Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Międzyrzecz
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish Church of St John the Baptist

Międzyrzecz

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An example of mature Gothic architecture from the 15th century. The medieval character of the building is preserved both in the proportions as well as in architectural detail.

History

The very first mentions of the church date back to 1232. It is probable that the church was associated then with a trade settlement existing before the town received its charter. The appearance of the original building is not known; the present one comes from the second half of the 15th century. After partial destruction in 1520, the church was reconstructed and received the shape that has mostly survived to the present times. Some alterations were made in later periods. In the 17th century, the chancel was redesigned and covered with a barrel vault with lunettes, and over the Gothic sacristy, a second storey was built with a gallery. The gallery opened to the chancel through arcades. After the fire in 1824 which consumed the tower, a new, wooden tower was built. In 1850, a porch was added to the side entrance. After World War II, the chancel was extended on the north by a sacristy, and the northern nave - by the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Description

The church of St John the Baptist is a brick, three-nave aisless building reinforced with buttresses. The naves and the rectangular chancel, which is separated from them, are covered with gable roofs. In the western part of the body, there is a wooden tower with a tented roof. In the walls of the nave and the chancel, there are surviving high pointed-arch windows. Gable walls are enlivened with blind windows, pinnacles, and Renaissance gargoyles. On the ground floor of the gable wall, there is the main entrance to the church. The chancel interior is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes, and the nave body - with a stellar vault resting on massive piers. There are interesting elements of historical fittings in the church: relics of a Baroque altar, Baroque figures of St Agnes and St Louis, a Pieta, a Classicist painting from 1822 depicting the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan, a pulpit, and neo-Gothic confessionals. Wall paintings in the chancel, presenting the scene of the crucifixion of Christ, are worth particular attention. Painted decorations on the vault depict a globus cruciger and the Jastrzębiec coat of arms of the Starost of Międzyrzecz, Wawrzyniec Myszkowski, the founder of the painted decorations. Next to the frescos, there are two dates: “1545” - associated with the period in which the painted decorations were founded, and “1604” - when after years, the church was reclaimed by Catholics from Protestants.

The building is available during services or upon prior appointment with the parish priest.

compiled by Krzysztof Garbacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 18-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Garbacz K., Przewodnik po zabytkach województwa lubuskiego, t. 3: Powiaty: gorzowski - słubicki - sulęciński - międzyrzecki - strzelecko-drezdenecki, Zielona Góra 2013, s. 206-207, fot. 96.
  • Grabowska B. (B.G.), Międzyrzecz Wlkp., gm. loco, [w:] Zabytki północnej części województwa lubuskiego (red. J. Lewczuk, B. Skaziński), Gorzów Wlkp.-Zielona Góra 2004, s. 91-92.
  • Jarzembowska K., Mamys A., Kościoły Diecezji Zielonogórsko-Gorzowskiej. Nasze Dziedzictwo, t. 5: Dekanaty: Drezdenko, Pszczew, Rokitno, Bydgoszcz [2010], s. 54-57.
  • Kowalski S., Zabytki architektury województwa lubuskiego, Zielona Góra 2010, s. 224-225.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Międzyrzecz
  • Location: Voivodeship lubuskie, district międzyrzecki, commune Międzyrzecz - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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