Filial church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nowa Bystrzyca
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Filial church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Nowa Bystrzyca

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One of the few surviving wooden churches in Lower Silesia. The church features a simple form, its proportions elegant yet restrained, its design reminiscent of brick and stone Baroque churches.

History

The village of Nowa Bystrzyca is known to have existed back in the early 14th century. During the early modern period, the village formed part of the Imperial domain; later on, its ownership was transferred to the Bystrzyca municipal authorities. Somewhere around the year 1600, a Lutheran cemetery was established in the village; later on, the cemetery was taken over by the local Catholic community. It was here that, before the year 1631, a cemetery chapel of the Holy Trinity was erected, attaining the status of a local pilgrimage site as time went by. Later on, in 1726, the chapel was replaced with the current, Baroque cemetery church, designed as a wooden log structure. It is situated parallel to the main village road, on a narrow platform which cuts into the slope of the hill, with both the nave, the chancel and the sacristy positioned on a single axis. The overall positioning of the church is typical of the mountainous parts of the Kłodzko Region. The church in Nowa Bystrzyca is similar to its counterparts in Zalesie (→Zalesiu, 1718) and the church of St Joseph in Międzygórze (→ Międzygórzu, 1740) in that it was designed without a tower, with only a steeple projecting from the roof ridge above the nave. The church combines traditional solutions typical of wooden architecture as well as numerous influences of Baroque brick and stone architecture of the Kłodzko Region, specifically from the transitional phase between the early and the full-fledged Baroque period. The church exhibits a certain degree of spatial unity, with all of its constituent parts being covered with a single roof. The windows are arranged in two stacked rows, making the church appear as if it had interior galleries running alongside its side walls. The upper windows are positioned close to the crowning cornice and topped with segmental arches. The church features a pronounced, concave cornice made of wooden boards, its form reminiscent of a lunette cornice. The silhouette of the church is well proportioned, with both its carpentry and detailing being of excellent quality. The walls of the church in Nowa Bystrzyca may have been whitewashed as far back as the 18th century, the aim being to secure the timber against adverse weather as well as to give the church the appearance of a brick and stone structure. The interior was rather more restrained in appearance; its flat ceilings may have once been adorned with painted decorations. In 1861, the roof was restored, while the steeple was subjected to alteration works, albeit retaining its Baroque design. In the second half of the 19th century, the pipe organ gallery was modified and reinforced. The church underwent comprehensive restoration in 1880. In 1923, the roof was subjected to renovation works, with the original wood shingle cladding replaced by fibre cement panels. The porches preceding the façades were added during the interwar period.

Description

The village of Nowa Bystrzyca is located in the middle section of the Bystrzyckie Mountains, in the Bystrzyca river valley. The church is oriented towards the east, positioned on a small, narrow platform which cuts into the slope of the hill. The chancel, the nave and the sacristy are all wooden log structures standing on stone foundations. The pinewood logs are held together using saddle-notch corner joints. The porches feature a post-and-beam structure, clad with weatherboards. The rectangular chancel is quite distinct from the nave, being noticeably narrower and featuring a sacristy positioned on the axis thereof. The porch and the nave are separated by a rood arch. A pair of porches adjoin the walls of the nave. A common hip roof covers both the chancel and the nave, both of them being of equal height. A stout, octagonal steeple with a bulbous cupola with roof lantern juts from the middle of the roof ridge. The walls of the church are clad with board-and-batten siding and are topped with a profiled roll-moulding and a concave crowning cornice made of horizontally arranged wooden boards. A simplified, profiled cornice also runs beneath the bulbous cupola of the steeple. The windows are either rectangular in shape or topped with segmental arches; none of the windows feature any surrounds. The interior features a lime plaster finish applied to a reed lath. The arrangement of the chancel and nave windows is partially regular, although some windows follow an alternating pattern instead. Wooden dropped ceilings are used for both the chancel and the nave. The wooden pipe organ gallery inside the nave follows an amphitheatrical layout, supported by a pair of stout, bulbous pillars - a nod towards vernacular art. The underside of the organ gallery is covered with wooden boards, while the wooden parapet consists of a timber frame supporting a row of quadrangular panels. The fixtures and fittings of the church include an architectural Baroque main altarpiece (first quarter of the 18th century), a folk Baroque side altarpiece (19th century) as well as a Renaissance Revival pulpit, Baroque Revival pipe organ casing, Historicist baptismal font, Neoclassical wooden balusters and Gothic Revival choir stalls in the chancel, all dating back to the second half of the 19th century. In addition, the church is home to a collection of sculptures and paintings from the period between the 18th century and the early 20th century. The church features wooden door and window joinery, with the planked doors supported by strap hinges.

The building is available all year round; interior tours upon prior telephone appointment.

compiled by Iwona Rybka-Ceglecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 18-08-2015.

Bibliography

  • Bach A., Urkundliche Kirchen-Geschichte der Grafschaft Glatz, Breslau 1841.
  • Berger A., Eine Übersicht über die Pfarreien und Kuratien der Grafschaft Glatz betreffend die Zeit von 1841-1946, Kirchlengen, Kreis Herford 1961.
  • Brzezicki S., Nielsen Ch., Grajewski G., Popp D. (ed.), Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006
  • Itman L., Drewniane budownictwo sakralne na terenie Ziemi Kłodzkiej, Zeszyty Muzeum Ziemi Kłodzkiej, Issue 3, Kłodzko 1990.
  • Kögler J., Geschichte der Pfarrei Habelschwerdt […], Vierteljahrschrift für Geschichte und Heimatkunde der Grafschaft Glatz, Band I, Habelschwerdt 1881.
  • Volkmer, Hohaus, Geschichtsquellen der Graffschaft Glatz, Dritter Band, Constitutiones Synodi Comitatus Glacensis in causis religionis, 1559, Die Dekanatsbücher der Christophorus Neaetius 1560 und des Hieronymus Keck 1631, Habelschwerdt 1884.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nowa Bystrzyca
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district kłodzki, commune Bystrzyca Kłodzka - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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