Parish church of St. Nicolas and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Imielno
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish church of St. Nicolas and the Blessed Virgin Mary

Imielno

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A 13th-century church in Imielno is an important example of a magnate Romanesque church in Poland. The set of ten stone nobility epitaphs from the late 16th-17th century gathered inside the church, made by the workshops of Pińczów and Chęciny, constitutes one of the most interesting collections of this type in northern Lesser Poland. Of equally unique nature is wall painting in the building originating from 1956, by Barbara and Tadeusz Brzozowski.

History

Imielno was the home settlement of the Pojar family. In the 2nd half of the 12th century, representatives of this family created a canon college at the local church, and in the 2nd quarter of the 13th century, the founded a brick and stone church (partially preserved up to this day), erected by Cistercian builders. In 1325, two rectors and a prebendary served there. In the 2nd half of the 15th century, the building was converted. In times of Jan Długosz, there was a provostry with a college of corrodies, and scholastry. In the 1st half of the 17th century, the church was renovated and probably two chapels were added to it. In the 50s and 60s of the 18th century, its fittings were replaced by late-Baroque fittings. In 1850, a stone belfry was built on the church square. In 1913, the church was renovated, which included, among other things, reconstruction of the brick  southern wall of the presbytery. In 1935, Romanesque brick bonds of the walls were exposed, and its interior painted. In years 1951-4, the church was renovated, and in 1956, Barbara and Tadeusz Brzozowski decorated the nave body and the presbytery with wall painting. In years 1995-9 and 2007-11, among other things the following items underwent conservation: altars, pipe organ, and "marble" epitaphs, and in years 2001 and 2007-08, construction and restoration works were carried out inter alia on the roof of the church and plasterwork.

Description

The church complex is located in the western part of the village; it occupies an irregular square surrounded by stone walls and old-growth trees. It is comprised of a Romanesque church situated in the central area of the site and a free-standing belfry originating from 1850, located to the north-east from the church, by the walls. The church is an oriented, three-nave basilica with a presbytery featuring a straight ending section. The church body is framed from the sides by a pair of lower, symmetrical, rectangular chapels (the northern one is octagonal inside). On the western and north-western side, rectangular, low porches were added to the church. The northern wall of the presbytery is adjoined by a low, rectangular sacristy. The church is made of stone and brick, and is partially plastered. It is covered by a gable roof (over the main nave with a steeple, and over the presbytery and porches), a shed roof (over the sacristy and side naves), and a dome-shaped roof with a lantern (over chapels). The plain stone façades of the building, with triangular gables, are enriched from the north by buttresses (side naves), and lesenes (presbytery). The southern wall of the chapel includes a relief presenting Christ in a sarcophagus, with the instruments of Passion of the 15th century (?). The church's interior is covered with double barrel vaults (main nave, presbytery, sacristy), barrel vaults (side naves), barrel vaults with lunettes (northern chapel), dome-shaped on squinches (southern chapel). In the presbytery, there are Romanesque columns - supporting ribs at the pillars, and two windows. The entrance from the presbytery to the sacristy is emphasised by a "marble" portal from the 2nd half of the 17th century (attributable to the workshop of Chęciny). The vaults of the nave and presbytery, and the walls of side naves are covered with wall painting featuring religious motifs, executed by Barbara and Tadeusz Brzozowski in 1956. Among the elements of the church's fittings the following are worth attention, among other things: main altar originating from ca. 1750, (by an assistant of Johann George Lehner(?), with a painting of Our Lady of Carmel of ca. 1750), St. Anna altar of 1764 (by Michał Dobkowski and carpenter Paweł Bernacki, with a sign. painting by Józef Kopaciński), a dozen or so stone epitaphs from the 16th-19th century, made by artists from Pińczów, Chęciny, and Dębnik. A three-storey tower on a square plan, with ovoid sides, was made of brick and entirely plastered. It is covered by a tented roof with a faux lantern in the middle.

The historic building is accessible to visitors. It may be visited upon prior telephone appointment.

Compiled by Łukasz Piotr Młynarski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 02.10.2014.

Bibliography

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General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2. ćw. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna 2, Imielno
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district jędrzejowski, commune Imielno
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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