Pilgrimage chapel, currently serving as the rectoral church and the Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary – the Cause of Our Joy (Our Lady of the Snows) on the Igliczna Mountain, Międzygórze
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Pilgrimage chapel, currently serving as the rectoral church and the Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary – the Cause of Our Joy (Our Lady of the Snows) on the Igliczna Mountain



The pilgrimage church on the Igliczna Mountain presents a substantial historical and cultural value, being one of the best-preserved ecclesiastical buildings forming part of mountainside or hilltop pilgrimage sites in Silesia. The church and its lavish décor and interior fittings also presents an outstanding artistic value. It is located in a visible spot, forming a picturesque addition to the Igliczna Mountain slope.


The existing Marian sanctuary can trace its roots back to the Austrian sanctuary known as Mariazell. A copy of the miraculous figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary was brought from one of the pilgrimages to the Mariazell sanctuary and placed upon a tree which grew upon the slope of the Igliczna Mountain. In 1776, the figure was moved to a purpose-built wooden shrine. This led to the formation of a pilgrimage site, which quickly became one of the many renowned sanctuaries in the Kłodzko Region, along with those in Bardo, Wambierzyce and Nowa Wieś. In years 1781-1782, Andreas Jäger, a builder from Międzylesie, erected a masonry chapel which, it is believed, he may have designed himself. The associated carpentry works were carried out by Joseph Knietig from Wilkanów. The chapel combined the central and the longitudinal layout, being effectively a miniature version of a church with a truncated nave, its tall interior creating an impression of a central-plan building. In 1784 a tower was added; it is now believed that this tower may have formed part of the original design. The tower was integrated with the main body of the chapel and the brick structure of the pipe organ gallery, which may have been inspired by the solutions applied in the churches located in → Wilkanowie, → Roztokach, → Różance i → Boboszowie. As a result, the Late Baroque chapel attained an unusual spatial layout, with the approach to the design of its façade and organ gallery being of a kind seldom seen anywhere else in the region. The remaining formal solutions, however, were very much typical of the traditionalist strand of Late Baroque during the late 18th century in the Kłodzko Region. The features in question are the semi-circular chancel termination, the restrained architectural articulation, the simple, band-like surrounds, the structure of the entrance portal with keystone and imposts as well as the ceilings adorned with crown mouldings. In 1823, the church received a rather utilitarian-looking ambulatory following the outline of the nave, featuring a false vaulted ceiling made of wood. A new, Late Baroque chapel portal was placed in the north-western arm of the said ambulatory. Executed in plaster with the addition of Rococo stonework, the portal was undoubtedly impressive, albeit ungainly in its proportions. The chapel underwent renovation works on numerous occasions, including in 1897, when its interior received painted decorations designed in the Baroque Revival style with a touch of Rococo Revival, the overall aesthetic choice being typical of the ecclesiastical painting style prevalent in the Kłodzko Region in years 1880-1920 or thereabouts. In years 1905-1913, stained glass windows crafted at the Mayer atelier in Munich were installed at the chapel.


The sanctuary is located below the summit of the Igliczna Mountain (845 metres above sea level), on the western edge of the Śnieżnik Massif, north-west of Międzygórze, in a location which is believed to offer one of the most impressive vistas anywhere in the Sudetes. The chapel is oriented towards the east and features a distinct chancel designed on a half-oval plan, adjoining a short, pentagonal nave with a partially integrated tower. A sacristy adjoins the chancel section, positioned on the axis thereof, while an ambulatory - visibly lower than the rest of the church - runs around the entire structure. The main body of the church is covered with a tall roof, while the tower, rising only slightly above the level of its ridge, is crowned with an octagonal cupola with a single roof lantern. The façade is partitioned with architectural framing and cornices. An older, stone portal of the main entrance survives in the ground floor section of the tower, in what is now the interior of the ambulatory. A more recent portal with a split, segmented pediment and a Rococo cartouche set against the background of a sculpted drapery is positioned on the axis of the chapel, in the façade of the north-western arm of the ambulatory. The interior of the chancel is partitioned with pilasters and covered with a half-dome with lunettes and adorned with lavish painted decorations incorporating both figural and ornamental motifs and also extending to the rood arch separating the chancel section from the nave. The iconography of these decorations includes both Christological and Marian themes. The decorative plafonds incorporate the symbolic images containing references to the mission of Christ, while the cartouches positioned on the underside of the rood arch incorporate symbolic imagery referring to the invocations of the Litany of Loreto. The walls of the nave are partitioned with painted, trompe l'oeil pilasters and topped with an actual profiled crowning cornice. In the western part of the nave stands the pipe organ gallery positioned atop a wooden supporting structure and separated from the rest of the nave by a solid wooden parapet adorned with engaged balusters. The nave itself features a wooden ceiling with a broad crown moulding and a flat middle section adorned with the MARIA monogram surrounded by an aureole set against the background of ornamental decorations. The symbolic images incorporated into the crown moulding above the nave as well as into the stained glass windows of the ambulatory are also linked to the Litany of Loreto. The fixtures and fittings of the church include the 1897 main altarpiece, the pipe organ casing produced at the turn of the 20th century, stained glass windows from the years 1905-1913, designed in the Historicist style, as well as numerous paintings and sculptures from the period between the late 18th century and the early 20th century. In addition, the church also houses a collection of paintings from the 1920s, documenting the appearance of the sanctuary during different periods as well as a collection of votive paintings (in the ambulatory), which is one of the greatest of its kind, second only to the sanctuary in Wambierzyce.

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Iwona Rybka-Ceglecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 27-07-2015.


  • Bach A., Urkundliche Kirchen-Geschichte der Grafschaft Glatz, Breslau 1841.
  • Berger A., Eine Übersicht über die Pfarreien und Kuratien der Grafschaft Glatz betreffend die Zeit von 1841-1946, Kirchlengen, Kreis Herford 1961.
  • Brzezicki S., Nielsen Ch., Grajewski G., Popp D. (ed.), Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006
  • Guda Obend 1917, calendar.
  • Heinke A., Die Grafschaft Glatz, Breslau 1941.
  • Die Grafschaft Glatz. Das Buch des Landes und Volkes von Müller-Rüdelsorf, Breslau 1924,
  • Radecke Ch. von, Wölfelsgrund in alter und neuer Zeit, Habelschwerdt i. Schles. 1926.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Międzygórze
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district kłodzki, commune Bystrzyca Kłodzka - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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