing was reconstructed and the interior wall paintings were brought to light once again. Further works followed in the years 1974-76; these, however, had a rather detrimental effect, for both the Renaissance painted decorations of the ceiling and some of the galleries have been destroyed.

Description

The church is situated in the central part of the village, south of the neighbouring castle. Designed in the Late Romanesque style, the church is a single-nave structure made of stone, oriented towards the east. Its elongated body is adjoined by a number of smaller sections arranged in an additive manner. The church consists of a rectangular main body (about 10 x 17 metres) and a narrower, rectangular two-bay chancel; the nave and the chancel are covered with separate gable roofs. The termination of the chancel takes the form of a semi-hexagonal apse with a semi-conical roof, clad with roof tiles much like all the other roofs of the church. To the west rises a tower designed on a square floor plan, with an octagonal top section, its walls covered with plaster following a framework layout with bright, smooth corner bands and inner fields clad with textured plaster. The individual storeys of the tower are separated from one another by narrow cornices. The tower is covered with a pyramid-shaped roof clad with slate. The façades of the church are made of sandstone ashlar blocks, with the corners of the apse being accentuated by slender stone engaged columns with cubiform capitals adorned with foliate motifs; an arcaded frieze with lavish sculptural decorations incorporating foliate and animal motifs occupying the spaces underneath the individual arches runs between the columns, beneath the eaves of the roof above. The entrances are positioned in the western part of the church (ground floor level of the tower), the northern part (the nave) and the southern part (the chancel); all entrances are topped with delicate pointed arches and framed by stepped portals. The windows are topped with semi-circular arches and set in splayed reveals, with roll-mouldings accentuating each individual window niche. The nave features a coffered ceiling, with cross-rib vaulting being used for the chancel. The vaulted ceiling rests upon semi-circular shafts some of which reach all the way to the floor, while others terminate some distance above it. The apse features a vaulted ceiling consisting of three individual fields. The interior fixtures and fittings originate from the Gothic and Renaissance periods. Traces of painted decorations, including a scene of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ca. 1420) can still be seen on the northern chancel wall, next to which stands a Late Gothic tabernacle perched on a polygonal shaft. The church also features an original wooden main altarpiece from 1595, designed in the Renaissance style and featuring the scenes of the Last Supper, the Descent from the Cross and the Entombment of Christ in bas-relief as well as a figure of Christ Resurrected. The wooden pulpit, designed in the Renaissance style (ca. 1598) features a lavishly decorated casing, canopy and stairs with a low door, most likely funded by Konrad von Warnsdorf and attributed to the workshop of Paul Meyner. Another notable item is the Renaissance baptismal font made of stone, dating back to 1572 and featuring reliefs depicting the Baptism of Christ and Christ Among the Children. Visitors can also admire a Late Romanesque headstone from the 2nd half of the 13th century as well as epitaph plaques and tombstones from the years 1575-1631, most of them commemorating the deceased members of the von Warnsdorf family.

Unrestricted access to the churchyard. The church may be visited during church service.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 21-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 2 Pogórze Izerskie, part I, M. Staff (ed.), Wrocław 2003, pp. 226-228.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 297.
  • Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku (miejscowości A-G), Wrocław 1995, pp. 36-37, 228-237.
  • Świechowski Z., Katalog architektury romańskiej w Polsce, Warsaw 2009, pp. 97-100.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gościszów
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district bolesławiecki, commune Nowogrodziec - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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