The St Nicholas and St Joseph parish church complex - Zabytek.pl
woj. podkarpackie, pow. brzozowski, gm. Brzozów-obszar wiejski
The entire complex shows how a period complex of this type, performing both ecclesiastical and farming functions, must have looked like. The church itself is an example of an early-20th century Gothic Revival temple designed by Władysław Chomiak and Wilhelm Szomek - two architects from the city of Sanok who remained active in this particular area. Its prominent location gives it an additional landscape value.
The earliest known mentions of the parish in Grabownica date back to 1476. The existing church is the third such structure built in the village throughout the years. Erected in years 1913-1926, it was built near an older, wooden church which did not survive to the present day. It was designed by Władysław Chomiak and Wilhelm Szomek - two architects originating from the city of Sanok. The task of the oversight of construction works was assigned to Tomasz Wolański, also from Sanok. In 1999 the roof truss was restored; copper sheet cladding was installed on the roof, while the facades were also subjected to renovation works. A belfry built in 1951 and a 19th century gravestone are situated in the vicinity of the church. The church complex also includes the rectory built in years 1927-1929 and performed its original function until the 1980s, the organist’s house and parish school, erected in the second half of the 19th century, as well as a structure referred to in the decision documement as the granary and a building used for grain threshing, although in fact it performed the function of a barn and shall be referred to as such in the present note; the barn was built sometime during the second half of the 19th century.
The complex is located in the north-eastern part of the village, on a hill. It consists of the following components: 1. the church, positioned on the south-west/north-east axis due to the peculiarities of the surrounding terrain, its front facade facing towards the north-east; 2. belfry, positioned alongside the axis of the church facade; the gravestone, situated east of the entrance to the church; 4. the rectory, positioned on the axis of the chancel; 5. the organist’s house, positioned west of the church; and 6. the barn, located south of the rectory.
The church was built in the neo-Gothic style. It features a three-nave hall layout and is preceded by an additional front section containing, among other things, the vestibule and the choir gallery. The naves follow a three-bay layout (with the body of the building containing the nave being based on a floor plane approximating the shape of a square), with a transept intersecting the church at the level of the second bay. The chancel features a three-sided rear section and is flanked by the treasury and sacristy, both of them built on a square floor plan. The church features a pronounced north-eastern section incorporating the tower which dominates the entire structure. The entire church is made of brick. Each successive section of the church from the tower towards the chancel are lower than the preceding one, with the chancel itself being markedly lower than the nave. The tower is crowned with a pyramid-shaped roof; the roof above the chancel is multi-hipped, while the remaining roofs feature a conventional gable roof design. All roofs covered with sheet metal. The interiors feature groin vaults, sail vaults in the sacristy and treasury as well as half-dome ceilings in the arms of the transept. The queen post roof truss is made of wood. The church features brick facades with buttresses and stone window and door surrounds, some of them set against the background of white, plastered facade sections. The three-axis facade is dominated by the tower which it incorporates, accentuated by an avant-corps projecting from the facade. Two niches with sculptures of the Heart of the Virgin Mary and the Heart of Jesus Christ are positioned on the side axes of the front facade. The interior of the church features wall paintings by Władysław Lisowski (1954) as well as interior fittings relocated there from an older church, including Baroque retables made in Krosno (main altar under the invocation of St Nicholas - about 1633, 1724, 1926; two side altars - on the left [1714, featuring a Late Baroque sculpture of Our Lady of Sorrows] and on the right [1709, featuring a painting of St Joseph and Infant Jesus created during the same period as the altar]). The altar under the invocation of St Barbara is compiled of various elements (including parts dating back to the 17th century, originating from the Capuchin church in Blizne) features a relief depicting the oil drilling derricks of Grabownica. The Baroque decor of the church is complemented by a pulpit dating back to the first half of the 18th century as well as by the baptismal font dated 1728.
The arcaded free-standing belfry is made of red brick and was designed to complement the architecture of the church itself.
The gravestone takes the form of a plinth topped with an obelisk.
The rectory is an eclectic design built on a rectangular floor plan, with a later additional lean-to section abutting it from the south. The front facade features a three-axis avant-corps crowned with a triangular gable end, preceded by a small brick porch with a triangular pediment surmounted by a statue of Christ the Good Shepherd. The rectory features a half-hip roof above the main body of the building, a gable roof over the avant-corps and a shed roof above the lean-to structure. The building is made of brick and has a basement underneath some of its sections. The basement features a brick infill ceiling, with wooden ceilings used elsewhere in the building. The roof rests upon a wooden roof truss with two queen posts and straining beams. The decorative elements of the facade include window surrounds, an inscription on the gable end of the avant-corps as well as a string course.
The organist’s house and parish school building is built on a rectangular floor plan, with a later brick add-on in the west; part of the building features a basement. The building is covered with a hip roof with sheet metal cladding. The walls are made of wooden logs set on a brick and stone foundation. The basement features a brick barrel vault, while all other ceilings are made of wood. The roof rests upon a wooden roof truss featuring a rafter and collar structure.
The barn is made of wooden logs and features a rectangular floor plan. It is covered with a hip roof with sheet metal cladding.
The church is available all year round and may be visited upon prior telephone appointment. Other structures can be viewed from the outside.
Compiled by Bartosz Podubny, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszów, 03.09.2014 r.
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- Ostrowski R., Grabownica Starzeńska kartki z dziejów wsi, Grabownica Starzeńska-Brzozów-Rzeszów 2009.
Protection: Register of monuments
Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_18_ZE.3837