Filial Church of St Martin, Lesica
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Filial Church of St Martin



The church of St Martin in Lesica has a substantial research value, being an example of the complexity of the early-18th century phase in Baroque architecture and its evolution towards full-fledged Baroque style. In addition, the church in Lesica also boasts the most impressive and lavishly designed exterior portals among all the rural churches in the Kłodzko Region. The 19th-century painted decorations covering the whole interior of the church are no less interesting, being the only example of a decorative scheme of this kind in an ecclesiastical building anywhere in the Kłodzko Region or even in the entire Silesian province. Both the architecture of the church, the stonework detailing and the interior painted decorations exhibit an outstanding artistic value.


The village of Lesica was founded in years 1574-1575, with the origins of the existing church being linked to the local Protestant community. It was here that, in the year 1600, the Protestants founded a cemetery; later on, a preacher’s house and a wooden church were also erected. In 1624, the church was taken over by the Catholics. In the years 1705-1706, the present church of St Martin was built. The spatial layout of the church was entirely traditional. Based on the solutions codified somewhere around the mid-17th century by North Italian Builders, a pair of annexes was later added to the chancel, one of them housing a patrons’ gallery. The overall shape of the church was also made more uniform at that point. In line with the solutions applied from the 1680s onwards in other, less opulent ecclesiastical buildings in the Kłodzko Region, a wooden organ loft and side galleries were constructed inside the nave of the church in Lesica. The church was designed in a transitional style which marked the end of the Early Baroque period and the beginning of the full-fledged Baroque (first quarter of the 18th century). The formal innovations applied included the semi-circular chancel termination (similar to that at the church in Lądek (→kościele w Lądku, 1690-1701) and in the Franciscan church in Kłodzko (→kościele franciszkanów w Kłodzku, 1711) as well as the barrel vaults with lunettes and supporting arches and windows topped with segmental arches, accompanied by oval oculi. The façades with their centrally positioned portals (some of them accompanied by niches) were carefully arranged, their overall appearance reminiscent of those of the churches in Niemojów (→Niemojowie), Goworów (→Goworowie) or Roztoki ( →Roztokach). The stonework decorations and architectural detailing of the church façades were executed by the local stonemasons from the so-called Lesica circle of craftsmen which functioned in the years 1698-1716 or thereabouts in the town of Międzylesie and in the surrounding area, including Niemojów (→Niemojowie). These works of these craftsmen were in the spirit of vernacular Baroque. They tended to simplify the forms applied to the point of primitivism, although the works they created also exhibited a great degree of imaginative thinking. In the 18th century, the church underwent renovation works. The tower cupola was reconstructed after 1754. In years 1788-1790, a new ceiling was constructed inside the nave and adorned with painted decorations. In 1798, the galleries inside the nave were dismantled. After 1841, an image of St Leonard was painted on the nave ceiling in order to reflect the fact that the worship of this particular saint was gaining in strength at the church. The immense popularity of St Leonard in the Sudety Mountains stemmed, among other things, from the desire to be granted protection against the various diseases which plagued the local farm animal population. At some point, Lesica even became a local pilgrimage destination, attracting the interest among the faithful from Bohemia and Moravia. And yet, in spite of all this, the church was slowly descending into a state of ruin. In 1848, parts of the nave ceiling have collapsed. In 1858, the entire church was engulfed by the flames. It was reconstructed a few years later, in 1860, with certain Historicist influences being introduced into its design. Among others, the upper storey of the tower as well as the architectural articulation and plasterwork decorations inside the chancel. A two-storey wooden pipe organ gallery was constructed inside the nave. In addition, the interior was now graced by new painted decorations, covering nearly every surface, consisting of painted architectural decoration as well as ornamental and figural motifs. The painted decorations were subsequently restored in 1892. It was at that point that the Baroque Revival paintings adorning the nave ceiling were executed by a painter from Munich, which remained one of the main centres for religious art at the time.


The church in Lesica is oriented towards the east; it is a masonry structure, its walls covered with plaster. It features a distinct chancel with a semi-circular termination as well as a tall nave, with both the nave and the chancel sharing the same roof. A pair of two-storey annexes adjoin the chancel. The western façade of the nave is adjoined by a five-storey tower designed on a quadrangular floor plan, with an octagonal top section crowned with a tall spire. The tower is flanked by overhanging, oriel-like annexes designed to accommodate the stairs leading up to the pipe organ gallery. The façades of the church are topped with a crowning cornice. The front façade is dominated visually by the tower with the main entrance portal. Both the main portal and the three remaining portals of the church were executed by the craftsmen from the so-called Lesica circle; designed in the Baroque style, these stone portals are lavishly decorated, with come being adorned with a figural sculpture such as the figure of Christ the Saviour of the World or the conch incorporating the figure of St Rosalia. The interior walls of the chancel are partitioned with pilasters supporting an entablature which runs directly beneath the barrel vault with lunettes, resting on supporting arches. Both the articulation of the walls and layout of the vaulted ceiling are emphasized by painted decorations. The ceiling plafonds incorporate the images of the Heart of Jesus as well as the busts of the Four Evangelists. A two-storey wooden pipe organ gallery is positioned in the western part of the nave. The upper parts of the nave walls feature a faux architectural articulation executed using the trompe-l’œil technique. Images of angels adorn the spandrels above the rood arch. The nave features a flat ceiling with a crown moulding, adorned with a painting depicting the Coronation of the Virgin Mary accompanied by ornamental motifs. The fixtures and fittings of the church consist of an architectural main altarpiece (late 18th century) and the two side altarpieces designed in the Historicist styles (1892), the pulpit (ca. 1860) and the pipe organ casing.

The church is open to visitors all year round; interior tours upon prior telephone appointment.

compiled by Iwona Rybka-Ceglecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 03-09-2015.


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  • Volkmer, Hohaus, Geschichtsquellen der Graffschaft Glatz, Dritter Band, Constitutiones Synodi Comitatus Glacensis in causis religionis, 1559, Die Dekanatsbücher der Christophorus Neaetius 1560 und des Hieronymus Keck 1631, Habelschwerdt 1884.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: początek XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Lesica
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district kłodzki, commune Międzylesie - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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