The Angelic Mother of God Chapel, Laski
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Angelic Mother of God Chapel

Laski

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A small brick and wooden chapel in Laski is a unique building due to the application of unpeeled pine bales. In stylistic terms, it refers to the wooden architecture of Zakopane - one of the proposals of the so-called national style. Its history is closely related to the establishment of the Society for the Care of the Blind in 1922 and to its creators: Mother Elżbieta Róża Czacka, founder of the Order of Franciscan Sisters Servants of the Cross, Rev. Władysław Korniłowicz, spiritual head of the Society and the Institute and Antoni Marylski, owner of estates in Pęcice, involved in the centre’s work throughout his life. During World War II the Institute housed a training base and a hospital of the National Army. Rev. Stefan Wyszyński, who was later to become the Primate of Poland, worked in Laski as a chaplain of the Kampinos Group of the National Army, under the nickname Radwan III.

History

The chapel was one of the first buildings of the Institute for the Blind in Laski, developed from 1922 onwards under care of the Franciscan Sisters Servants of the Cross. The chapel and several residential buildings of the Institute were designed by an architect from Warsaw, Łukasz Wolski. The chapel was inspired by his previous design of a church, executed in 1915 in Zatory near Pułtusk, erected in full from unpeeled bales. For fire protection reasons and due to a poor financial condition of the Institute, the lower storey of the chapel in Laski used cheaper hollow blocks. Initially, brick parts of walls of the temple completed in 1925 were unplastered and the floor was made of bricks. Only in 1938 benches made of thick pine bales were installed in the interior, owing to the funds granted by Rev. Jan Mauersberg, a chancellor of the Field Curia of the Polish Army. Initially, the church belonged to the parish in Wawrzyszew and from 1951 - to the newly established one in Izabelin. In 1983 an independent parish was established in Laski and a new church was built. Unpeeled wood used at the construction of the chapel triggered various maintenance problems. In the years 2001-2002 the chapel underwent a renovation, as a result of which certain wooden component parts were replaced with new ones (e.g. unpeeled wood was removed from external walls of the upper storey of the nave).

Description

The chapel in Laski is situated in the southern part of the area occupied by the Institute for the Blind, located on the western outskirts of the town encroaching on the south-eastern edges of the Kampinos Forest, not far from Warsaw. The small temple was founded on a rectangular floor plan and stands on a fenced plot neighbouring in the north on the monastery buildings, linked to the temple by a connector. There, a cell with preserved decor, inhabited for 40 years by Mother Elżbieta, is found. It is connected with the interior of the chapel through a small window facing the altar, which allowed the blind nun to participate in religious services. The main entrance, located on the east facade, is accentuated on the sides by two small rooms housing a sacristy and a morgue. In the south, an elaborate, rectangular residential pavilion abuts on the temple. It is partially covered with a gable roof with wood shingles. The facility was inhabited by Antoni Marylski and, until quite recently, Zofia Morawska, who was working for the Institute for nearly 80 years. A garden neighbours on the chapel in the north. Walls of the lower storey of the church are made of lime and cement blocks. A wooden, upper storey of the main nave is located above pulpit roofs covering lower parts of the temple. Its external walls were initially clad with unpeeled logs cut in halves. An abutment roof with a porch eaves rests above the main nave at the front. Such solution with a decorative woodcarving on the gable awakens associations with the folk structures of the Podhale region. Roofs covered with roof tiles are crowned with an original steeple with a bell-like cupola covered with wood shingles. Lower and upper storey walls are pierced by small rectangular windows. By assumption, the interior of the three-nave chapel was very modest. In the central, taller nave, there is a presbytery with a bypass containing a tabernacle that was supposed to draw attention. Above, there is a crucifix made by Zofia Trzcińska-Kamińska. A unique, raw climate is created by pine bales covered with bark, of which columns between the naves and choir gallery supports were made. Such half-cut logs adorn vast parts of the walls and the presbytery vault. The effect is complemented by lamp fittings made of log parts as well. A trapezoidal vault over the nave and a terminating vista of the presbytery was a novelty when it came to wooden sacred architecture of the inter-war period. Plaques commemorating important persons related to Laski and wartime events that took place around the Kampinos Forest are found in the chapel and at the entrance.

The site is open to visitors.

Compiled by Małgorzata Laskowska-Adamowicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, 04-09-2015.

Bibliography

  • Karta Ewidencyjna, Kaplica pw. Matki Bożej Anielskiej, oprac. Przemysław Głowacki, Laski 2004 r., Archiwum Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. X: Województwo warszawskie, z. 17: Powiat pruszkowski, oprac. Galicka Izabella, Sygietyńska Hanna i Kaczmarzyk Dariusz, Warszawa 1970, s. 14
  • Glinka T., Kamiński M., Piasecki M., Przygoda K., Walenciak A., Przewodnik Mazowsze północne, Warszawa 1998, s. 415
  • Hertz L. Mazowsze, Warszawa 2005, s. 252
  • Mazowieckie kościoły drewniane, red. Jezierska B. i Nadolny R., Warszawa 2009, s. 55
  • Mączyński D., Opracowanie mykologiczno-budowlane dotyczące stanu zachowania kaplicy p.w. Matki Boskiej Anielskiej w Laskach w woj. mazowieckim, Warszawa 2001 mps w archiwum autora.
  • Ruszczyk G., Drewniane kościoły w Polsce 1918-1939 tradycja i nowoczesność, Warszawa 2001, s. 118, 138-140, 170, 175, 240
  • Sienkiewicz H. Z zapachem starego drewna. Peregrynacje do drewnianych kościołów Mazowsza, Warszawa 2011, s. 165-169
  • Żółtowski Michał, Kaplica w Laskach, „Spotkania z Zabytkami", 1992, nr 10, s. 37
  • http://www.niedziela.pl/artykul/53913/nd/Pamietam-jeszcze-Sienkiewicza - dostęp 27-08-2015r.

General information

  • Type: chapel
  • Chronology: 1922-1925
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Laski
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district warszawski zachodni, commune Izabelin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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