Evangelical Church of Sts Peter and Paul, Lewin Brzeski
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Evangelical Church of Sts Peter and Paul

Lewin Brzeski

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Built in the 14th century, the Church of Sts Peter and Paul in Lewin Brzeski boasts preserved Gothic and Renaissance elements of the decor, including a stone portal in the form of a clipped trefoil and wooden galleries. In addition, relief Renaissance tombstones have survived with the figures of the women from the von Bees family and the main altar made by the sculptor Hermann Fischer from Nysa.

History

The church in Lewin Brzeski was built in the 14th century. In 1534 it was taken over by the Protestants and remained in their hands until 1998 when the Evangelical parish in Brzeg lent the temple and then, in 2011, transferred it to Lewin Brzeski Commune.

In 1586 and 1633 the church was damaged by fires. In 1585 the chancel suffered the most (rebuilt in 1593), in 1633 the tower burnt down. During the reconstruction in about 1660, the nave was also renovated and two-level galleries were added. At the beginning of the 17th century, owing to the sponsorship of the parish priest and the von Bees family, the workshop of Hermann Fischer produces the church fittings and equipment, such as the main altar and the sculptures of the Crucifixion group.

During WW2 the church was destroyed; it was no longer used in the 1970s and fell into disrepair. Today, the learners from the local junior high school take care of the temple.

Description

The Church of Sts Peter and Paul is located in the south part of the town, close to the market square. It stands on the square behind the west frontage line of the market buildings. To the south-west, it is adjacent to the palace which houses the schools; and from the north-west, the towers of the parish church are visible.

The church is oriented towards the east, made of brick, buttresses and plastered. It contains a two-bay chancel, with a straight termination and a wider, rectangular nave with porches added on the north and south side. The south porch is a two-level structure and contains the entrance to the galleries. From the north side, the chancel touches a quadrilateral tower, slightly offset eastward, and a sacristy, which is fit in between the chancel and the north porch. On the west side of the church, there is an annex with a staircase leading to the choir and a 1730 funeral chapel.

The church is covered with double-pitched roofs of different ridge heights (higher above the nave, lower above the chancel), with the chancel roof plane extended over the sacristy. The annexes are covered with lean-to roofs, and the tower is covered with a pyramidal cupola. On the gable between the nave and the chancel, there is an ave-bell turret.

The façades are plastered smoothly and articulated by window openings with pointed-arch or segmental-arched terminations. The west façade is topped with a triangular gable with volutes and has three blind windows. The south façade has a sundial.

The chancel is covered with cross-rib vaulting. The chancel features a wooden, three-level main altar made by Hermann Fischer (1613) with the successive scenes of the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension, and the sculpture of a pelican at the top, stalls and Renaissance tombstones of, among others, women from the von Bess family. Along the side walls of the nave, there are two-storey, wooden galleries (1660) - between them the overhanging choir.

The stone altar originally exhibited in the chapel was moved to the parish church.

Accessible historic building. Handed over to the Lewin Brzeski Municipality; the church is maintained by the youth from the nearby junior high school.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 07-05-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. VII: Województwo opolskie, z. 1: Powiat brzeski,
    red. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warszawa 1961, s. 48-51.
  • Lutsch H., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, t. 2: Die Landkreise des Reg. Bezirks Breslau, Breslau 1889, s. 351.
  • Hermann Fischer rzeźbiarz z Nysy, J. Jagiełło, Inowrocław 2014, s. 49-66
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury - kościół ewangelicki pw. św. Piotra i Pawła w Lewinie Brzeskim, oprac. Józef Kowalewski, Arch. WUOZ w Opolu, 1998
  • http://lewin-brzeski.pl/4694/historyczne-wydarzenie-8211-kosciol-pw-sw-piotra-i-pawla-w-lewinie-brzeskim-przekazany-gminie.html

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zamkowa , Lewin Brzeski
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district brzeski, commune Lewin Brzeski - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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