The parish church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and St Andrew the Apostle (church complex), Końskowola
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The parish church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and St Andrew the Apostle (church complex)



One of the oldest three-nave brick churches in all of the Lublin region, dating back to the late medieval period (mid- 16th century), the site also serves as the final resting place for the Końskowola branch of the Tęczyński and Opaliński noble families. The most valuable artefact which can be admired there is the tomb of Zofia Lubomirska née Opalińska - a leaden recumbent figure of the marshal’s wife lying on a sarcophagus made of black marble, designed by Tylman van Gameren. Following a Late Baroque redesign which took place in the 1730s, based on the design by the architect Franz Anton Meyer, the church received a lavish set of fixtures and fittings created at the carpentry workshop of Eliasz Hoffman in Puławy.


The parish was established somewhere around the year 1400, with the original wooden church being either replaced or supplemented by a brick structure towards the end of the 15th century, although this is by no means certain. After 1545, when the parish was re-established by the members of the Tęczyński family, the church was redesigned as a three-nave building designed either in the Gothic style or in a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles, featuring a coffered wooden ceiling and two side chapels incorporating the tombs of the members of the Tęczyński family, positioned on the northern side of the church. Following a devastating fire in 1617, the church underwent a complete redesign in the years 1617-1624, receiving a new look which combined the Renaissance and Mannerist styles; in the early 1640s, the church also received a new front façade which sprouted a pair of small towers. Once the southern chapel was erected, the church received its final, cruciform shape. From 1675, the chapel in question served as the mausoleum of Zofia Lubomirska, the wife of marshal Lubomirski. The modernisation of the church by the architect Tylman of Gameren, including the addition of Baroque portals, is believed to have taken place in the 1680s. The church was gutted by fire once again in 1706, after which it was restored by Elżbieta Sieniawska, the wife of hetman Sieniawski, in the years 1724-29. The final redesign took place in the years 1729-1735, when the church received a pair of large towers; during the same period the Late Baroque fixtures and fittings were installed, the man responsible for the overall design being Franz Anton Meyer, who was commissioned to redesign the church by August Czartoryski and his wife Zofia. In 1781 the Baroque cupolas which graced the towers were replaced by a Classicist design created by the architect Jakub Hempel). After 1801, the porch which preceded the front façade was demolished. Major renovation works took place in years 1900, 1965 and 1979; in the years 1997-2000 the church was also restored, with the original roof cladding being replaced with sheet metal. A comprehensive restoration took place in years 2010-2011, preceded by archaeological research.

The belfry was erected in 1778; initially topped with a “colossus-style” cupola, in 1781 it received a new cupola the design of which mimicked that of those that graced the church towers. The building was gutted by fire during World War I and was rebuilt in a slightly altered shape.

The wall around the church was constructed in 1892, along with the 14 shrines forming the Way of the Cross and the gate with a flight of steps which replaced an older gate the design of which is believed to have incorporated a pair of columns. A wooden balustrade accompanied the stairs leading up to the newly erected gate. The new wall was designed on a circular plan, replacing the older, rectangular layout.


The main part of the complex is the church, oriented towards the east and located in the middle of a circular cemetery; the site takes up the entire area between the former market square and Lubelska street, which appeared at a slightly later date (first quarter of the 19th century) and which runs from the east towards the west. The cemetery gate, preceded by a broad flight of steps, leads out into the short Rynek street, emerging from the south-western corner of the market square. The gate-belfry forms part of the northern section of the wall and is positioned on the axis of the market square and on the transverse axis of the church itself.

The church is a brick and limestone building with plastered walls. The main body follows a three-nave, five-bay basilica layout, the final bay incorporating the pipe organ gallery being positioned between a pair of massive towers. The chancel features a crypt underneath the floor; it is slightly angled towards the rest of the building and features a semi-hexagonal termination, its width and its height being equal to that of the nave. A two-storey sacristy annex adjoins the chancel to the north, featuring a small vestibule a staircase and a treasury on the first floor. A pair of tomb chapels with crypts concealed beneath flank the side naves, adjoining them at the second bay level.

The interior of the church centres around the four-bay main nave formed by a series of arches supported by Corinthian pillars rising from tall pedestals and featuring decorative pilasters set against the background of lesenes below. The sides of the pillars as well as the rear sections thereof facing the side aisles are adorned by paired Tuscan pilasters from which rise the arches supporting the vaults above. The nave features a groin vault divided by paired arches; the side aisles feature sail vaults which are also divided by pairs of arches. The single chancel bay features a pair of deep arched niches whose layout resembles that of the nave itself. The section of the chancel incorporating the altarpiece is separated from the rest by the rood arch. The chancel features a barrel vault with lunettes. The chapels feature an Ionic décor in a diagonal arrangement, with single, flat pilasters between paired windows. The barrel vaults of the chapels are divided by supporting arches and follow a basket-handle profile. The new, marble floors follow a diagonally arranged chequerboard pattern, with reclaimed marble slabs used for the flooring inside the crypts.

The façades: The front façade features a pair of towers and follows a two-storey, three-axial design, flanked by two massive buttresses (remnants of the now-defunct turrets commonly referred to as “donkey ears”). The lower storeys of the towers, designed on a square floor plan, are framed by pairs of Doric pilasters on pedestals, with the outermost pilasters seeming embedded in the buttresses below; the overall design follows the principles of the Doric giant order, with lower portals crowned by small pediments and second-storey windows topped with semicircular arches and adorned with flat surrounds. The entablature inside the intercolumniation is present in a reduced form, being in fact little more than a cornice which also spans the centre section of the façade. The upper storeys of the tower follow a diagonal variant of the Ionic order and feature a full entablature, arcing upwards to form a reverse ogee arch. Elongated blind windows are positioned axially on the tower façades, terminating with decorative supraportes adorned with winged angel heads beneath an arched cornice. An analogous design is applied to the sides of the towers. A black marble portal is positioned on the middle axis of the front façade; above the portal there is a window illuminating the pipe organ gallery beyond, adorned with a decorative surround. The upper part of the wall between the towers features an aedicula flanked by engaged columns and incorporating a stone sculpture of the Virgin Mary of Immaculate Conception which stands inside the niche. The towers are crowned with tented sheet metal roofs with cupolas in the middle, topped with obelisks surmounted by metal crosses. The side façades of the main body of the church feature no partitions whatsoever, with Gothic buttresses supporting the walls of the semi-hexagonal termination of the chancel. The walls of the chapels are accentuated by Tuscan pilasters and crowned by a flat entablature. The chapel gables take the form of arched parapet walls, flanked by sections of split pediments. The individual sections of the church are covered with gable roofs which are clad with sheet metal.

The fixtures and fittings of the church consist of an ensemble of three 1730s altarpieces (the main altarpiece and the side altarpieces) as well as a pair of 17th-century tombs with recumbent figures on sarcophagi. The crypt underneath the northern chapel conceals the recumbent allegory of Death on the tomb of the Opaliński family of the Łodzia coat of arms, while the one beneath the southern chapel features a statue of Zofia Lubomirska née Opalińska. In the cemetery, visitors may admire a pair of Classicist headstones in the form of sarcophagi.

The belfry is a brick building designed in the early Classicist style, taking the form of a tower flanked by a pair of single-storey annexes. The two-storey tower features an arched gateway positioned on its axis as well as arched openings in all four walls of its upper level. The ground floor section is adorned with rusticated quoins, whereas the upper storey features decorative lesenes and framing. The tented roof of the bell tower is topped with a small cupola with obelisk surmounted by a cross.

The wall surrounding the church was designed on a circular floor plan, with a truncated western side. The Baroque Revival gateway positioned on the axis of the western section of the wall takes the form of a triple arch, the central gate being flanked by two wicket gates. The entire arrangement is preceded by a broad flight of steps.

The church can be viewed from the outside; the interiors may be visited upon prior arrangement (guided tours available) on every day between 8 AM and 6 PM, with the exception of church service time.

compiled by Roman Zwierzchowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 12-11-2014.


  • Record sheet, Końskowola, The parish church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and of St Andrew the Apostle, compiled by R. Zwierzchowski, 1987, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw
  • R. Zwierzchowski, Kościół parafialny pw. Znalezienia Św. Krzyża i św. Andrzeja Ap. w Końskowoli, “Roczniki Humanistyczne” Year : 1978, pp.
  • Dzieje Końskowoli, R. Szczygło (ed.), collective work, Lublin 1988
  • Fara końskowolska,

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1729-1735
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Końskowola
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district puławski, commune Końskowola
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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