Saint Nicholas parish church, currently the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Gryfino
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Saint Nicholas parish church, currently the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Gryfino

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One of the few municipal granite churches from the transitional period between Romanism and Gothic in the region. Example of rare in Pomorze Zachodnie temple on a Greek cross floor plan. The peculiarity of this historical structure is also the tower solution - originally open from three sides.

History

Already in the foundation document of Gryfino of 1254, the parish church comprised 4 voloks of land. In 1278 duke Barnim I passed the patronage over the church in Gryfino to Mariacka collegiate church in Szczecin. In 1281 the parish priest from Gryfin - Jan Belkow, was mentioned for the first time. In the third quarter of the 13th century simply closed presbytery and both wings of the transept were built. Originally those elements were supposed to be the part of the building set on a Greek cross floor plan. Ca. 1300 a basilica-type nave body was erected with a tower on the main nave axis on the ground floor, open from three sides with pointed-arch arcades. These works were completed in the first quarter of the 14th century, which is evidenced by subsequent foundations of the altars in 1300, 1302, 1314, 1320, 1322 and 1325. In this period the interior of the church was covered by beam ceiling. Ca. 1500 the church was reconstructed in a hall layout - the existing low side naves were substituted with new, higher ones, and the interior was covered with late Gothic vaultings. Sacristy was added to the northern wall of the presbytery. During the fire of the city in 1530 the church was partly damaged. During the reconstruction after the fire new transept gables were built, roofs over the naves were reconstructed and the tower arcades were bricked up. Ca. 1534, the temple was taken over by the Protestants. In 1580 new altar was made - a tryptych by the painter from Szczecin - David Redtel (currently in the National Museum in Szczecin), in 1605 a stone Mannerist ambo and choir stalls were founded. In 1725 Gothic tower dome was demolished due to a lightning strike and then it was substituted with a new Baroque one. In the years 1861-1863 an architect - Buchterkirch carried out a restoration of the church. Then the transept and side naves gables were bricked, the structure and covering of the roof and tower dome were exchanged, the pillars were reconstructed and neo-Gothic fittings were performed, including the altar and organs. In 1901 Hans Selinger of Berlin decorated the walls and vaultings with figural and ornamental wall paintings. In 1925 the tower dome was substituted with the current, neo-Baroque one. After 1945 most of the neo-Gothic elements of the fittings and decorations of the 19th and 20th century were removed.

Description

The church is located in the centre of town, in the northern frontage of the former market square, between the longitudinally running Kościelna and Bolesława Chrobrego streets, within the area of the former churchyard cemetery. It is an oriented, early Gothic building, cross-shaped in plan, with rectangular presbytery, transverse nave, single-bay, three-nave, hall body and western tower square-shaped in plan. There are gable roofs, over each of the side naves there are two roofs situated transversely to the main axis, like the roof of the sacristy. Four-storey tower is topped with octagonal low tholobate and neo-Baroque two-storey dome with a lantern. The oldest parts (presbytery, transept and tower walls at the level of two lower storeys) built of granite blocks with brick details, side naves, sacristy, two upper storeys of the tower and ceilings are made of Gothic brick, the gables of the transept, side naves and a tholobate under the tower dome are made of early modern brick. The roofs are covered with beaver tail roof tiles, while the tower dome is clad with slate roof tiles.

There are pointed-arch door and window openings. Tower façades are divided with string courses. In each wall of the ground floor there are three visible pointed-arch niches, out of which the middle ones constitute the remains of arcades, formerly open and then bricked-up again. Upper levels facades of the tower are partitioned by means of pointed-arch niches with a pair of small windows, in the upper storey - with bell openings. Side naves walls are buttressed, pierced by windows arranged on two storeys - smaller on the lower storeys and bigger on the upper one. On the top facades of the transept there are early Gothic pointed-arch portals with three-step reveals, on the southern facade - with an archivolt framed on the sides with pairs of narrow arcades. There are high Gothic windows over the portals, three on the southern façade, two on the northern façade - framed on the sides by pairs of niches. Transept gables and pairs of gables over the side naves are neo-Gothic and are partitioned with blind windows. Eastern facade is pierced by a large pointed-arch window in the trefoil closed blind window emerging to the area of the gable. Gable is partitioned with seven blind windows, alternately - pointed-arch and trefoil ones. Sacristy walls are buttressed, with small, windows closed with pointed arches. In the end wall the upper storey is separated with a frieze, partitioned with pointed-arch blind windows running into the gable area.

Interior is covered with stellar vaultings. Side naves are separated with square pillars cut at the thickness of the wall. Transept is confined from the East and West with arches at the thickness of the wall, transept wings are separated from the North and South with arches. In the attic early Gothic double windows in the brick wall of the main nave are visible, dating back to the period when the nave body layout was of basilica type. Sacristy is covered by cross-rib vaulting. Fittings: neo-Gothic altar of 1960s. with a painting by Stanisław Batowski ołd stanów polskich składany Matce Bożej Królowej Polski [tribute of Polish states paid to Mother Mary, the Queen of Poland] brought from Kałusz, Renaissance stone ambo of 1605, Renaissance choir stalls of the beginning of the 17th century, organs with a neo-Gothic pipe organ casing of the third quarter of the 19th century.

Limited access to the historic building. The interior may be accessed upon the consent of the parish priest.

Prepared by Maciej Słomiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 08.09.2014.

Bibliography

  • Lemcke H., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungsbezirks Stettin, t. 6: Der Kreis Greifenhagen, Stettin 1902, pp. 209 and subseq.
  • Łopuch W., Symbioza kamienia i cegły. Architektura kościelna księstwa zachodniopomorskiego w latach 1278-1325, „Przegląd Zachodniopomorski” 1987, z. 3.
  • Mroczko T., Arszyński M., (ed.), Architektura gotycka w Polsce, Warsaw 1995, pp. 93-94.
  • Świechowski Z., Architektura granitowa Pomorza Zachodniego w XIII wieku, Poznań 1950, pp. 24, 27-29, 34.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: po 1254 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gryfino
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district gryfiński, commune Gryfino - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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