Evangelical church, currently serving as a Roman Catholic auxiliary church of the Holy Cross, Międzygórze
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Evangelical church, currently serving as a Roman Catholic auxiliary church of the Holy Cross

Międzygórze

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The Evangelical church in Międzygórze, with its quality architectural detailing, is a building of outstanding artistic value. It is also notable due to its thoroughly modern form, influenced by the trends which characterised two consecutive decades of Silesian architecture - early modernism, Art Deco and Expressionism.

History

Międzygórze was established before the year 1560. Initially a lumberjack settlement, from 1684 it formed part of the Szczerba estate which was owned by Marianne, Princess of Orange-Nassau in years 1834-1883. Later on it came into the hands of the duchess von Preussen and, later on, of other members of the von Preussen ducal family. The efforts of the duchess as well as the landscape and climate of the Śnieżnik Massif ensured that Międzygórze has enjoyed a tremendous popularity as a holiday and health resort, especially after 1875, when the Międzygórze sanatorium was opened to the public. Throughout the period in question, the village remained a popular destination for tourists and sanatorium patients of different faiths. The Catholic community had their own church in the village - the church of St Joseph (→ kościół Św. Józefa). The Evangelical church, on the other hand, was only erected in 1911, funded by prince Friedrich Heinrich von Hohenzollern with the support of the Evangelical Society of Gustav Adolf. The design for the church was created by Schulze, a building counselor, with the task of performing the actual construction works entrusted to Schroth, an architect from Bystrzyca Kłodzka. The floor plan, silhouette and façades of the church were designed with great flair and in a very modern way. The emphasis on asymmetry, geometric shapes, synthetic design approach and restrained use of decorative detailing were all typical of early modernist philosophy. The highly unusual shape of its window surrounds, with their triangular lintels, may be considered as the very first signs of the nascent Expressionist and Art Deco styles of the 1920s. . The designer of the church has come up with a rather creative interpretation of historical forms derived from both the Romanesque, Late Gothic and Renaissance architecture as well as from the design principles governing the appearance of wooden ecclesiastical buildings. These Historicist tendencies have manifested themselves most evidently in the consciously anachronistic design of the interiors, most likely intended as a nod towards the broadly defined history of the architecture of the Kłodzko Region and the changes which it underwent throughout the years. As a result, the design of the chancel is clearly reminiscent of Late Gothic architecture. The nave features a Renaissance Revival vaulted ceiling, the presence of a side aisle an evident nod towards the manner in which Protestant churches were usually extended during the 16th century. A wooden, painted organ loft influenced by vernacular architecture and folk art was constructed in the main nave, as has been the custom in the region throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The literature on the subject often emphasises that the church in Międzygórze also shows numerous similarities to Scandinavian architecture, even though these similarities appear rather distant at best.

Description

The Evangelical church in Międzygórze is located above the Catholic church, on a platform which cuts into the slope of the hill. It is situated in a visible spot which can easily be identified from various directions. It is a brick and stone structure, its walls featuring an additional stone cladding. The church features a distinct, single-bay chancel with a semi-hexagonal termination, its walls reinforced with buttresses. A shorter, eastern side aisle adjoins the main nave of the church. A quadrangular tower, positioned on the axis of the side aisle, and the picturesque, vaulted arcade formed by a pair of pointed arches instantly define the appearance of the front section of the building. The five-storey tower, adjoining the side of the church, features a covered observation deck concealed beneath a tall, pyramid roof. The main body of the church, on the other hand, is covered with an asymmetrical, three-sided roof. The façades of the church feature a rusticated stone cladding, with fragments of the front façade beneath the arcade adorned with dressed sandstone ashlar blocks with distinctive architectural detailing. The arrangement of the windows is purposeful and deliberate. Stone gargoyles project from the uppermost section of the tower. The interior of the chancel features a ribbed groin vault with a painted keystone; the nave and the chancel are separated by a polychromed, pointed rood arch, its eastern arm resting on stout, octagonal pillar made of stone. The main body consists of the broader and taller nave and the narrower, lower side aisle, separated from one another by a pair of pointed-arch openings. Both the nave and the side aisle feature false vaulted ceilings made of wood, supported by centrings and suspended underneath the roof truss. The ceiling of the nave is of the barrel type, whereas the side aisle features a half-barrel vault. Both of these coffered ceilings are adorned with painted decorations, including a starlit sky motif, crosses and foliate ornaments.. In addition, the nave also features a wooden organ gallery, its underside adorned with acanthus and other foliate motifs. Original fixtures and fittings dating back to the early 20th century have survived inside the church, including a wooden screen designed to notify the faithful of psalm numbers during church service, pews adorned with painted floral motifs, a crystal chandelier as well as wooden doors with strap hinges.

The building is available 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, 16-07-2015.

Bibliography

  • Brzezicki S., Nielsen Ch., Grajewski G., Popp D. (ed.), Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006
  • Heinzelmann, Pastor in Glatz, Geschichte der Evangelischen Kirche der Graffschaft Glatz, Glatz 1917.
  • Radecke Ch. von, Wölfelsgrund in alter und neuer Zeit, Habelschwerdt i. Schles. 1926.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Powstańców Śląskich , Międzygórze
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district kłodzki, commune Bystrzyca Kłodzka - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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