St Mary Magdalene's Church, Kalwa
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St Mary Magdalene's Church



It is an example of a rural Gothic church, fairly typical of historical Pomesania, with preserved Rococo fittings.


The foundation charter for the village of Kalwa (German: Kalwe) under Kulm law was granted by Henryk von Weilnau, commander of the Malbork Commandry, in 1297, who also donated 4 voloks to the parish church.

The existing church in Kalwa was built in 1310-1320. The chancel was added in 1402. The church was consecrated in 1403. At the beginning of 1411, during the war, the church was plundered by the Teutonic Knights. Further damage was inflicted upon the structure during the Polish-Swedish war in Pomerania in the 1620s. Probably still in the 17th century, the church underwent extensive renovation. The wooden tower was built in 1821 (date on the flag) and renovated in 1956. The wood shingles on the tower were replaced in 1977; the main altar was restored in 2006; the church under complete renovation in 2009.

The church features preserved Rococo furnishings.


The free-standing structure is oriented and located in the centre of the village on a slightly elevated triangular square, enclosed by road on three sides. The church adjoins a small graveyard with preserved gravestones from the early 20th century and old-growth trees.

The Gothic body of the church features a wide array of embellishments. The nave body was built on a rectangular floor plan sized about 18 m by 13 m, and is covered with a gable roof. To the east of it is a narrower and lower chancel with a straight ending section, topped by a gable roof and pinnacle gable; to the west is a wooden square tower covered with a pyramid dome. The southern corner between the nave and chancel incorporates a rectangular sacristy topped with a sloping shed roof. The nave adjoins a square porch with a gable roof to the south.

The church is built of stone and brick; porch features a frame structure; tower and roof truss are made of wood; roofs are clad with ceramic tiles; and the chancel and nave are covered with a wooden barrel vault.

The lower sections of the façade of the nave are made of stone, whereas the upper sections and the eaves cornice are of brick. The western wall of the nave (pinnacle gable concealed by the tower) is framed by two diagonal buttresses at the corners. The brick façades of the chancel are set on a stone plinth; the eastern façade features a gable fragmented by pinnacles; the spaced between them features five axes of plastered pointed-arch blind windows (the three central blind windows incorporate windows); a single buttress is located on the axis of the chancel. The southern wall of the sacristy is framed by two visibly projecting buttresses.

The interior is aisleless. The chancel is separated by means of a rood wall with an pointed-arch opening.

The interior features preserved valuable uniform Rococo fittings.

The structure is open to visitors. Viewing of the building is only possible by arrangement with the parish office in Kalwa.

compiled by Teofila Lebiedź-Gruda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 02-10-2014.


  • Karta ewidencyjna (tzw. biała karta): Kościół par. pw. św. Marii Magdaleny, Kalwa, autor W. Chruszczyńska, 1978, w zbiorach OT NID w Gdańsku.
  • Schmid B., Bau-und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Marienburg (Die Städte Neuteich und Tiegenhof und die lädlichen Ortschaften), Danzig 1919, s. 281-286.
  • Dehio-Handbuch der Kunstdenkmäler West- und Ostpreuβen, bearb. von M. Antoni, München-Berlin 1993., s. 361

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kalwa
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district sztumski, commune Stary Targ
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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