The parish church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Kończewice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The parish church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

Kończewice

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An example of a village Gothic church with Baroque interior decor, typical for the Żuławy region.

History

The earliest written mention of Kończewice was made in a document issued by the Grand Master Dietrich von Altenburg in 1338. The very first church that stood in this spot, built on a wooden frame, was probably erected in the second quarter of the 14th century, its dimensions being reflected by the current chancel and middle nave. In the second half of the 14th century, the original structure was replaced with a brick one, with the entire church being extended to accommodate side naves and tower (the east facade dating back to around 1380 and the southern one having been added at a later date). The tower and the western sections of the side naves date back to the 15th century. In 1742, the wooden structure of the tower was subjected to thorough renovation works; the wood shingle roof cladding was restored in 1888. The interior was renovated in years 1903-1904; it was also during that period that the pipe organ was modified (by Bruno Goebel from Königsberg, a pipe organ master); the Baroque organ casing, however, remained unchanged. During World War II, the church suffered no damage. In years 1981-1984, the ceiling and roofs were renovated and efforts were made to combat the rising damp in the walls. In 2002 the roof was repaired and conservation works were performed on the pipe organ, along with the organ casing and tabernacle. In years 2009-2012 renovation works were performed on the interior fittings, including the main altar, the ambo, the choir stalls and the epitaph plaque.

Description

The church is a free-standing building oriented towards the east, located in the centre of the village, on the northern side of the historic road from Tczew to Malbork. The church is surrounded by a cemetery and a group of old trees. The floor plan of this Gothic church reflects the fact that it was built in stages; it is a three-nave church with a discernible chancel, narrower than the nave and rectangular in shape, and a tower with a square base incorporated into the nave structure. A rectangular sacristy is located on the northern side of the presbytery, while a small porch abuts the northern nave. The side naves are extended towards the western wall of the tower. The building features a wide array of embellishments, with decorative gable ends in the east and south as well as the monumental brick tower base which blends into the mass of the building. The shape of the church is dominated by a tall tower with an overhanging octagonal belfry and pyramid-shaped spire. The chancel, sacristy as well as the northern and central nave are covered by a common gable roof, while the southern nave features a separate gable roof positioned perpendicularly to the main roof ridge; the annexes abutting the tower are covered with shed roofs. The building is made of brick; the sections built in the Gothic style feature an alternating brickwork pattern. The gable walls of the northern nave are half-timbered. The upper sections of the tower feature a wooden structure. The roofs are supported by timber roof trusses. The roof of the tower is clad with oak shingles, while ceramic roof tiles are used for the main body of the church and for the chancel. The ceilings are wooden, with a beam structure concealed by wooden boards; a barrel vault made of ceramic brick rises above the sacristy. The church has red brick facades supported by buttresses. The chancel walls are decorated with an arcaded frieze. The windows and portals are mostly topped with pointed arches, the blind windows set into the southern and eastern gable ends and into the underlying facades serving as a form of embellishment. The western wall of the church features retrofitted grave slabs dated 1404 and 1651. The interior is arranged according to a three-nave layout; the naves are separated by pointed arcades resting upon octagonal columns. The presbytery is integrated with the nave to a large extent, the rood arch being entirely absent. The interior fittings mostly date back to the 18th century and include the main altar, the two side altars, the ambo, the epitaph plaque and the pipe organ casing. Other fittings include a granite Gothic baptismal font and stoup, two 16th century bells and two 17th century choir stalls.

Limited access to the historic building. Interior tours available upon prior appointment.

Compiled by Krystyna Babnis, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 24.06.2014.

Bibliography

  • Antoni M. von (compilation), Dehio-Handbuch der Kunstdenkmäler West- und Ostpreuβen, München-Berlin 1993.
  • Schmid B., Bau-und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Marienburg (Die Städte Neuteich und Tiegenhof und die lädlichen Ortschaften), Danzig 1919.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kończewice
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district malborski, commune Miłoradz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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