Parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (formerly, St George’s), Kałków
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (formerly, St George’s)



The church of the Romanesque-Gothic traits, such as the stepped portal with a still legible form (archivolt decoration, disk-shaped rings of extreme columns), arcade frieze on the façade, features the wall paintings from the 14th to 17th century. Their mutual proximity allows the beholder to track artistic and formal evolution of the murals.


This early Gothic brick church built in the first half of the 13th century. It was redeveloped several times: in the 15th and 16th century groin vaults and cross-rib vaults were added. The 18th century saw the construction of a Baroque chapel; a west porch was added in 1824.

The idea of enlarging the body of the temple was put forward in 1898 but implement no earlier than in the years 1931-1933. At that time, Lukas Mrzyglod, responsible for the restoration work, exposed and renovated the wall paintings and the restored main portal.

The interior was adorned with a polychrome: the chancel in the 3rd quarter of the 14th century and the transept in the 15th and 16th century. In modern times, they were partially obscured with new decoration and later plastered. Further murals were created in the 1st half of the 17th century (e.g. in the north chancel wall).


The church sits on a elevation in the centre of the village, surrounded by a stone wall. There are several 19th-century tombstones in the cemetery.

The present-day form of the church is the result of the 19th- and 20th-century transformations. The early Gothic church was made of brick in monk bond; granite was used for stonework details. The church is oriented towards the east and designed on the cruciform floor plan. Its massive west tower, the sacristy and St Joseph’s Chapel flank the chancel. The body and the transept were covered with steep roofs, originally tiled. The interior is light by slender, pointed-arched windows. The façades of the original chancel are embellished with a double ceramic arcaded frieze. The south stone stepped portal boasts early Gothic, 13th-century forms. The portal is seriously damaged; still, the traces of its triangular gable are discernible as well as the fragments of a tracery tympanum. The massive bell tower is finished with an arcaded frieze on stone consoles and battlement. The south wall bear a no longer legible painted image of a sundial. From the west, the tower touches a porch added in a later period. From the north, the transept adjoins St Joseph’s Chapel.

The mediaeval church borders with the 1930s modern extension in the east. It reaches as far as beyond the walled-in area and is terminated with a new chancel. It is wider and lower than the chancel, covered with a gable roof with an ave-bell turret and skylights. The façades are plastered. The expansion of the temple in the expressionist style also covered door joinery (including the door in the 13th-century portal).

The Gothic interior is covered with groin and cross-ribbed vaults. A Baroque double barrel vaulting is seen above the choir. The walls of the mediaeval interior are painted; the murals were created in three phases and by various artists. The chancel murals feature (in three zones) a series of the Passion images and the hagiography (in four zones - only one scene is legible). Instead of the demolished east wall, there is an opening towards the new section of the church. The later paintings in the transept (in 2 zones) depict the scenes of the Old and New Testament. The 1623 murals are to be found in the north wall of the chancel (Last Judgement) and in the choir. The Baroque altar of the Holy Family (in the new chancel) and the pulpit with a statue of St Michael originate in the second half of the 18th century.

The three-aisle interior of the new part of the church is covered with a pointed-arch barrel vault. The former chapel is now part of the south aisle.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Joanna Szot, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 23-09-2014.


  • Bericht des Provinzial-Conservators der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien über seine Thätigkeit 1898-1899, Breslau.
  • Borowsky F., Mittelalterliche Kirchenportale in Oberschlesien, [w:] Deutsche Kulturdenkmäler in Oberschlesien, Hrsg. A. Hadelt, Breslau 1934, s. 50-70.
  • Hadelt A., Die mittelalterlichen Wandmalereien in der Kirche zu Kalkau und Altwette, [w:] Deutsche Kulturdenkmäler in Oberschlesien, Hrsg. A. Hadelt, Breslau 1934, s. 140-151.
  • Świechowski Z., Architektura na Śląsku do połowy XIII wieku (Pomniki Architektury Polskiej, z. 2), Warszawa 1955.
  • Świechowski Z., Katalog architektury romańskiej w Polsce, Warszawa 2009.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: poł. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kałków 43
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district nyski, commune Otmuchów - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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