Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua, Łódź
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Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua

Łódź

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Example of Baroque wooden sacred architecture with interior decorations and fittings. There is also a spring water intake in the chapel, which among the citizens of Łódź and its vicinity is known for its medicinal properties.

History

The chapel dates back to the second half of the 17th century. The place of initial location was the church area. The chapel was moved to the current place before the erection of a new church. The history of the structure constitute an illustration of the establishment of the chapel as a result of the thanksgiving foundation and the gradual transformation of this place into a sanctuary known for healing wonders. Some of the sources mention that the materials used for the construction of the chapel come from the previous wooden church, however, this information could not be verified during restoration and archeological works conducted in the years 2004-2007.

Description

The chapel is situated in Łagiewnicki Forest in the northern part of the city, slightly away from the street in the north-eastern direction, located on the lowered part of the land. The shape of the nave part is rectangular, the presbytery part is closed from three sides. Corner-notched log construction is covered by a multi-faceted roof covered with wood shingles and crowned with a steeple, hexagon-shaped in plan, with wrought-iron crucifix reconstructed during restoration works. Dome of the steeple is covered with sheet metal. Roof ridge is framed by a pair of lavishly profiled pinnacles, called pazdurs. The walls of the chapel are covered with weatherboards. Entrance is located in the end wall, on the longitudinal axis, from the north-eastern side. The most important element of the fittings is an altar with a copy of the image of the chapel’s patron, situated on a straight wall of the presbytery. Its basis is a massive cuboid box, directed to the interior with its longer side, decorated with a shallow profile in the shape of a narrow frame running near the edges of the box, on which the main part of the altar with architectural features has been placed, and which constitutes the fitting for the painting. At sides there are columns with composite capitals and decorative side sections, formed in the shape of acantus leaves forming waves. The upper part of the altar is taken by the profiled cornice, broken multiple times. The whole is crowned by a radial gloria with the Eye of Providence - a theme characteristic for the Baroque sacred art. The painting with an image of St. Anthony of Padua is an important part of the chapel, like a well with water exhibiting medicinal properties. The composition of the oeuvre is bright and typical for the manner of showing this Saint. The figure is placed on the axis of the painting and is wearing a black Franciscan habit. He is holding a white lilly in his right hand and the left hand, slightly bent at the elbow, holds a book, on which Child Jesus is sitting in a bright, clear robe. The heads of the figures are surrounded by golden halos. Presentation - a copy of the painting of 1729 made by A. Ścisławski, painted by Jan Gintowt-Dziewałtowski - in a frame lavishly decorated with stylised acanthus leaves. A tama, originally constituting a part of the fittings of the St. Anthony of Padua chapel, presenting the miracle of resurrection of a pilgrim who died suddenly in Łagiewniki, is connected with supernatural events that were observed in that area. The characteristic part of the oeuvre is a flat frame, on which the elements imitating a small altar were painted. Grooved pilasters support the broken cornice, conch and finials. Two spheres were distinguished in the painting: earthly and heavenly. In the lower part a lying figure in a white robes is positioned. Near to the figure, a newly dug grave may be seen. The left part of the presentation is taken by a tree, equiposing in composition its right part, in the upper corner of which a half figure of a saint emerging from the clouds was positioned. On the frame, in a cartouche above the painting there is an inscription: “God through St. Anthony here in Łagiewniki resurrects a suddenly dead passer-by.” In the cartouche under the painting there is an inscription: “In a grave buried here in Łagiewniki.” The second tama in the chapel has identically painted frame, also presenting a miraculous event that took place owing to the wondrous painting of St. Anthony. This composition is also divided into two spheres. In a lower, against a landscape, there is a large stack of wood pinning down a small child figure. A woman is kneeling next to it, according to the sources - a mother of the child, in a white robe. In an upper corner, a half-figure of St. Anthony emerges from the clouds. On the frame, in a cartouche above the painting there is an inscription: “God through St. Anthony resurrects a child killed by the wheels of WW PP Zelescy - the first founders.”

Accessible historic structure.

Compiled by Patrycja Podgarbi, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Łódź, 22.08.2014.

Bibliography

  • Filipowicz P., Witkowski W., Architektura kaplic św. Antoniego i św. Rocha w Łagiewnikach, [w:] Lechowicz Z. Nierychlewska A. (red.), Kaplice w łagiewnickim lesie. Dzieje, badania i prace konserwatorskie, Łódź 2007, s. 40-74.
  • Flatt O., Opis miasta Łodzi pod względem historycznym, statystycznym i przemysłowym, Warszawa 1853 [przedruk: Łódź 2002].
  • Michalska A., Podgarbi P., Dzieje zespołu klasztornego i kaplic, [w:] Lechowicz Z., Nierychlewska A. (red.), Kaplice w łagiewnickim lesie. Dzieje, badania i prace konserwatorskie, Łódź 2007, s. 26-39.
  • Nierychlewska A., Od średniowiecza po czasy nowożytne - Łagiewniki na przestrzeni dziejów, [w:] Lechowicz Z., Nierychlewska A. (red.), Kaplice w łagiewnickim lesie. Dzieje, badania i prace konserwatorskie, Łódź 2007, s. 8-25.
  • Tajchman J., Propozycja systematyki i uporządkowania terminologii ciesielskich konstrukcji dachowych występujących na terenie Polski, „Monument” 1995, nr 2.
  • Zaleski W., Sanktuaria polskie. Katalog encyklopedyczny miejsc szczególnej czci osób Trójcy Przenajświętszej, Matki Bożej i Świętych Pańskich, Warszawa 1988.

General information

  • Type: chapel
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVII w
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wycieczkowa 75, Łódź
  • Location: Voivodeship łódzkie, district Łódź, commune Łódź
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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