Evangelical church, currently the Roman Catholic filial church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Księginice Małe
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Evangelical church, currently the Roman Catholic filial church of Our Lady of the Rosary

Księginice Małe

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The church of Our Lady of the Rosary is an example of a Protestant church typical of the Silesia region, designed in the Classicist style and featuring an interior that strives for both spatial and functional unity, its elliptical galleries surrounding the nave. Inside, the church features an impressive collection of epitaph plaques, headstones and sepulchral sculptures from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

History

The Protestant community in Księgnice Małe was formed in 1524, with a separate parish established in 1574. The present church was erected in the years 1803-06, with count Rob Joachim von Zedlitz Trützschler from Świątniki providing the necessary funds. The task of designing the church fell upon a man called Weitzler who worked as the royal general building inspector in Wrocław. The design drawings were produced by J. F. Berger, a master brickmason based in Świątniki, with the task of actual oversight of the building works entrusted to Samuel Nikolas. Parts of the walls of an earlier church, built in the early 14th century and extended in the years 1720-30 were incorporated into the new design. Furthermore, three free-standing sculptures from the mausoleum erected alongside that church in 1685 by prince Rudolf Friedrich von Schleswig Holstein-Norburg were also moved to the interior of the new church. The heraldic cartouches that had once graced the mausoleum façade were likewise embedded in the walls of the new building.

After 1945, the church was taken over by the Catholic community and the interior design was substantially modified. The main altarpiece, brought in from another church, was positioned in a different location than previously, with the earlier, Protestant altarpiece combined with a pulpit being partially dismantled. The most recent renovation works took place in 1968, the 1970s (when the roof was refurbished) and in 1982 (when the interior was repainted).Currently, the serves as a filial church of the parish of St Joseph the Bridegroom of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Nasławice.

Description

The church, surrounded by a cemetery, stands in the middle of an elongated, rectangular plot of land. It is situated in the centre of the village, on an elevated spot, with a tall, stone retaining wall positioned south of the church itself. East of the church lies the former pastor’s house built in the second half of the 18th century, which had once been accompanied by the houses of the church administrator and the undertaker.

The church is not oriented towards the east; it is a brick and stone structure designed in the Classicist style, its walls covered with plaster. Erected on a rectangular floor plan, it features a quadrangular tower preceding the front (southern) façade. A rectangular sacristy is positioned on the axis of the eastern façade. The main body and the sacristy are covered with gable roofs clad with ceramic tiles, while the tower is topped with a bulbous cupola with a lantern. The façades of the main body are punctuated by two stacked rows of windows and accentuated by a crowning cornice, its profiled outline similar to that of the tower. The windows providing illumination to the ground floor section of the nave and the tower are topped with segmental arches. The doorways as well as the sacristy windows, the windows of the upper storeys of the tower and the upper section of the nave are topped with round arches; all windows are adorned with plaster surrounds.

The aisleless interior features a domical vault with a flat centre section and lunettes; two stacked galleries designed on an elliptical plan and supported by Tuscan columns run around the entire nave. Originally, an altarpiece with an integrated pulpit was positioned on the shorter axis of the nave, against the eastern wall; the gallery supporting the pipe organ casing, on the other hand, was (and still is) positioned on the longer axis of the nave, alongside its southern wall. The stairs leading up to the galleries are positioned in the corners of the nave. The sacristy features a vaulted ceiling of the barrel type and a flight of steps leading up to the pulpit which formed part of the original altarpiece.

Three niches containing the figures of prince Rudolf Friedrich von Schleswig Holstein-Norburg, his wife Biniana with children as well as of Zdenco Hovary von der Duba und Leipa punctuate the northern wall of the nave (behind the current altarpiece). All the sculptures originate from the family mausoleum erected in 1685.

The original, Classicist fixtures and fittings include the pulpit, the galleries and the pipe organ casing; the altarpiece, on the other hand, is a Gothic Revival item from the second half of the 19th century, moved to the church after 1945. The side altarpiece, designed in the Late Baroque style, dates back to the second half of the 18th century and was likewise moved here after 1945. Other notable items include the 1873 baptismal font and the ensemble of Baroque heraldic cartouches from 1685, embedded in the exterior walls of the church after they have been reclaimed from the mausoleum. Inside, there is a collection of Renaissance and Baroque epitaph plaques and figural headstones (tomb effigies) as well as an elaborate sepulchral monument dedicated to Carl Heinrich Siegmund Sandresky und Sandraschütz.

The church is open to visitors.

compiled by Beata Sebzda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 6-05-2015.

Bibliography

  • Gerhard W., Erlebnisse der Kirchengemeinde Klein -Kniegnitz, ein Stück Schlesische Kirchengeschichte. Breslau 1926.
  • Grundman G., Der evangelische Kirchenbau in Schlesien. Frankfurt a.M. 1926, pp. 69, 71, fig. 125a.
  • Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska. Warsaw 2005, p. 174.
  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów, vol. 20: Masyw Ślęży. Równina Świdnicka. Kotlina Dzierżoniowska, M. Staffa (ed.), Wrocław 2005, pp. 272-275.
  • Wiesenhütter A., Der evangelische Kirchbau Schlesiens von der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart. Breslau 1926, file no. 121-122.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 465.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: l. 1803-06
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Księginice Małe
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district wrocławski, commune Sobótka - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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