Parish Church of St Nicholas, Krapkowice
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Parish Church of St Nicholas

Krapkowice

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The Gothic Parish Church of St Nicholas is the most prominent temple in town. The austere nature of the church edifice is the remnant of its former defensive function. It houses a diversified interior with rich Gothic and late Gothic stone architectural details and fittings collected over the centuries.

History

The Church of St Nicholas was first mentioned in 1330. The present church was erected probably at the end of the 14th century. It was a two-aisle hall church and a Rosary Chapel added in 1400 thanks to the donation by the commune leader Tenchin. In 1428, it was destroyed by the Hussites. The north aisle in the part close to the chancel was raised at the turn of the 15th century, the south nave and choir before 1586. From the mid-16th century to 1626, the church was owned by the Protestants. Rebuilt after a fire in 1722, it was renovated many times in the following years: e.g. about 1840 by a building master, Marondel from Krapkowice, and later in 1874. Of importance for today's look of the church were the works from the years 1894-1896, when the interior was modified by removing the old decor and introducing new neo-Gothic fittings. In 1945 the tower cupola was destroyed and until 1990 it was secured by a provisional pyramidal roof.

Description

The church with the rectory and parish school buildings is located in the south-east part of the town, adjacent to the castle buildings in the north. As the castle church, it was protected by the defensive walls from the south and east; their surviving relics serve as retaining walls of the Odra escarpment.

The temple was originally Gothic, now substantially devoid of any stylistic traits. It was build of quarry stone with the use of brick; it is entirely plastered.

The church body is made up of a two-bay chancel with a three-sided termination which adjoins the lower, two-bay aisles: the north one with a lodge on the upper floor and the other one extended with the sacristy. The hall body of the church with three two-bay aisles, with the shallow Rosary Chapel with three-sided termination at the south aisle. From the north-west side, there is a square tower with a cylindrical staircase turret from the south and newer annexes on the sides. The body and the lower chancel are covered with gable roofs, the annexes and the chapel with multi-pane and lean-to roofs. The tower is quadrilateral, octagonal in the upper levels, topped with a cupola with a lantern. At the east edge of the nave, there is a modern ave-bell turret.

The church has a cross-rib vaulting with stone ribs; the north aisle at the chancel has a stellar and cross vault, the sough aisle has a cross-barrel vault. The ribs in the vaults of the chancel are rounded and fall on supports in the shape of polygonal, profiled cones and masks. The ribs in the nave rest on large supports in the shape of pyramids with tracery and masks. In the west bay of the nave, there is a late Gothic keystone with the IHS monogram.

The chancel opens towards the extended aisles and the nave with pointed-arch arcades, the same as the founder’s lodge - towards the inside of the chancel.

The hall houses a stone baptismal font in the Gothic form, most probably from the 1st half of the 16th century. The north aisle has an auxiliary altar with a stone frontal made from the tombstone of Hans von Redern - Hartmannsdorf (died 1586). The Rosary Chapel houses the tombstone of Anna née Login von Redern (died 1576); two stone slabs with some figures, an inscription plaque and a carved helmet from the dismantled tombstone of Hans von Redern (died 1586). The organ casing is in the neo-Gothic style. The organ was made by Schlag & Sohne from Świdnica. The chancel windows and the Rosary Chapel feature 19th-century stained glass attributed to Joseph Peter Bokhorni. A beautiful Rococo pulpit dating from the 1840s leans against the south column.

The window openings in the church are terminated in a semicircular shape, except for the chancel with pointed-arch windows. The chancel and the Rosary Chapel are supported by buttresses. The buttresses of the chapel received a late Gothic stone gargoyle resembling the wolf’s mouth and a stone support in the shape of a crowned male head.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 12-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. VII, Województwo opolskie, z. 16: powiat krapkowicki,  red. T. Chrzanowski i M. Kornecki, s.11-12.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury: Kościół par. pw. św. Mikołaja, Krapkowice  oprac. E. Dymarska, 2005, Archiwum WUOZ w Opolu.
  • Kalbarczyk-Klak E., Kościoły dekanatu krapkowickiego, mps, Opole 2008.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: koniec XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna 9, Krapkowice
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district krapkowicki, commune Krapkowice - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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