Filial Church of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, Krupy
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Filial Church of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn

Krupy

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The church in Krupy is a unique example of a Gothic religious building on a European scale. It dates back to the late 14th century and early 15th century and consists of a brick tower and half-timbered (timber-framed) nave with a late medieval façade envelope. The value of this structure is increased by the original (king post) roof truss and carved decorations of the wooden nave frame in the form reminiscent of traceries. The interior features surviving historic (Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque) fittings.

History

The church is a several-phase structure, the construction of which began around 1400. The brick tower and timber-framed body of the church hall with a roof truss date back to that period; the date of construction of these structurer (early 15th century) was established based on the results of dendrochronological studies. It was a parish church in the diocese of Kamień Pomorski; after 1534, it became an Evangelical church belonging to the Synod of Darłowo. Around the mid-16th century, the walls of the wooden frame of the nave were reinforced by masonry on the outside. In 1571, the steeple on the roof of the nave was rebuilt, and in 1583 a brick and stone funeral chapel was added to the south wall of the nave. In the following centuries, the church underwent several renovations, which included the renovations of both the body and the interior décor: 1735 — top section of the tower, mid-18th c. - 1721 — ceiling paintings, 1790 — bell stand, late 19th c. — northern annex, modifications to the walls, new window openings, slate covering. On 2 February 1946, the church was consecrated as a Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn; currently, it is a filial church of the Holy Cross Parish in Stary Jarosław. After 1980, the church underwent superficial renovations, including replacement of the tower covering, wall drying, and repair to the steeple.

Description

The Church of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn is located in the north-western part of the village, on a village square, on the eastern side of the main rural road, on the site formerly occupied by a cemetery. The church reflects the style of Brick Gothic and features a uniquely preserved Gothic frame structure. The nave was built on a rectangular floor plan (with a presbytery closed off on three sides), measures 20.4 m by 9.7, has annexes (chapel and sacristy) added to the long walls, and is covered with a tall roof with an octagonal steeple. The tower was erected on a rectangular floor plan, measures 7.1 m by 6.2 m, has four storeys, and is covered with a gable roof. The walls of the nave vary in structure. The original (Gothic) frame structure has been preserved along the long walls and partly in the presbytery and consists of a rhythmic row of posts, widely spaced beams, and decoratively designed angle braces. The walls were covered with Gothic bricks laid in a stretcher bond on the outside, with later modifications involving the use of machine-made bricks (laid in a cross bond). The walls of the annexes are also made of bricks; the southern chapel is plastered. The walls of the tower are built of Gothic bricks laid in Monk bond, with visible openings for scaffolding installation; in the top section of the nave, they are reinforced by stepped buttresses. The church hall and storeys of the tower are covered with wooden, beamed and exposed ceilings; the ceiling beams above the nave are supported by double braces. The chapel features a groin vault. The building has retained its original wooden king post and double-collar roof truss. The roofs of the nave and sacristy are clad with stone slates, funeral chapel with roof beaver tail tiles, and tower with modern sheet metal. The façades of the tower are characterised by Gothic architectural décor. The door portal is framed by a stepped surround made of chamfered bricks and topped by a pointed arch. The upper storeys of the tower are divided by paired blind windows, tondos, acoustic openings and simple (plastered) friezes; the gables feature a stepped layout of blind windows.

The brick façades of the nave walls are characterised by their arrhythmic axial divisions, without architectural detail. The south façade of the chapel is three-axial and accentuated by a three-sided gable with pilasters and pinnacles. The interior of the church consists of: church hall, presbytery separated in the eastern section and organ gallery to the west; porch — on the ground floor of the tower; chapel — on the south side of the nave, and sacristy along the northern wall of the nave. The church hall is enclosed by a wooden framework featuring a post-and-beam structure, combined with a beamed ceiling using braces; the entire structure is accentuated by profiled braces forming pointed-arch tracery compositions. The church features numerous historic interior fittings of great artistic value: Late Gothic Crucifixion Group (15th/16th c.), Baroque main altar (1679), Baroque ambo resting on a sculpture of Moses, made by Johann Edlever, Mannerist, 17th-century organ gallery with a neo-Renaissance casing (2nd half of the 19th c.), red-bronze bell from 1588.

The structure can be viewed from the outside. Viewing of the interior is only possible with the consent of the parish priest.

compiled by Waldemar Witek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 27-03-2015.

Bibliography

  • Böttger L., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungs - Bezirks Kösslin, Bd I, H. 3, Stettin 1892.
  • Schultz H., Pommersche Dorfkirchen, östlich der Oder, Herford/Westf. 1961.
  • Tajchman J., Kościół w Krupach. Najstarsza gotycka świątynia szkieletowa na Pomorzu Zachodnim. [w:] IV Polsko-Niemiecka Konferencja Architektura Ryglowa - wspólne dziedzictwo, pod red. M. Opęchowskiego, Szczecin 2003, s. 265-266.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: ok. 1400 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Krupy 21
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district sławieński, commune Darłowo
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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