The collegiate church of St Peter and St Paul, Kruszwica
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The collegiate church of St Peter and St Paul

Kruszwica

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One of the most valuable examples of the Romanesque architecture in Poland.

History

The church was erected somewhere around the third quarter of the 12th century. It is believed to have been founded either by King Mieszko II Lambert or King Bolesław the Wrymouth. It was most likely designed as a monastic church of the Benedictine Order, as evidenced by its location at a considerable distance from the nearby hillfort as well as many of the architectural solutions present in its design. It is also highly probable that it has served as the seat of the bishop of the Kujawy region until the moment when the bishopric was transferred to the city of Włocławek (which, according to the chronicler Jan Długosz, took place in 1157). From that moment onwards, the building served as the collegiate church of St Peter. It was initially conceived as a Romanesque basilica with a pair of towers. However, by the first half of the 16th century, the concept was abandoned, with the church receiving a single tower instead. Subsequent alteration works followed in 1586, while the interiors were redesigned in the Baroque style in the 17th and 18th centuries. In years 1856-1859, the walls of the church were extended upwards, with the entire interior being remodelled in the Gothic Revival style. Years 1954-1956 brought about further alteration works, led by Aleksander Holas and intended to bring the Romanesque elements back to the fore.

Description

The design of this Romanesque church may have been inspired by the church of St Peter and St Paul in Hirsau (Rheinland). The main body of the church is made of granite blocks, while the apse walls are constructed using sandstone. The upper storey of the tower is a brick structure. The church, oriented towards the east, was designed as a three-nave basilica with a transept and a pair of rectangular chapels. The chancel, the transept and the chapels all end with semi-circular apses. A trio of portals surviving in the southern façade may have originally provided a link to the now-vanished monastery. Inside, the church features a modern, reinforced concrete ceiling which was added during the alteration works performed in the years 1954-1956.

Traces of Romanesque painted decorations have been preserved inside the church. Other notable items include the stone baptismal font and stoup from the 12th/13th century as well as headstones from the 16th and 17th century.

The building is accessible to visitors.

compiled by Adam Paczuski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Toruń, 22-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Krystyna Parucka, Ewa Raczyńska-Mąkowska, Katalog zabytków województwa bydgoskiego, Bydgoszcz 1997

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1. ćw. XII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kruszwica
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district inowrocławski, commune Kruszwica - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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