Church Grabie on the Vistula River, Grabie
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Church Grabie on the Vistula River



The church is a poor "country simpleton", as Prof. Kazimierz Sosnowski wrote. Its old fencing, crude belfry, modest architecture and wall painting, old baptismal font—constitute a whole adorable in its simplicity.


The parish was officially established here already in the 14th century by Wierzbięta from Branice, and the current church comes from 1742. The year 1386 is referenced as the date of construction of the first church which was initially located on the other side of Vistula, in Wola Rusiecka. As a result of changes to the trough of Vistula, it was transferred to its current place in 1400. The church was damaged by shelling during the Russian offensive in 1915. The last major renovation took place in the years 1982-1984, and the most recent one - in 1996. Today, the little church is in a good condition.


The location of the church does not dominate in the multi-path rural system. The building is traditionally oriented. The church is based on a log structure, covered with weatherboards, with walls reinforced by supports at a later time. The chancel terminates in a semi-hexagon; the nave is rectangular and rather short. From the north, the chancel is adjoined by a sacristy, and from the east, there is an open chapel with a sculpture of Crucifixion. The nave can be accessed from the north by a side entrance, enclosed in a small post-and-frame porch; the main entrance from the west is enclosed in a new annex, built in the place of a small porch. The interior is covered by a flat ceiling. The choir with concave and convex sill rests of pillars topped with Corinthian capitals. A relic of the former, mediaeval building is the surviving surround of the sacristy portal, with extraordinarily thick reveals. In the entrance, old door with strapwork and a "blacksmith's" lock has been preserved. The building is covered by high roofs, separate over the nave and the chancel, with diversified ridges, but with continuous, effectively connected surfaces. They rest on a robust and strong king post truss with longitudinal reinforcement, of the Gothic type. A slim steeple turret with a hexagonal lantern, topped with a cupola with an orb and a crucifix in the top section, constitutes an architectural accent. All roofs are laid with wood shingles. The ceiling and walls inside are decorated with eclectic painting with trompe l'œil and ornamental motifs. On the profiled rood beam, there is a Baroque crucifix. The reredos of the main altar from the mid-18th century is shaped as a flat paludament, flanked with gates on which there is a pair of sculpture angels; the top section is shaped as a pelmet with fringes and a cartouche. Inside, there is a painting of Holy Mother with Child, probably from the 17th century, obscured by a background added at a later time, with Rococo dresses Regency crowns. The two side altarpiece feature modest architectural reredoses with late Baroque ornaments. The right one, damaged by an artillery shell in 1915, has been reconstructed. An artefact from the Gothic period is the stone baptismal font from the 15th century, shaped as a hexagonal chalice with a goblet decorated with tracery. In the church, there are more historic artefacts. The free-standing belfry is located within a small distance to the north-west, and there is a priests' house a little further away. In the belfry, there is a bell with inscription and date of casting, 1601.

The church can be visited after services. On Sundays and holidays: 7.00, 8.00, 9.00, 11.00. On Saturdays: 18.00 A visit can be arranged by phone to the parish office 12 251 13 35.

compiled by Roman Marcinek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Krakow, 20-03-2015.


  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, T. I, woj. krakowskie, pod red. J. Szablowskiego, wyd. 2, Warszawa 1953
  • M. Kornecki, Małopolskie kościoły drewniane w XVI i XVII wieku, „Teka Komisji Urbanistyki i Architektury” X, 1976
  • K. Sosnowski, Ziemia Krakowska. Przewodnik wycieczkowy, I, Kraków 1947, s. 174
  • T. Chrzanowski, M.Kornecki, Sztuka Ziemi Krakowskiej, Kraków 1982, s.189, il.108.
  • M. Kornecki, Biuletyn „Kościoły drewniane”, 77/1999.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Grabie 32
  • Location: Voivodeship małopolskie, district wielicki, commune Wieliczka - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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