Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grzegorzew
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Grzegorzew

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The Parish Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Grzegorzew is an original example of Baroque wooden ecclesiastical architecture of Greater Poland. Its characteristic form is a result of numerous modifications introduced over the past centuries.

History

Grzegorzew, a former royal town, currently a village, is located in the eastern part of Greater Poland, a dozen or so kilometres to the east of Koło. Originally, it was a ducal village; in 1236, Duke Władysław Odonic transferred the ownership of the village to Gniezno archbishops. In 1331, it was destroyed by the Teutonic Order. In 1550, Grzegorzew was granted municipal rights under Magdeburg Law by King Sigismund II Augustus. In 1691, Archbishop Michał Radziejowski granted the village rights and privileges equal to those of Łowicz. Until the Partitions of Poland, Grzegorzew was the centre of an extensive array of estates belonging to Gniezno archbishops. In the early 19th century, the town prospered as a local weaving and cloth-making centre, however, the destructive fire of 1858 led to its gradual decline in the following years. Grzegorzew lost its municipal rights in 1870.

The parish in Grzegorzew was established before 1258. Until 1818, it was part of the Gniezno Archdiocese; in the years 1818-1920 — of the Warsaw Diocese; in the years 1920-1925 — of the Łódź Diocese, and from 1925 to the present moment — of the Wrocław Diocese. The first known church in the village, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was built before 1258. It burnt down before 1493. Another church, dedicated to St Stanislaus the Bishop and Martyr and St Nicholas, was built at a different location before 1493.

The present church (which replaced a previous one), bearing the name of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was built in 1776. It was founded by Rev. Jan Rachlewski. In the 17th century, side chapels were built onto the main body of the building. In the years 1885-1887, it was extended to the west as the main nave was made longer and a tower was added. During World War II, Black Sea Germans who temporarily lived in the church following their displacement in the years 1939-1941 from the southern territories of the Soviet Union robbed the church of liturgical vessels. Moreover, German authorities stole the church bells and destroyed the bell tower. Restoration works were carried out in 1928, after 1945, and in 1959, and subsequently in the years 1963-1966, 1971, and — most recently — in the years 2000-2003, by a company of Józef Paczka. Moreover, between 1991 and 1993, the main altar was renovated, the wall paintings were restored, maintenance works were carried out on the wood shingles and exterior walls, the electric wiring system and the gutters and drainpipes were replaced, and a burglar alarm system was installed. In 1995, the church was awarded the first prize of the Ministry of Culture and Art for excellent maintenance of a wooden building in a competition for the best user of a historic building for the years 1993 and 1994.

The free-standing bell tower was constructed in the 18th century, destroyed by the Germans during World War II, and reconstructed after the war.

Description

The church building has a wooden log structure. The walls are covered with vertically-positioned weatherboards. The church is oriented to the east. The nave consists of two parts: a lower one, dating from the 17th century, and a higher one, added in the 19th century. The nave is adjoined by a narrower chancel, terminating in a semi-hexagon. A brick sacristy was built onto the north side of the chancel. Two chapels, terminating in flat walls and having decorative Baroque gables, adjoin the nave symmetrically on the north and south sides, forming a type of transept; the nave is also adjoined by two porches. A square, wooden tower was built onto the west wall of the church. It is topped with a sheet-metal onion-shaped roof with a lantern and a cupola, surmounted by a cross. The church is covered with gable roofs with wood shingles; the chapels are covered with lower, mono-pitched roofs. Over the nave, there is a steeple with a similar onion-shaped roof with a lantern. The interior is divided by two rows of wooden posts. The nave is covered with a false barrel vault and the chapels have flat ceilings. The church fittings include Neo-Baroque altars, a Rococo confessional, and a Late-Gothic baptismal font embellished with reliefs and an inscription in Latin. The music gallery is supported by four piers.

To the south-west of the church, there is a wooden bell tower having a post-and-beam structure, with the lower part covered with vertically-positioned weatherboards and the upper part — partially covered with horizontally-positioned weatherboards and partially open. It is topped with a gable roof with eaves, covered with weatherboards, and decorated with Baroque gables. The graveyard, featuring mighty trees, is enclosed with a cobblestone and brick wall with a metal gate and a number of wicket gates.

The church can only be visited from the outside.

compiled by Tomasz Łuczak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 16-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Diecezja włocławska 2000, red. W. Frątczak, W. Kujawski, A. Poniński, K. Rulka, L. Urbański, Włocławek 2001, s. 307.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. 5, Woj. wielkopolskie, red. Teresa Ruszczyńska, Aniela Sławska, z. 8, Pow. kolski, opr. J. Rutkowska, Warszawa 1960, s. 8.
  • Kościoły drewniane w Wielkopolsce, red. Mariusz Grzebalski, Poznań 2004, s. 86.
  • Piotr Maluśkiewicz, Województwo konińskie. Szkic monograficzny, Warszawa-Poznań 1983, s. 165-166.
  • Piotr Maluśkiewicz, Ziemia konińska. Przewodnik turystyczny, Konin 2002, s. 85-86.
  • Wielkopolska. Słownik krajoznawczy, red. Łęcki Włodzimierz, Poznań 2002, s. 104.
  • http://kosciolydrewniane.pl - odsłona z listopada 2015 r.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1776 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Plac Kościelny 4, Grzegorzew
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district kolski, commune Grzegorzew
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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