Parish Church of SS Peter and Paul the Apostles, Mątowy Wielkie
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Parish Church of SS Peter and Paul the Apostles

Mątowy Wielkie

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The church is a representative example of the local building tradition, in which the stylistic convention of the Gothic era was filtered through the artistry of the local architects and builders. The brick structure of the church has retained—as a kind of inclusion—the elements of the original frame structure (eastern wall along with the gable and two eastern spans of the southern wall). The form given to the church in the Middle Ages has not changed and is now the most notable example of the sacred architecture of Żuławy, with all the elements of the body being preserved. Saint Dorothea of Montau (1347-1394) is still the most famous resident of the village. She was a hermitess and visionary, patroness of Pomerania and the Elbląg Diocese, and was baptized in the local church on 6 February 1347.

History

The first written mention of Montow dates back to 1321. The foundation charter was issued for the village by Ludolf König, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, in the 1340s. Given the disappearance of the act, in 1383 the document was reissued. The new version of the charter contained information on the church in Mątowy Wielkie (German: Groß Montau). The first church in Mątowy was built in the first half of the 14th century as a small oriented frame structure. Soon afterwards, part of the original structure was surrounded with a brick wall on the outside, and another part was demolished and completely replace with the wall. The lower sections of the wooden tower were replaced with two brick storeys. The next stage involved the construction of a side nave, arcades between the naves, and sacristy. The whole process of construction of the church was completed shortly after the beginning of the 14th century. During the wars from 1626 to 1629 and in 1740, the church was damaged and repaired. The furnishings from the first half of the 18th century have survived to this day. During World War 2, the structure did not suffer any major damage. In 2012-2013, the church underwent complete renovation financed with the funds from the European Regional Development Fund (façades, roofs, ceilings).

Description

The church is oriented. It is located in the southern part of the village, in the close vicinity of the Vistula river bank. The structure is surrounded by an active graveyard with old-growth trees, and adjoined by a rectory and associated buildings. The Gothic church was built on a rectangular floor plan, has two naves without a separate chancel. To the west, it is adjoined by a massive tower on a square plan. The entire structure is complemented by a square porch to the south and a small rectangular sacristy to the north. The body supported by stepped buttresses is dominated by a massive three-storey tower with an octagonal wooden top storey and a tall pyramid dome. The main body of the church is covered with a tall gable roof characterised by a differing roof slope angle; the porch and sacristy are covered with gable roofs. To the east is the main nave and sacristy terminating in the end walls; the side nave is topped by an additional semi-gable; the south porch also features a finial atop. The main body with both annexes was built of brick features is characterised by a partially preserved wooden frame structure (eastern wall and eastern fragment of the southern wall), wooden ceiling (wooden vaulting over the main nave); the sacristy is topped with a barrel vault; the roof truss is made of wood (king post truss in the western sections); the roofs of the main body are clad with monk-and-nun roof tiles. The two lower storeys of the tower are made of brick; the belfry is wooden structure covered with weatherboards; the octagonal dome is clad with wood shingles. The brick façades of the main body with fairly modest ornamentation (low plinth crowned with a cornice and flat plastered frieze under eaves) are partitioned by pointed-arch window openings and stepped buttresses. The eastern façade features four pointed-arch blind windows; the upper parts of the central blind windows incorporate windows; the gable is stepped, has six axes, and no transverse partitions; vertical partitions are marked with pilaster strips, surmounted by octagonal pinnacle. The façades of the tower are decorated with pointed-arch blind windows on three sides; the southern wall additionally incorporates a blind window with six arcades. The main entrance from the west is framed by a two-stepped pointed-arch portal; the northern entrance is rectangular; and the southern entrance (porch) surmounted by a lowered arch. The two-nave interior, partitioned by three arches of arcades resting on two octagonal pillars, is dominated by the southern nave, which is two times wider and slightly taller than the northern one; both naves are covered with painted wooden ceilings; the sacristy is topped with a barrel vault, whereas the porch below the tower with a flat ceiling. The inner eastern wall and part of the southern wall have retained a discernible post-and-beam structure with brick infills. The interior décor and furnishings date back to the first half of the 18th century: painted ceiling and wall paintings on the vaulting of the sacristy, main altar, two side altars, pulpit, baptistr, confessional, set of pews. The preserved original interior fittings include three painted Gothic wooden sculptures: Madonna and Child, Pietà, Pensive Christ, stone baptismal font, and oak sacramentarium.

Limited access to the monument. Viewing of the interior is only possible by prior arrangement.

compiled by Krystyna Babnis, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 28-08-2015.

Bibliography

  • Schmid B., Bau-und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Marienburg (Die Städte Neuteich und Tiegenhof und die lädlichen Ortschaften), Danzig 1919.
  • Dehio-Handbuch der Kunstdenkmäler West- und Ostpreuβen, bearb. von M. Antoni, München-Berlin 1993.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XIV - początek XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Mątowy Wielkie
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district malborski, commune Miłoradz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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