The parish church of Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Kaźmierz
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The parish church of Nativity of the Virgin Mary

Kaźmierz

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The Late Gothic parish church in Kazimierz forms an example of a basilica-type church that was typical of the late 15th and the early 16th century. The subsequent stages of the gradual extension of the building are still readily apparent, allowing one to trace its history from a single-nave temple to its present form which was achieved through the addition of chapels, the sacristy and side naves. The church in Oborniki as well as the Poznań churches of St Martin and St Adalbert have also developed along similar lines. The church was funded by Jan Świdwa Szamotulski, one of the magnates from the Szamotuły region.

History

The very first church to be built in Kazimierz was probably erected back in the 12th century. The first mentions of the local parish date back to 1298. The original church was a wooden structure. The town of Kazimierz acquired municipal rights before 1458, only to be deprived of them in the early 19th century. The surviving traces of the original urban layout of the town include the quadrangular market square surrounded by single-storey buildings.

The existing church was erected in 1494, funded by Jan Świdwa Szamotulski, the erstwhile owner of the town.

The chapel of St Anne was added in 1515.

In the 17th century, members of the Niegolewski noble family remained the patrons of the church.

In 1748, the church was restored owing to the efforts of Bolesław Moszczeński.

In 1934, the sepulchral chapel of the Skrzydlewski family, designed in the Gothic Revival style, was added to the church.

The church was restored in years 1934-1937.

In years 1962-1966, the interior was repainted, while the fixtures and fittings underwent restoration.

After the year 2000, the interior was repainted once again using lime paint; the church received a new roof above the sacristy, clad with beaver tail roof tiles, while the roof tiles on the chancel roof were relaid. In addition, renovation works were also carried out on the western façade.

Description

Kazimierz is a large village - the centre of the surrounding commune - located 11 kilometres to the south of Szamotuły, by the Sama river, near the road leading towards the town of Buk. The parish church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands upon a hill located north of the market square of the former town, with its chancel facing the east. The surrounding terrain slopes gently towards the Sama river towards the west of the church cemetery. To the north, the church borders almost directly with arable fields. The buildings which comprise the current village of Kazimierz are located to the east and south of the church.

The church is a brick edifice oriented towards the east and follows a single-nave, two-bay design, with a narrower chancel featuring a semi-hexagonal termination. A two-bay side nave adjoins the northern side of the body of the church, opening up to the main nave with a pair of two pointed-arch profiled arcades supported by pillars. The side nave is adjoined by the former porch and sacristy. The main nave is adjoined by the rectangular chapel of the Skrzydlewski family and the porch to the south. A round turret housing a staircase has been incorporated into the western part of the façade. The entire building is compact in shape, with the chancel being slightly lower the nave. The nave and the chancel both feature gable roofs clad with roof tiles. The chapel of St Anne is covered with a three-sided roof, while the sacristy features a shed roof. The Skrzydlewski family chapel is covered with a hipped and pent-hipped roof, while the turret rising above the western gable end is topped with a bulbous cupola. Both the church and chapels feature a series of buttresses on the outside. A strip of plaster is visible beneath the crowning cornice. The church originally had pointed-arch windows; these, however, have been subsequently modified so that now they are topped with semi-circular arches. The façade incorporating the turret is crowned with a stepped gable with traceried blind windows topped with ogee arches. This gable end was reconstructed in years 1935-1937, based on the original design. The walls of the sacristy are partitioned by pointed-arch blind windows. The church features two portals, one on the western axis of the church and one in the chapel of St Anne; both are topped with pointed arches made of profiled brick.

The interiors of the church - the nave, the chancel and the chapel of St Anne - feature original stellar vaults, adorned by paintings by Teodor Szukała which were executed in 1967. The sacristy and the vestibule feature barrel vaults with lunettes. The pillars supporting the vault in the chancel are a later addition. The chancel connects with the nave through a pointed rood arch. The Skrzydlewski family chapel, designed in the Gothic Revival style, features a stellar vault. In 1962, a fragment of a Renaissance wall painting dating back to the 16th century, portraying a bishop framed by a depiction of architectural detailing in the background.

Most of the fittings of the church date back to the 18th century and are designed in the Baroque or Rococo style. An Early Baroque epitaph plaque of Jan and Agnieszka Niegolewski from 1631 can be found in the chancel, featuring reliefs depicting both of the deceased kneeling in front of a crucifix. The main altarpiece incorporates a Late Gothic sculpture of the Virgin Mary, created after 1510. The predella of the altarpiece incorporates a Late Gothic painting of the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, surrounded by holy maidens and angels playing various instruments.

The site is accessible to visitors. Viewing of the building is only possible by prior arrangement. More information about the parish and the Holy Mass schedule can be found on the website of the Poznań archdiocese at: www.archpoznan.pl.

compiled by Teresa Palacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 7-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kowalski J., Gotyk wielkopolski. architektura sakralna XIII-XVI w., Poznań 2010.
  • Kohte J., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmaeler der Provinz Posen, Bd. III, Berlin 1896.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Ruszczyńska T., Sławska A. (red.), t. 5, z. 23 pow. szamotulski, s. 6-8, Warszawa 1966.
  • Tomala J., Murowana architektura romańska i gotycka w Wielkopolsce, t. 1, s. 207-208.
  • Dubowski A., Zabytkowe kościoły Wielkopolski, Poznań 1956.
  • Gotyckie kościoły w Wielkopolsce, Maluśkiewicz P. (red.), Poznań 2008, s. 94.
  • Łęcki Wł., Wielkopolska - słownik krajoznawczy, Poznań 2002.
  • Powiat szamotulski na dawnej pocztówce (1897-1945), Szamotuły 2002.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1494 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna 4, Kaźmierz
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district szamotulski, commune Kaźmierz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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