Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul, currently the Fisheries Museum, Branch of the National Maritime Museum, Hel
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Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul, currently the Fisheries Museum, Branch of the National Maritime Museum

Hel

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It is an example of Gothic sacred architecture, with later, mainly neo-Gothic, build-ups of architectural elements. It is the oldest building in Hel. The structure is the dominant feature in the landscape of the town in terms of scale and is perfectly exposed from the sea. The current function of the building (Fisheries Museum) reflects the core centuries-old activity of the inhabitants of the town.

History

It was built as a Catholic parish church. Between 1526 and 1945, it remained in the hands of Evangelicals. The earliest mention of the church dates from 1417. The chancel with a sacristy were built in the late 14th and early 15th century, the nave body in the 15th century. The church also had a tower, on which a signal fire was lighted as a navigational light for ships. The building was repeatedly damaged by storms and renovated. A brick front façade and new tower were erected in 1732. The tower was demolished after another storm in 1863. Between 1888 and 1889, the church was redesigned in the Gothic Revival style. The alterations involved the installation of a new transverse roof, and the addition of a wooden openwork tower at the junction of the main body and the chancel. After 1925, the tower was covered with weatherboards and relocated above the porch. The building was damaged during the Second World War. In 1958 and 1959, it underwent restoration, which involved the construction of a new tower which has been preserved to this day. In 1970-1972, the building was adapted for use as the Fisheries Museum.

Description

It is located in the central part of Hel, near the port, between the Seaside Boulevard (Bulwar Nadmorski) and the main street of the town (Wiejska Street). It situated on two irregular plots fenced with a brick wall. In addition to the church, the plots are occupied by the former graveyard, currently the outdoor exhibition space of the museum, former gravedigger’s house (from the 18th c., reconstructed in 2007), currently the museum’s kiosk and morgue (built between 1910 and 1930), currently a utility building. The property adjoins a rectory to the north and the Municipal Office to the south. The church was designed in the Gothic style and is oriented. The main body is built of brick; the west gable and tower are made of wood. The nave body is wide; the church has two aisles and was built on a rectangular floor plan (giving an impression of a transept); the three-bay chancel is located to the east and enclosed on three sides. The chancel adjoins a rectangular sacristy to the north and a vestibule to the south. To the west of the main body is a narrow rectangular porch, which is surmounted by a square-shaped tower with an openwork section — a viewing gallery on the top storey. The main body and chancel are the same in height and are covered with gable roofs; the tower is topped by a tented roof. On the roof ridge over the chancel is a weathervane (relocated from the tower) in the shape of a seahorse, probably from 1732. The façades (considerably altered) are smooth and partitioned by stepped buttresses and pointed-arch windows. The windows feature traceries. The gables of the nave body are fragmented by blind windows. The interior is divided into two storeys. The ceilings are made of wood. The sacristy is fitted with recessed cabinets with metal doors and Gothic fittings.

The monument is open to visitors. Fisheries Museum, Branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk.

compiled by Beata Dygulska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 01-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Heise J., Die Bau und Kunstdenkmaeler der Kreise Carthaus, Berent und Neustadt, Danzig 1884, str. 69-71;
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V: Województwo gdańskie, z. 2: Puck, Żarnowiec i okolice, oprac. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, B. Rol, I. Strzelecka, Warszawa1989, str. 8-9;
  • Studium historyczno-urbanistyczne Helu, oprac. J. Barton, A. Kołecki, A. Wołosewicz, Gdańsk 1976;
  • Schultz F., Dzieje powiatu wejherowskiego i puckiego, Gdańsk-Puck-Wejherowo 2011, str. 627-632

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wiejska 48, Hel
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district pucki, commune Hel
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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