St Lawrence’s Parish Church, then the Holy Trinity Parish Church, Gubin
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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St Lawrence’s Parish Church, then the Holy Trinity Parish Church

Gubin

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The preserved ruins of the Holy Trinity Parish Church are the remains of one of the largest religious buildings in the current Lubuskie Voivodeship. The hostilities in 1945 did not spare the Gothic church that was unique in the Middle Odra Region.

History

The current body of the church has been formed over three centuries. The original Romanesque church consisted of three naves, with a rectangular chancel, and was built of brick. The side aisles and chancel from the east were finished with semi-circular apses. A transept flanked by two towers extends from the western section to the body of the church. A rectangular porch with a portal was placed between the towers. The ceilings of the church were made of wood, supported by four pillars, with a brick floor laid inside. At the turn of the 13th and early 14th c., probably after a fire, the church was rebuilt in the Gothic style. The chancel was extended to the east and upwards by several metres. This made the body of the church larger, with the naves separated by octagonal pillars. The building features groin vaults arranged into five bays. Additionally, a sacristy was added to the south side of the chancel. Only the western wall and two towers of all architectural alterations made during that time has preserved the character of the Romanesque style. In the late 14th century the town’s population grew significantly; thus, the then church became inadequate for the increased number of believer. To solve this problem, the main body of the church was divided into three naves, with naves of equal size. At the beginning of the 15th century a parish school building was erected, which was located on the northern side of the chancel. The most recent alteration which materially affected the external appearance of the church was made between 1508 and 1560. In 1520 two low towers were demolished, and one monumental tower decorated with blind windows and crowned with an attic was added. The tower has six storeys and was 53 metres in height. In 1552, a bell was installed atop the tower. Alterations were made to the western part of the building, which was modelled upon the eastern wing. The works included the construction of new wall with eight pillars and arches between the naves, modelled on the architecture of the Heinrich Brunsberg’s school (the churches in Pomerania were built under the influence of these solutions). The chapels were covered with net and stellar vaults. The next stage involved the construction of the end wall of the church. The construction of the net vaults above the naves forming the main body of the church and the chancel took more than fifty years. The building was also surrounded by a walled enclosure. Thereby, the church gained impressive dimensions: 60 m in length and 30 m in width and its cubic volume of 38,000 m3. The interior of the church was altered several times (in 1594 and 1706 and between 1842 and 1844, among others). In the first half of the 18th century the alteration works involved the construction of the main altar in the Baroque style, an ambo with gilt wood carvings, and minor decorative features forming part of the building’s fixtures and fittings were complemented: chandeliers, candlesticks or lectern. Builder Heinze from the town of Żary constructed the organ (in 1913, an electrical power system was installed in the instrument). The then architectural form of the building survived unchanged until 1945, when the building was destroyed by artillery fire of Soviet forces. The second record of wartime events of 1945 suggests that the church was blown up by retreating German soldiers. As a result, the roof, part of the vaults, dome of the tower were destroyed and the walls of the building were damaged. The first repair works to secure the church lying in ruins were carried out in 1950-1951 and 1979-1981 (at that time, the eastern part of the destroyed parish school and sacristy were rebuilt). Currently, efforts are being made to reconstruct this largest religious building in the Middle Odra Region. On 21 June 2005 a notarial deed was signed and a foundation was established to support the reconstruction of the church.

Description

The former parish church destroyed after the Second World War has never been rebuilt. So far the original crest of the outer walls and the top section of the tower have been reconstructed. Original features preserved include the peripheral walls of the church with buttresses, tower, pillars, sacristy (covered with a two-bay cross-rib vaulting) and chapels (covered with stellar and net vaults). The structure is oriented and built of brick. It features a three-nave, four-bay hall which is connected with the chancel of the same width. The interior is surrounded by chapels with shed roofs. It is adjoined by a sacristy to the north side and a six-storey tower crowned by an attic and covered with a dome-shaped roof to the west side. Thanks to the renewal of the tower the building may become a new tourist attraction visited by Polish and foreign tourists. The reconstruction of the rest of the ruined body of the church will depend on whether more funds will be obtained.

Limited access to the monument. The structure is owned by the local government. After completion of the planned renovation work, the building is to serve as a cultural and educational institution.

Compiled by Krzysztof Słowiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 08-07-2014 r.

Bibliography

  • Bielenis-Kopeć B., Zabytki Zielonej Góry, Zielona Góra 2005.Brylla J.W., Z dziejów Kościoła staroluterańskiego na Środkowym Nadodrzu ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem zboru zielonogórskiego, [w:] Brylla J.W. (red.), 50 lat Parafii Ewangelicko-Augsburskiej w Zielonej Górze, Zielona Góra 1998.
  • Klose M., Das Grünberger Heimatmuseum, „Grünberger Hauskalender” 1924.
  • Kowalski S., Zabytki architektury województwa lubuskiego, Zielona Góra 2010.
  • Kowalski S., Zabytki Środkowego Nadodrza, Zielona Góra 1976.
  • Pertyt-Gierasimczuk I., Czas architekturą zapisany, Zielona Góra 1998.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Ratuszowa , Gubin
  • Location: Voivodeship lubuskie, district krośnieński, commune Gubin (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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