St Michael the Archangel Church (formerly St Mary’s Church), Grodków
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St Michael the Archangel Church (formerly St Mary’s Church)

Grodków

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The parish church in Grodków is among a group of urban parish churches dating back to the second half of the 13th century. Despite the many fires and transformations, it has preserved its Gothic stonework (including portals, tracery, keystones, and supports) and the general character of the interior. The church houses equipment and fitting spanning many historic periods.

History

The first recorded mention of the Grodków temple goes back to 1282 and refer to the then parish priest. The first direct information about the church was recorded in a list of tithes from 1335. The temple was destroyed by fire several times (in 1449, 1633, and 1833); it was always rebuilt by the burghers and subsequent bishops.

The church was built in stages: the chancel (3rd and 4th quarter of the 13th century), the nave (c. 13th century), the tower and south porch (2nd half of the 14th century), and south chapels (14th/15th centuries). After the fire in 1449, the chancel, nave, north aisle with chapels and the sacristies were rebuilt and the south chapels were added. At the end of the 19th century, the interior was thoroughly renovated and its Gothic character was partially restored, e.g. the painting decoration was made and external portals were added.

Description

The Church of St Michael the Archangel was built within the boundaries of the old town, close to the 14th-century Ziębicka Gate. It is located in one of the side streets south of the market square.

The church was built as a three-aisled, oriented basilica with a full-length row of chapels to the north and a partial row to the south. Its oldest part is the three-bay chancel terminated with a straight wall, raised at the turn of the 14th century. On the west side, there is a quadrilateral, four-storey tower topped with a battlement.

The temple is built of brick and buttressed, with pointed-arch window openings with tracery (reconstructed) and stained-glass windows. The east façade is topped with a triangular gable with pinnacles. Along its axis, there is a row of pointed-arch panels and, in the upper part, two additional panels in the side axes. The side façades of the chancel are divided in half by an arcade frieze.

The body of the church is covered with a double-pitched roof. The sacristy and storeroom are covered with hipped roofs. Lean-to roofs cover the aisles: the north one with the roof pane extending over the chapels, the south one separate for the aisle and chapels.

The interior of the church is vaulted as follows: cross-rib vault with brick ribs and capitals featuring plant decoration (in the chancel), barrel vault with lunettes (in the nave) and double barrel vaults (in the aisles). The aisles are separated from the nave with pointed-arch arcades, just like the chapel from the north aisle; the rood beam has a similar shape.

What reminds of the old Gothic interior are (now partially reconstructed) the sedillia with ornamental gables and a wall tabernacle with the date of 1522. In addition, the church features the Renaissance and Baroque fittings of the 17th (including the organ casing and the painting, Allegory of the Church and the Sacraments) and 18th century (including the main altar, altars in the chapels and stalls in the chancel). The church also features a collection of tombstones and epitaphs, the oldest of which (late Gothic) is dated 1513.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 15-06-2015.

Bibliografia

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. VII: Województwo opolskie, z. 3: Powiat grodkowski, red. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warszawa 1964, s. 14-21.
  • Wczesnogotycki kościół parafialny w Grodkowie i jego przekształcenia w okresie późnego średniowiecza, A. Legendziewicz [w:] Czasopismo techniczne. Architektura, Wydawnictwo Politechniki Krakowskiej, 7-A/2011,zeszyt 23, s. 405-422.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 3 ćw. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Warszawska , Grodków
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district brzeski, commune Grodków - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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