Parish church complex of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary - Zabytek.pl
woj. podkarpackie, pow. niżański, gm. Krzeszów
The oldest known mention about the church in Krzeszów comes from before 1390, whereas the existence of the parish was noted in the second half of the 15th century. The present church was built in the years 1727-1728 and it is probably the third consecutive temple in this place. It was renovated in 1898 - wood shingles covering the log structure was replaced with entablature, turrets were clad with sheet metal. This same year an accompanying belfry was erected. The temple was under gunfire during World War I and subsequently renovated in the years 1918-1923. In 1939 wood shingles were removed from the roof and replaced with sheet metal. A full-scale renovation of the church began in 2006 and lasted until 2008; new foundations were laid, new ground plates were installed, parts of lower beams of the log structure were replaced, a new apron was made of titanium and zinc sheet, new weatherboarding of the temple was made, new woodwork was installed, flashing works were performed and a stone baffle plate was made. Then, after 2009, the works focused on the temple’s interior and its equipment. Works concerning fittings of the chancel, southern transept and parts of the nave have already been completed (among others, main altar, four side altars, pulpit and wall paintings of the entire interior). In the meantime, a belfry underwent renovation, which was completed in 2012.
The complex is located north-east of the Market Square of the old town, on a high hill. It consists of an oriented church, a belfry located west thereof, which was erected as a part of the surrounding fence, as well as a cemetery.
The hall church was built on a Latin cross floor plan. A three-nave corpus with a transept is preceded by a rectangular porch. The main nave gives way to an elongated chancel terminating in a semi-hexagon and is flanked by a sacristy and a treasury. The body of the church is tall and massive. The nave corpus, crowned with a steeple, is the tallest part of the church. The log structure of the chancel, transept arms and a porch is of equal height as the corpus, however, their roof covers are lower. The corpus and transept arms are covered with gable roofs; over the chancel, there is a multi-faceted roof; the porch is crowned with a tented roof giving way to a steeple. The porch can be treated as an incompletely accomplished tower positioned on the front façade. Small auxiliary rooms, covered with mono-pitched roofs, were added on both sides of the chancel. A small vestibule, topped with a gable roof, was added in front of the porch. The church is a wooden structure that sits on a stone footing. The walls, except for the vestibule, are of a log wooden structure and were reinforced by two-sided studs and weatherboarded with board and batten siding and apron. The vestibule has a post-and-beam structure and includes weatherboarding as well. The roofs and aprons of the temple have sheet metal cladding. The church façades, below window openings, are circumscribed by a profiled string course and an arcaded frieze with crucifixes. Window openings of the nave corpus and transept have profiled chambranle surrounds. The façade is crowned with entablature consisting of an arcaded frieze, a frieze with alternate ornaments in the form of a crucifix on the base and a chalice and a pronounced cornice. Church interior. The western part of the naves’ interior features a choir gallery resting on a pair of wooden pillars positioned on masonry pedestals. Similar pairs of slender pillars partition the naves that are covered with faux barrel vaults (weatherboarding on centrings). The main nave seamlessly gives way to a chancel with a similar vaulting. These two spaces are partitioned by a rood beam with a crucifix. The walls of the church interior are covered with wall paintings with modest artistic value. The richness of the interior is determined by other elements of décor. The church is decorated by 9 Baroque altars, whose core was created in the second half of the 18th century. The main altar was created by Michał Wurtzer jr, while several side altars come from Thomas Hutter’s workshop. The décor is complemented by a lavish, Late Baroque pulpit and pipe organ casing. Unique, decorative stained glass windows in the chancel, probably coming from the early 20th century, were created in the Warsaw-based St Lucas Workshop.
The bell tower is a two-storey structure with a massive body. Made of brick, applying a post-and-frame structure, with reinforcements in the form of transoms and angle braces. The walls are covered with board and batten siding. A lower part of the walls is protected by an apron. Storeys are partitioned by a pronounced skirt roof and the entire building is covered with a tented roof crowned with a crucifix. Entrance in the east façade is preceded by a small gable roof atop the pairs of pillars. All covers are made of sheet metal.
The cemetery that surrounds the church is circumscribed by a contemporary fence (masonry pillars and metal spans). The cemetery area includes two gravestones and one stone crucifix on a pedestal coming from the first half of the 19th century. Apart from the church and the belfry, the cemetery features a wooden chapel from 1905.
The building is available all year round; sightseeing upon prior telephone appointment.
compiled by Bartosz Podubny, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow, 28-10-2014.
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Protection: Register of monuments
Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_18_ZE.47477