Complex of the Church of St. Adalbert, with a clergy house and a manor house, Kielce
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Complex of the Church of St. Adalbert, with a clergy house and a manor house

Kielce

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The complex of the Church of St. Adalbert was established before the town received its charter; in terms of history, the church is the oldest temple; the area surrounding the church is part of the oldest cemetery; in architectural terms, the church is an interesting example of eclecticism, while the manor house — of classicism.

History

The first wooden church, perhaps founded by a prince, was built on that site, on the bank of the Silniczka River, in the late 11th and early 12th century.

It is believed that the church could have been used by a congregation of lay canons, and thus as a canonical and parish church for the adjacent pre-settlement. After the erection of a local collegiate church in 1171, it lost its endowment and parish rights.

Since that time, it operated as a cemetery church. Its former endowment was used by the members of the local Kielce chapter, inter alia, from two plots located to the east of the cemetery of St. Adalbert (until 1866 the first one to the east was used as a grange of the Pierzchnica Prebend, and the second one belonged to the Custody).

According to Długosz, in the second half of the 15th century, the wooden church of St. Adalbert was located outside the then town. A few hundred years later, priest curate Józef Rogalli ordered to demolish the damaged building in 1762-1763 and build a new masonry church, under the old name.

As a result of these actions, a single-nave vaulted church was built with a square chancel and adjacent sacristy. In 1791, the fenced cemetery was also occupied by wooden structures: bell tower and morgue. In the late 18th and early 19th century, there was a small shelter by the church. The cemetery was an active burial site until 1817. Before 1872, a significant southern part of it was taken for use as a town square. In 1885-1888, on the initiative of Father Józef Ćwikliński, the church was extended and altered according to a design by architect Franciszek Ksawery Kowalski, for the purposes of the new parish. The preserved fixtures from the Late Baroque church include a nave converted into a chancel.

The church was extended by a three-nave body and a tall tower in an eclectic style. After restoration and cleanup, the cemetery was enclosed with a masonry fence. A masonry clergy house was built to the south of the cemetery according to a design by Kowalski as early as in 1883. In the late 1960s, in connection with the construction of Aleja IX Wieków Kielc Street, the area of the cemetery was reduced. It was enlarged in 1993 at the expense of the plot of the former Pierzchnica prebend adjoining the cemetery to the east. The clergy house was extended by a rear identical annex.

The masonry classicist manor house was built on part of the former property of the Custody by leaseholder Michał Chmielewski in 1852. It was not until 1923 that it was purchased by the Company of Christian Workers (Polish: Spółka Robotników Chrześcijańskich), which later transferred ownership of the house to the Church of St. Adalbert. During the 1970s, the property was taken over by the Kielce Commune. In return, the parish was given the possibility of acquiring a neighbouring plot in connection with the extension to the clergy house. In the late 1970s, the manor house with the plot was returned to the parish. In addition to the yard surrounding the church, the current parish property includes an area separated from the plots of the Pierzchnica prebend and the Custody (part of the pre-settlement church endowment) and two historic buildings: clergy house and manor house. The relationship between the Church of St. Adalbert and the pre-settlement was confirmed by archaeological discoveries made in 2007.

Excavations of the site under the wall surrounding the church revealed a plan of a wooden hut from the 11th/12th century.

Description

The complex of the Parish Church of St. Adalbert is located on the north-eastern outskirts of the city centre, between Bodzentyńska Street, T. Kościuszki Street, IX Wieków Kielc Street, Św. Wojciecha Street and St Adalbert’s square. The yard surrounding the church occupies part of the former cemetery used for burials, has a compact polygonal plan. The church located in the centre of that yard is a three-nave basilica building designed in an eclectic style, with a tower façade. Only the chancel dates from the 18th century, the remaining part is from the 1880s. The main entrance to the churchyard leads from the north, through a three-axial masonry gate surmounted by balls. The southern and eastern fence has the form of a full stone wall; the remaining sections of the fence are made up of cast iron spans on a foundation. The western part of the fence features a post-and-beam chapel from 1732, with a statute of the Pensive Christ, made of sandstone. On the opposite side of the church is a modern sculpture of St. Adalbert. The face of the full wall was fitted with modern gravestones with antique look. To the south, in front of the complex, there is a masonry multi-storey clergy house, which does not represent any specific style, is covered with a hip roof, and preceded by a small garden. Nearby, on the frontage of Bodzentyńska Street, there is a one-storey masonry manor house decorated with a column portico on the side-gabled front façade.

The area between the clergy house and the manor house continues to be used by the parish.

The church and the yard surrounding the church are open to the public; the remaining sites are currently used by the parish.

compield by Anna Adamczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 17-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Adamczyk J.L., Rynek w Kielcach. Przekształcenia przestrzenne i zabudowa mieszczańska Kielc lokacyjnych w XVII-XIX wieku, Kielce 1993, p. 41 et seq.
  • Gliński W., Ziębińska N., Sprawozdanie z badań archeologicznych na Placu św. Wojciecha w Kielcach, przeprowadzonych w latach 2006-2007, in: Między Wisłą a Pilicą. Studia i materiały historyczne, vol. 9. Red. Szczepański J., Kielce 2009, p. 139 et seq.
  • Hadamik Cz., Pierwsze wieki Kielc. Kasztelania kielecka od przełomu XI i XII do połowy XIV stulecia, Kielce 2007, pp. 83-88.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, 3, Województwo kieleckie, issue 4. Powiat kielecki, prepared by T. Przypkowski, Warszawa 1957, p. 41.
  • Mazurek F., Kościół i parafia św. Wojciecha w Kielcach (opis historyczno-prawny), Kielce 1935.
  • Starzyk P.J., Kościół pod wezwaniem świętego Wojciecha BM w Kielcach do końca XIII wieku, in: Studia Muzealno-historyczne. Vol. II, Kielce 2010, p. 11 et seq.
  • Wiśniowski E., Początki kościoła i parafii św. Wojciecha w Kielcach, “Nasza Przeszłość”, 1982, vol. 57, p. 155-169.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XI/XII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bodzentyńska , Kielce
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district Kielce, commune Kielce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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