Parish Church of St Elizabeth of Hungary, Klucz
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Parish Church of St Elizabeth of Hungary

Klucz

photo

The parish church in Klucz is one of three wooden churches in the Parish of St Elizabeth of Hungary. The time of their construction is not determined unambiguously, but they all share the date 1748 when they were built or thoroughly rebuilt. The churches are similar which makes them stand out among a large group of wooden churches in the Opole region: their distinctive feature is a low tower incorporated into the body of the temple.The village of Klucz is famous for its traditional floral decorations prepared by the residents for the Corpus Christi, often in the form of complex, floral carpets rolled out on the route of the procession.

History

The village of Klucz was first time mentioned in written records in 1234 as “Cluce.” Some documents of 1319 refer to a parish priest in Klucz, and the Peter’s pence register from 1447 mentions a parish in the Ujazdów archpresbytery, having the wooden church of unknown size and appearance. The date of opening the present church has not been clearly determined. Today’s form of the temple dates from 1748 when it was rebuilt, or perhaps erected anew. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was partly covered with weatherboard and extended by the tower annexes. In the 2nd half of the 20th century, the main entrance was moved to the ground level of the west tower wall. During the renovation in 2003, the ceiling paintings were exposed.

Description

The church is situated in the central part of the village, on a relatively high elevation. The church is east-oriented, with a historic rectory on the south-west side and a contemporary bell tower on the east side. From the side of the road, in a brick wall encircling the foot the the hill, there is a 1924 shrine with the folk sculpture of St John of Nepomuk. The church is available from the west side by steep steps and from the south, through a gate in the fence, from the rectory yard.

The church is made of wood and is of the Baroque character. The church was built as a log structure and post-and-beam structure (tower), on a stone base. The short, rectangular nave joins the three-sided chancel through oblique walls. The tower, along with the small annexes on both sides, adjoins the nave from the west. North of the chancel and at the diagonal section of the nave there is the sacristy with the founder’s lodge on the upper level; a porch adjoins the south nave wall with a storeroom on the upper deck.

The body of the church is compact and uniform; the dominating element is a polygonal ave-bell turret over the east edge of the nave. The church is covered with a double-ridge roof with seamlessly connected planes whose extension also covered the sacristy with porch. Over the low tower, there is a tented roof, slightly protruding over the ridge of the main roof. All roofs, the upper tower level, the polygonal cupola over the turret and the gable of the nave are shingled. All façades are covered with vertical weatherboards.The windows in the tower and annexes are rectangular; the other are terminated with flat arches and glazed with colourful stained glass.

Initially, the entrance openings are braced in massive door hardware: 1) in the south wall of the tower with a decorative lintel. The door features a forged lock with an insert in the shape of a human figure, similar to the figure of a soldier on the church door in Zimna Wódka, 2) in the west wall of the nave, rectangular, with the date 1748, 3) between the nave and south terminated with a flat arch, 4) between the chancel and sacristy also terminated with an arch.

The interior is covered with a flat ceiling, with crown moulding over the chancel; beam ceilings are seen over the sacristy and in the tower. The polychromy discovered in 2003 depicts the Holy Cross against the firmament over the central part of the chancel; over the nave, there are Sts Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose and Gregory, surrounded by fields with floral ornamentations. The simple choir on the west side of the nave is supported by two pillars with profiled heads. Among the church fittings, there are late Baroque altars from the 1st half of the 18th century. Each altar is flanked by Gothic and Baroque sculptures on consoles. The pulpit, font, confessional, pews and founder’s benches as well as some paintings date from the 18th century.

The structure is available from outside; access to the interior during services or after an arrangement with the parish priest.

Compiled by Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 16-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. VII, z. 14, red. T. Chrzanowski i M. Kornecki, s. 28-29.
  • Emmerling D., Wierzgoń A., Opolskie kościoły drewniane, Opole 2006, s. 38.
  • Parochie Klutschau und Ihre Holzkirchen, nn,  Schlesische Provinzialblätter, 1873, B.12, H. 10, s.476, 493-494.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: poł. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wiejska 16, Klucz
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district strzelecki, commune Ujazd - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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