The parish Church of St Hedwig, Gryfów Śląski
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The parish Church of St Hedwig

Gryfów Śląski

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A structure erected over a number of distinct phases, with the hallmarks of the Late Gothic style being clearly in evidence. The church was originally built in the 14th/15th century and subsequently extended until the early 16th century and around the mid-16th century. During the first half of the 19th century, the church underwent modernisation works.

History

The first parish church in Gryfów was erected back in 1252. The original, wooden structure was then replaced by a stone church completed in 1408. This church was later destroyed during the Hussite wars in 1427 and was subsequently reconstructed and extended in the late 15th/early 16th century. In 1512, the newly erected chancel and side aisles received their vaulted ceilings. In 1513, a tower was erected and equipped with vaulted ceilings. Further works took place in the mid-16th century: in 1542, the tower was extended upwards, while in 1545, the construction of the Schaffgotsch family chapel and the patrons’ gallery above it began at the initiative of Hans Ulryk Schaffgotsch. In 1551, the main nave received a new vaulted ceiling; the sgraffito decorations by Dominic Dipar and Johannes Dalbor which grace its surface were added six years later. In 1561, the tower was extended upwards and crowned with a copper-clad cupola. The western porch with its preserved groin vaults and the stone portal in the southern façade of the church, leading into the nave body, are likewise 16th-century additions.

The church sustained fire damage in years 1603, 1621, 1624 and 1634, with the renovation works taking place in years 1604-1612, 1630, 1634-1635 and 1693-1697. The southern portico was added in the 18th century. Successive alteration and renovation works were carried out in years 1702, 1724, 1839, 1925-26 (sgraffito decorations in the nave restored using the negative technique), in 1956 and in the years 1977-78. The roof cladding was also replaced in recent years.

Description

The church is located in the northern part of the medieval town. Designed in the Late Gothic style, it is a masonry structure made of split stone and ashlar blocks. The church is a hall-type structure oriented towards the east, with a four-bay nave and a short, single-bay chancel with a semi-hexagonal end section. A porch designed on a square floor plan adjoins the church to the west. A square tower rises above the third bay of the southern aisle, its two uppermost storeys being octagonal in shape. The chancel is adjoined by a two-bay tomb chapel to the south and a narrow, rectangular sacristy to the north. The church has a compact, monumental form. The main body is covered with a gable roof; the porch, the southern portico and the chancel end section feature separate roofs. The façades are covered with plaster and feature rusticated quoins on the corners. The entire structure rests upon a plinth made of ashlar stones. The windows in the eastern façade of the nave, the southern side of the chancel as well as the upper storeys of the tower are topped with semicircular arches. The chancel termination, on the other hand, features pointed-arch windows, while the windows piercing the walls of the third and fourth storeys of the tower are topped with segmental arches. The main, southern entrance leads through the ground-floor section of the tower and is preceded by a Classicist portico - a later addition - and a flight of stone steps. The entrance itself is framed with a pointed-arch portal. Inside, the church features a Mannerist main altarpiece made of stone, incorporating a Passion scene by Paul Meyner (1606) and a stone baptismal font from 1728. Other notable features include the set of epitaph plaques from the 16th-18th century, embedded, among others, into the church façades as well as into the walls of the Schaffgotsch family chapel; the stone epitaph plaque dedicated to the Schaffgotsch family itself, designed in the Renaissance style (1585-87) is attributed to Hans Klintzsch from Pirna. Next to the church stands the rectory, erected in 1531 and redesigned on numerous occasions.

The church may be visited during church service.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 20-10-2014.

Bibliografia

  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 317-318.
  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 2 Pogórze Izerskie, part I, M. Staff (ed.), Wrocław 2003, pp. 270-273.
  • Olczak M., Gryfów Śląski i Gryf, Warsaw 2001, pp. 133-172.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: początek XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: pl. Kościelny , Gryfów Śląski
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district lwówecki, commune Gryfów Śląski - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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