Evangelical church, Klępsk
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Evangelical church

Klępsk

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The church in Klępsk, due to its unique Gothic and Renaissance décor as well as interesting theological and didactic background, is a rare monument of sacred art in the region as well as in the adjacent area. Its fittings include works of art of extraordinary value - sculptures, painting and artistic craft artefacts, and it plays an important role both in material as well as spiritual terms.

History

The church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Klępsk was erected in the 14th century. Between 1576 and 1945, it was used as an Evangelical parish church. Originally made entirely of wood, it was redesigned in 1581. The log structure was replaced with a wattle-and-daub structure. Only the western gable wall has survived from the medieval facility. The magnificent painting, woodcarving, and liturgical décor of the church was created thanks to the work of a number of anonymous artists. Among the valuable interior fittings one should particularly highlight the late-Gothic triptych with the figure of Blessed Virgin Mary with Child, painted decorations depicting Biblical motifs on the ceilings, made in the years 1610-1613, paintings on galleries, baptismal font from 1581, pulpit from 1614, music choir, choir stalls, and gravestones. Approx. in 1698 Helena Aleksander Kalkreuth funded the founder’s loge at the northern wall of the nave. The church's interior with fittings had survived in an unchanged condition to 17th century. Next significant works were carried out in the 1920s, when the von Philipsborn family funded a loge with walls covered with Modernist paintings depicting Adam and Eve in the Paradise.

Description

The church in Klępsk stands on a hill near the road leading from Babimost to Sulechów. The small church was built in the 14th century. The church area is partially planted with trees, and from the 19th to mid-20th century, there was a small cemetery here, in the eastern part. On plot no. 10/3, which does not belong to the church in Klępsk, there is a neo-Gothic chapel of the former cemetery. Currently, the church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Klępsk has a single-nave layout with a rectangular nave and a narrower chancel terminating in a straight wall on the eastern side. The body of the building is adjoined by annexes - at the northern wall of the chancel, there is a brick sacristy, and from the west - a tower reconstructed after the fire in 1657. The nave and the chancel are covered by gable roofs, clad in wood shingles, and the church tower is topped with a pyramid roof. The roof of the sacristy is also laid with wood shingles. The western and eastern walls feature a corner-notched log structure covered with clay from the inside. The northern and southern walls, which are longer and were built using the post-and-beam technique, are filled with brick. The building rests on a stone and brick foundation. A crypt with a barrel vault is located beneath the sacristy. In the beginning of the 20th century, alterations were made in the sacristy, and underground heating was installed. The main entrance to the church is located in the southern part, two other entrances from the north lead to the chancel through the porch and the sacristy. A crypt with a barrel vault is located beneath the sacristy. In the beginning of the 20th century, alterations were made in the sacristy, and underground heating was installed. The main entrance to the church is located in the southern part, two other entrances from the north lead to the chancel through the porch and the sacristy. The attic can be accessed only from the level of the first storey of the tower. Church windows are located in the southern and northern part, on two levels if galleries are taken into account, and in the eastern part.

In the 16th century, after the church was taken over by the local Protestants, works were commenced to modernise and arrange the interior. The painted decorations came into being in a period of a dozen or so years, at the turn of the 16th and 17th century. The Renaissance painted decorations are one of the greatest treasures of the church in Klępsk. They cover a substantial part of the internal surface of the church. They are present on the ceiling of the chancel, gallery, and on balustrades of galleries. Their colours and artistic technique prove that they were made by many gifted, previously unknown artists inspired by their Silesian counterparts. The main liturgical fittings of the church in Klępsk include altar, pulpit, choir stalls, and baptismal font. Inside the church, there is a late-Gothic altarpiece in the form of a triptych. The altarpiece comes from the early 15th century. It is probable that figures in the altar were made by the Master of Gościowice. After Lutheranism was introduced, a predella incorporating the portrayal of the Last Supper was added in 1610. In 1667, from the funds of Sebastian von Troschke, the altarpiece was topped with a sculpted scene of the Crucifixion.

The late-Renaissance, wooden baptismal font shaped as a chalice on an octagonal plan comes from 1581. It was probably made to the order of one of the representatives of the von Kalkreuth or von Unruh family. The pulpit is built on the plan of a hexagon. It was created in 1614 from the funds of Hans von Kalkreuth - the village owner.

The building is available all year round. For organised tours, there is a possibility of arranging the visit along with a pipe organ concert. The building is visited in the presence of a priest or sacristan, who will tell the tourists about the history and fittings of the church.

compiled by Krzysztof Słowiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 27-06-2014.

Bibliography

  • Okowiński L. Renesansowy kościół w Klępsku, Sulechów 2002;
  • Kowalski S., Zabytki województwa zielonogórskiego, Zielona Góra 1987;
  • Małgorzata Szymańska-Dereń, Kościoły zrębowe i szkieletowe województwa lubuskiego, Zielona Góra 2009;
  • Wisłocki M., Ołtarz, ambona i chrzcielnica w kościele w Klępsku, Wrocław 1991, (maszynopis);
  • Ważny T., Analiza dendrochronologiczna kościoła w Klępsku, [w:] Lubuskie Materiały Konserwatorskie, Zielona Góra 2007; Bolesławy Krzyślak, Poewangelicki kościół w Klępsku, gmina Sulechów, Poznań 1977.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Klępsk
  • Location: Voivodeship lubuskie, district zielonogórski, commune Sulechów - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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