Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lubasz
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Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lubasz

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Lubasz is a well-known Marian sanctuary located in the northern part of Greater Poland (the Sanctuary of the Queen of Families). The Late Baroque church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary constitutes an interesting example of a single-nave church with two diagonally positioned towers flanking its front façade. Its interior features surviving period fittings in the Rococo style. The church is surrounded by a cemetery, with a XIX-century rectory and Gothic Revival bell tower located in its vicinity.

History

Lubasz began its life as a private village which was initially owned by the Lubaski family and then by the Gorajski family. The local parish is one of the oldest in all of the Poznań archdiocese, having been established as early as in the 12th century. First mentions of the village date back to 1392, while the first references to the parish in historical documents were made in 1403. The first church to be erected here - the wooden church of St Lawrence and St Sigismund - was funded by the Lubaski family. In 1586, or, according to other sources, in years 1606-09, a second wooden church was erected near the village; it was located on the so-called Krasna Góra, on a piece of land donated for the purpose by the Gorajski family. Adam Ryskonius, a Cistercian monk from the Przemęt monastery, born in the nearby village of Stajkowo, was the founder of the church. The establishment of the church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is linked to the history of a miraculous painting, brought by the aforementioned clergyman from Rome and donated to his parish. The church on Krasna Góra was lost to the blaze in 1664. In years 1696-98, another wooden church was erected on the site thereof, with the date of 1698 being displayed on the weathervanes in the shape of dragon’s heads which are positioned at the top of the cupolas which rise above the chapels of the existing church. In the first half of the 18th century, the building was in a very poor technical condition. In 1750, Jan Haliński, the erstwhile parish-priest, began the construction of a new, brick-and-stone church. The project was implemented at the initiative of Wojciech Maksymilian Bończa Miaskowski, the local landowner who would later become the governor of the Kalisz province. The funds for the construction of the church were donated by the local nobility as well as the people who lived in the village and the surrounding area. Construction works were later carried on by the successor to reverend Haliński - rev. Franciszek Siatkiewicz - and were finally completed in 1772. In years 1761-74, further works were performed on the building’s interior fittings. In 1778 (or, according to other sources, in 1785), the church was consecrated. From 1810 onwards, the church performs the role of a parish church. Renovation works were being performed at the initiative of Józef Szułdrzyński, both in years 1854-56 and in 1862, the scope of the works in question including refurbishment of the facades, restoration of painted decorations as well as renovation of the main altarpiece). In the mid-19th century, a rectory was erected in the immediate vicinity of the church, while the Gothic Revival bell tower was built in 1856. The side chapels and all altarpieces were renovated in the 1870s. In 1937, new painted decorations were executed on the ceiling of the temple by professor Wacław Taranczewski from Poznań. Subsequent renovation works were carried out towards the end of the 20th century as well as during the first decade of the present century.

Description

The parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is located north of the village, on a hill known as the Krasna Góra. An old cemetery stretches on the eastern side of the church. A number of old headstones survive in the cemetery, with the oldest of them dating back to 1844; the cemetery also features a number of tombs of the families of owners of the surrounding manors, dating back to the second half of the 19th century and designed in the Neoclassical style as well as a monument to the fighters who sacrificed their lives during the Greater Poland Uprising. The church and the cemetery are circumscribed by a Baroque Revival wall built somewhere around the year 1900, featuring a tripartite gate in its western section. The church is oriented towards the east. In its immediate vicinity there is a small rectory, located south of the church - an austere, single-storey building designed on a rectangular floor plan and covered with a gable roof. A brick bell tower rises to the north-west of the church. The church itself is a single-nave building designed in the Late Baroque style, with a slightly narrower chancel with a semicircular termination in the east and a pair of diagonally positioned square towers in the west. Two elongated, rectangular annexes abut the walls of the chancel, with the southern annex serving as the sacristy and the northern one housing the treasury. The eastern section of the nave is flanked by a pair of chapels designed on a horseshoe-shaped floor plan, both of them being later additions to the church. The chapel on the northern side is the chapel of St Adalbert and St Stanislaus, while the one on the southern side is the chapel of the Holy Cross. The body of the church, consisting of the nave and the chancel, is covered with a gable roof. Shed roofs are used for the slightly lower, two-storey annexes which abut the chancel. The side chapels are covered with domes topped with lanterns. The entire structure is dominated by tall, two-storey towers in the west, topped with bulbous cupolas with octagonal lanterns.

The church is a brick building with plaster-covered walls. The roofs are clad with roof tiles, while the cupolas above the towers and the side chapels feature sheet metal cladding. The interiors of the nave, the chancel and the chapels all feature flat ceilings.

The façade of the church is flanked by two towers. Its protruding central section follows a three-axis design and is partitioned by Tuscan pilasters and profiled cornices. A monumental gable with volute-shaped fractable provides the finishing touch. Pilasters adorn the corners of the lower sections of each tower; in the upper sections of the towers, pilasters are replaced by engaged columns. The remaining façades of the nave and the chancel are partitioned by double pilasters (i.e. pilasters in which one, narrower shaft is superimposed on a second, wider one) supporting the entablature, while the façades of the chapels are adorned with paired pilasters. The windows are topped with segmental or basket-handle arches and framed by simple window surrounds with keystones or side extensions. The windows of the upper storeys of the towers are topped with semicircular arches, with arched hood moulds and decorative panels positioned above each window.

The walls of the nave are articulated by double pilasters with Tuscan capitals, whereas the walls of the chancel feature paired pilasters. The chapels open up towards the nave with semi-circular arches; the walls above these arches feature truly lavish decorative plasterwork with emblems of the Passion of Christ as well as heraldic and ornamental motifs. The ceiling is adorned with painted decoration executed in 1937 by Wacław Taranczewski, depicting various scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary.

The uniform interior fittings, designed in the Rococo style, include six architectural altarpieces, the pulpit and the baptismal font. The main altarpiece incorporates the miraculous image f the Our Lady of Snow, painted around 1600; other notable fittings include the dual choir stalls in the chancel, a number of confessionals as well as the choir gallery supported by a series of five arches which in turn rest upon piers adorned with pilasters. The choir gallery boasts lavish decorative plasterwork, with the motifs applied including putti with musical instruments, figures of angels, emblems related to music as well as cartouches and eagles.

Both the exterior and the interiors of the sanctuary are open to visitors.

More information on the sanctuary and the Holy Mass schedule is available at www.sanktuariumlubasz.pl

compiled by Krzysztof Jodłowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 22-07-2014.

Bibliography

  • Barokowe kościoły Wielkopolski, koncepcja, teksty i wybór ilustracji P. Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2006, s. 156-59.
  • Dubowski A., Zabytkowe kościoły Wielkopolski, Poznań 1956, s. 120.
  • Friedrich A., Historye cudownych obrazów Najświętszej Marii Panny w Polsce, t. 1, Kraków 1903, s. 134.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. V, z. 2: powiat czarnkowski, Warszawa 1966, s. 10-13.
  • Kohte J., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmaeler der Provinz Posen, Bd. IV, Berlin 1898, s. 180.
  • Kręglewska-Foksowicz E. [i in.], Sztuka baroku w Wielkopolsce, „Biuletyn Historii Sztuki” XX, 1958, nr 1, s. 81.
  • Rypniewska K., Kościół Narodzenia Najświętszej Marii Panny w Lubaszu, „Kronika Wielkopolski” 2002, nr 3 (103), s. 72-84.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1750-1772
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Pl. Ks. J. Kędzierskiego 2, Lubasz
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district czarnkowsko-trzcianecki, commune Lubasz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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