Evangelical Filial Church, currently the Roman Catholic Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Krzęcin
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Evangelical Filial Church, currently the Roman Catholic Parish Church of St John the Baptist

Krzęcin

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The church is a characteristic example of the late phase of historicism, combining features of diverse origins. It is characterised by picturesque asymmetry of the floor plan and body. The interior was designed in the style of the so-called church of preachers and is a successful attempt to adapt the patterns from the Middle Ages to the requirements of the Protestant liturgy in functional and aesthetic terms.

History

The earliest mention of the parish church in Krzęcin dates from 1491. Around 1540, the parish of Krzęcin was taken over by Protestants. It was merged with the parish of Chłopowo at an unknown time. In 1679, the church in Krzęcin was destroyed in a fire caused by lightning. The efforts of Krzysztof Fischer, pastor of Chłopowo, and donations made by the local nobility led to the reconstruction of the church. As early as in 1681, Dorota Maria von Rowedel, patroness of the church, funded a bell for the rebuilt church. The church was most probably a half-timbered structure. Heraldic stained glass windows were created in 1690; a Baroque altar in the late 17th century and early 18th century; and a second bell (now in Hamburg) was installed in 1773. The present-day neo-Gothic church was built in 1910, as evidenced by the date on the flag that has not been preserved to this day. Old furnishings were transferred to the new church, but also new fittings, such as organs, were funded. On 23 December 1945, the church, which was in possession of Catholics at that time, was consecrated as the Church of St John the Baptist. In 1960, a Roman Catholic parish was founded in Krzęcin.

Description

The church is located in the centre of the village featuring a layout approximating the shape of a radial village, on the village square, on the north side of the main village road, now called “Niepodległości Street”. The church is oriented and has one nave. It was designed in the neo-Gothic and features an asymmetrical floor plan, a nave body having the shape of a short rectangle, a square-shaped tower moved towards the north, and a separate chancel closed off on three sides and situated along the axis of the tower. The annexes added to the staircases are located to the south of the tower and chancel (the last annex closed off on three sides to the east). The body of the church is asymmetrical and highly fragmented. The nave body is covered with a gable roof, the faces of which were extended to the south to cover both annexes added to the staircases. The chancel is covered with a separate roof with five slopes. The corner tower is crowned with a neo-Baroque dome with an octagonal lantern with openings topped with semicircular arches and a sphere and crucifix finial. Four round clock faces are arranged at the base of the dome.

The church is built of brick, on a plinth made of granite ashlars; the façades are clad with clinker brick; the details are made brick and mouldings glazed in green. The roofs are covered with beaver tail roof tiles, while the tower dome is clad with zinc-plated sheet metal imitating slate.

The façades of the church are characterised by artistic articulation and vividness, which was achieved by using a variety of materials. The majority of window and door openings are topped with pointed arches. The asymmetry of the front façade is emphasised by the lateral position of the tower in relation to the main entrance to the church. The strongly splayed reveals of the portal to the base of the arch were built of granite ashlars combined with a stone wall of the plinth section of the tower, reaching the same level. The smooth stone sections of the reveals contrast with the stepped intrados made of lavishly profiled brick mouldings. The extrados of the portal is decorated with a grating made of glazed ceramic components, which are highly reflective against the white background. Two tall blind windows running up to a pair of pointed-arch bell openings, the shape of which is mirrored by the blind windows at the corners, make the body of the tower more vivid. Identically shaped pairs of openings with blind windows on the sides were placed in the remaining façades of the tower. The south façade of the nave body was revitalised by slender pointed-arch blind windows arranged in threes, pierced by windows on two storeys. Side entrances to the church were located in both annexes added to the staircases, but the entrance in the eastern annex was accentuated by a corner column and grating in the extrados, which was similar to the grating in the eastern portal. The openings in the north façade were shaped in the same way as the recesses in the south façade. The eastern wall of the chancel is partitioned by three blind windows, in the case of which window openings were replaced with recesses. The two tall slender windows in the slanted walls provide additional illumination of the interior of the chancel. In the interior of the church, the wooden galleries running along the southern and western wall separate two aisles — the wider aisle along the axis of the chancel and the narrower southern aisle under a gallery. The interior of the chancel covered with a wooden faux vault opens to the nave with a wide rood arch with a slightly sharpened arrow. Decorative columns of the galleries, which are bulky in the basement, and embellished with diagonal stria on the upper storey, support the structure of the ceiling, which has the shape of a flattened barrel over the northern aisle, and is flat over the southern gallery. The pillars and braces are adorned with wall paintings in red and grey. The fittings made by a blacksmith connecting wooden components are also intended as ornaments. The forepart of the nave galleries and small founder’s loge located in the southern annex of the chancel were panelled. The interior of the church features the preserved historic furnishings.

Viewing of the structure is only possible by arrangement with the parish priest.

compiled by Maciej Słomiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 15-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kostynowicz R., ks. inf., Kościoły archidiecezji szczecińsko-kamieńskiej, Szczecin 2000, t. I, s. 151
  • Schumacher W., Wanderungen und Streifzüge durch den Kreis Arnswalde, Arnswalde 1937, s. 223-224
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury, opr. M. Słomiński, mps w WUOZ Szczecin

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Krzęcin
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district choszczeński, commune Krzęcin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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