Parish Church of St Martin, Kaczkowo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish Church of St Martin

Kaczkowo

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An example of an aisleless church mostly having a frame structure with brick infill and plastered walls (the main body, the sacristy, the Chapel of Mary the Mother of God, and the lower storey of the tower). The main altar in the chancel dates from the early 18th century. On 14 May 2012, the relics of St John Paul II were carried into the church in a solemn procession.

History

The village of Kaczkowo, initially being part of Silesia, was mentioned by written records for the first time in 1326. A local parish was probably established in the 13th or 14th century. The first wooden church, no longer existing, was built in the 15th century. A local parish-priest was mentioned for the first time in 1406.

After 1563, the church was used by Protestants. It was returned to Catholics at the beginning of the 2nd half of the 17th century. In 1670, the first church, severely damaged, was dismantled. It was replaced with a new wooden building, founded by the Lessel-Stosch family, in 1674. It remained a filial church of the Czernina parish until 1686, when the Kaczkowo Parish was re-established. Its first parish-priest was Rev. Leopold Ksawery Wallis.

In 1729, a tower was built onto the west wall of the church. In 1765, due to insufficient funds, the Kaczków Parish became subordinate to the Czernina Parish.

In 1817, the wooden log structure of the church was replaced with a frame structure, which was filled with brick and plastered. Due to these modifications, its surface area became smaller. A clock was installed on the church tower in 1820.

In 1925, under a bull of Pope Pius XI, the management of the church in Kaczkowo was transferred from the Czernina Parish and the Wrocław Diocese to the Poznań Archdiocese. Until 1939, the ministerial and liturgical services in the church in Kaczkowo were provided by priests from the parishes in Rydzyna and Gołaszyn. During World War II, the church in Kaczkowo was the only church in the Leszno District that was open to Polish people.

Construction works and full-scale renovations were carried out in the church in the years 1947-1953. The works were supervised by the parish-priest Rev. Zygmunt Pilawski. The brick infill of the frame structure was replaced, the Chapel of Mary the Mother of God with a porch was built onto the south wall of the nave (a sandstone epitaph plaque from 1642 was installed on its south façade), and the sacristy was modified. In 1966, a vestibule was constructed on the east side of the sacristy. In 1977, the church yard was enclosed with a new wall. In the following years, renovation and conservation works were carried out on an ongoing basis.

Description

The church is located in the centre of the village, between roads connecting Leszno with Rawicz: a local road on the east side and expressway S5, which is the ring road of Kaczkowo, on the west side. In the church yard, roughly rectangular in shape, there is a graveyard surrounded by a plastered cobblestone and brick wall covered with a small gable roof, with a gate framed by two wicket gates, located on the east side (there are also wicket gates on the south and west sides). Large deciduous trees (birches, oaks) and smaller coniferous trees grow in the graveyard. The church is surrounded by a procession path running from the gate, paved with concrete setts. It separated from the graveyard with a low hedge. The church yard borders a meadow on the north side, roads on the east and south sides, and a farmstead on the west side. The rectory building is situated on the south side.

The aisleless church, oriented to the east, has a floor plan approximating a Latin cross. The nave has a rectangular floor plan; the chancel terminates in a semi-hexagon. On the north side of the nave, by the chancel, there is a sacristy having a rectangular floor plan. It is adjoined by a smaller vestibule, also rectangular, on the east side. On the west side of the sacristy, there is a morgue, having the same width as the sacristy and the same length as the nave. On the opposite side, by the south wall, there is the Chapel of Mary the Mother of God, built on a rectangular floor plan, open to the interior across its whole width. On the west side, it is adjoined by a vestibule having a floor plan in the shape of an elongated rectangle, leading to the nave to which it is situated perpendicularly. On the central axis of the nave, on the west side of the building, there is a tower, lower than the nave, whose lower storey has a square floor plan. By its north wall, in one line with the nave wall, there is a rectangular annex containing a staircase.

The church has a complex structure comprising nine cuboids of various heights. The nave, the chancel, the sacristy, and the side chapel are of the same height. The vestibules are lower. The morgue on the north side of the nave reaches to half its height. The three-storeyed tower is higher than the nave. The annex containing a staircase, adjoining the tower on the north side, reaches up to the top of its first storey. Each cuboid is covered with a separate roof. The nave has a gable roof and the chancel has a gable roof passing into a three-pitched roof in the rear section. On the ridge over the chancel, there is a cross resembling in shape the Patriarchal cross. The sacristy and the chapel are topped with three-pitched roofs. The roofs over the annexes have two planes and the morgue has a mono-pitched roof. The tower is topped with a conical tented roof having a quadrangular base, crowned with a flag with a date and a cross on a sphere.

The church walls, resting on a brick wall base, have a timber frame structure with brick infill covered with plaster, with the exception of the third storey of the tower, the staircase annex, and the morgue, which are made of wooden boards and slats. The roofs over the nave, chancel, sacristy, chapel, vestibules, and the annex containing the staircase are covered with ceramic roof tiles and ridge tiles. The tower roof is covered with wood shingles. The interior walls are made of brick and plastered; they were built onto the frame structure. The flat beamed ceilings are covered with plaster at the bottom. The chapel ceiling is adorned with a decorative panel with stuccowork. Over the lowest storey of the tower, there is a ceramic ceiling covered with plaster.

The church walls, resting on a brick wall base, have a timber frame structure with brick infill covered with plaster, with the exception of the third storey of the tower, the staircase annex, and the morgue, which are made of wooden boards and slats. Most window openings in the nave, chancel, sacristy, and chapel have the shape of a rectangle with the upper corners cut off. In the lower part of the south façade of the Chapel of Mary the Mother of God, there is a sandstone epitaph plaque dating from 1642.

The façade crowned with a triangular gable is partially concealed by a slightly narrower, three-storeyed tower, located on its central axis; the two lower storeys of the tower have a frame structure and the uppermost storey, separated with three drainage skirt roofs covered with roof tiles, is made of wooden boards and slats. On the central axis of the lowest storey of the west wall, there is a rectangular door opening in a niche. At the two lower levels of the south wall, there are four narrow, round-arched window openings arranged in two rows. On the front façade, at the third storey level, there is a rectangular painting depicting St Martin on horseback, covering a beggar with a red coat. There are clocks on the north and south façades.

The church has one nave (with no aisles); the nave and the chancel are of the same width. The chancel, terminating in a semi-hexagon, is elevated in relation to the nave and separated from it with a low step. The walls of the nave, chancel, and chapel are plastered and painted. Inside, a cornice runs along the walls above the windows, and above the cornice, there is cove moulding passing into the ceiling. The windows, headed by semi-hexagons, are framed by surrounds whose colour contrasts with the walls. The nave and chancel flooring is made of multi-coloured terrazzo. Over the main entrance, there is a music gallery enclosed with a simple full balustrade adorned with a rhombus incorporating a quatrefoil in the centre. The porch on the ground floor of the tower is separated from the nave with a forged grating consisting of two wings installed on a track.

The Baroque main altar (intially standing in the chapel) comes from the early 18th century. Its central section incorporates a painting depicting the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, flanked by three pairs of columns, and at the top, there is a painting of St Jadwiga.

On the south façade of the Chapel of Mary the Mother of God, there is a sandstone epitaph plaque dating from 1642.

The historic monument is accessible. More information is available on the parish website: www.parafiakaczkowo.pl (last accessed on: 2015-11-16).

compiled by Anna Dyszkant, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 17-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, koncepcja, opracowanie tekstów i wybór fotografii Piotr Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2004, s. 101.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V: Województwo poznańskie, z. 12: Powiat leszczyński, oprac. T. Ruszczyńska, A. Sławska, Warszawa 1975, s. 13-14.
  • Zgodziński B., Województwo leszczyńskie, Warszawa-Poznań 1989, s. 207.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1674 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kaczkowo 9
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district leszczyński, commune Rydzyna - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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