Parish Church of St Martin the Bishop, Gwieździn
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Parish Church of St Martin the Bishop

Gwieździn

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The church is an example of a rural eighteenth-century sacred building, built using the traditional half-timbered construction technique. It is characterised by a well-preserved architectural form and valuable eighteenth-century furnishings.

History

The first mention of the parish and the church in Gwieździn dates back to 1376. During the religious riots in the late 16th and early 17th century, the church was incorporated into the Parish of Przechlewo, then in 1760 it again became an independent parish. During the Counter-Reformation, Gwieździn was a place of activity of the Jesuits of Chojnice. The present church was built in 1754. In 1826, the church underwent extensions, which involved extending the nave by 10 m towards the west and erecting a tower. After World War 2, the church was initially a filial church of the Parish of Rzeczenica; since 1967, it has been an independent parish.

Description

The church is located in the centre of the village, in the southern part of the village square. The church is oriented. The church plot has the shape of an irregular pentagon and is fenced with a wall. The plot is also occupied by a graveyard, which features the preserved original gravestones dating from 1885 and the first half of the 19th century. The site also boasts old-growth trees. A modern free-standing bell tower featuring a metal structure adjoins the west façade of the church. To the north, the church plot borders on the parcel occupied by a priests' house.

The eastern part, including about half of the nave, chancel, sacristy, and porch, feature a post-and-plank structure. The western part of the nave is a post-and-beam structure, while the tower features a post-and-frame structure. The entire building was covered with weatherboards.

The building was erected on the floor plan of an elongated rectangle and has a separate chancel enclosed on three sides. The sacristy adjoins the north façade of the chancel, whereas the porch is located to the south façade of the nave. The body of the church is fragmented and consists of nave, narrower and lower chancel, two small annexes, and a tower embedded in the nave to the west. The nave of the church is covered with gable roof, the chancel with a roof consisting of five sections, the sacristy a with shed roof, and the porch with a gable roof. The tower is surmounted by a slender octagonal dome with a wide orifice at the bottom, which is topped by a roof consisting of eight sections. The roof of the main body is clad with roof tiles, whereas the tower with wood shingles.

The façade feature modest decorations in the form of a profiled cornice below the eaves and window and door surrounds. All openings are surmounted by segmental arches. The surrounds were designed in the Baroque style and adorned with decorative side sections and a keystone. The exterior doors are original; the windows were replaced, but modeled on the original. The eastern façade of the chancel features a wooden sculpture of Christ on the Cross dating from the 17th century.

The interior is covered with a beamed ceiling with boards and crown mouldings attached above the exposed beams. The preserved Baroque and Rococo furnishings from the 18th century include: gallery with paintings on the balustrade, main altar, pulpit, baptismal font, and crucifix on the rood beam. The windows feature reproductions of Baroque statues, the originals of which are now in the museum in Człuchów. In addition, the church is fitted with a bell from the 15th century, which is located in the exterior bell tower.

The historic building is open to visitors. Viewing of the church is possible directly before and after services.

compiled by Beata Dygulska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 29-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Sadkowski T., Drewniana architektura sakralna na Pomorzu Gdańskim w XVIII-XX w., Gdańsk 1977.
  • Fryda M., Kościoły Człuchowa i okolicy, Człuchów 1995, s.39-40
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury. Kościół rzym.-kat. p.w. św. Marcina Biskupa, opr. D. Cieślik,1999, Archiwum NID

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna 6, Gwieździn
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district człuchowski, commune Rzeczenica
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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