Complex of parish church of St James the Apostle, Mieronice
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Complex of parish church of St James the Apostle

Mieronice

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The 13th-century presbytery of the church is a valuable example of the Romanesque architecture in the Małopolska region; its murals (from the years 1330-1360) are ranked among the key achievements of the late-Romanesque painting or the rustic trend of the Gothic paining in Poland. The belfry of the 2nd quarter of the 19th century towering over the complex and referring to the 17th- or 18th-century models, is an important feature in the panorama of wooden architecture of north Małopolska.

History

The original temple (only the stone presbytery has been preserved of it) was built probably in the mid-13th century by the Awdaniec family, the then owners of the village. The first recorded mention of the local parish comes from 1326. Probably between 1330 and ca. 1360, the presbytery was decorated with murals (only partly preserved). In 1439 Mikołaj Miroński and Piotr Rosznicki issued a foundation act for the new parish. Under the act, they undertook to erect a new, stone church. However, it did not occur too quickly, since Liber Beneficiorum of Jan Długosz covering the years 1470-1480 refers to the church as wooden with a stone choir. It is believed, based on the time of creating the murals in the nave, that thorough reconstruction of the temple took place as late as in the 1st half of the 16th century. At that time, a stone nave body, chapel and sacristy were added to the Romanesque presbytery. In 1570 the church was taken over by the Polish Brethren. In 1590 it returned to the Roman Catholics. In the same year, there were the first records of the chapel of St James the Apostle and of a wooden belfry. In 1667 the church witnessed a wedding ceremony of Anna Remiszewska-Łącka and Jan Chryzostom Pasek. Ca. 1774 the temple was thoroughly renovated. Ca. 1782 a wooden porch was added. In 1818 the belfry was in such a poor condition that it was replaced by a new wooden structure before 1831. In the early 20th century the chapel was enlarged. In 1936 Gothic murals were discovered in the presbytery. In 1937 the auxiliary bishop of Kielce, Franciszek Sonik, crowned the painting of Our Lady of Mieronice. The church and the belfry were completely renovated in the years 1960-62, 1976-1982 and 2010-2012.

Description

The church complex, situated in the south-east corner of the village, occupies the centre of a trapezoidal square surrounded by old trees and a fence. It is comprised of a church located in the north part of the area and a stand-alone belfry facing the church’s west façade. The oriented, single-nave church comprises a rectangular, Gothic nave framed by buttresses to the west and a regularly closed Romanesque presbytery which is lower and narrower than the church body. The north wall of the presbytery is adjoined by a low sacristy. By the nave, there is a chapel to the north and a porch to the south, both lower than the nave. The church is built of brick (with the monk bond in the presbytery) and bossage and is partly plastered. It is covered with a gable roof (over the nave with a bell turret and over the presbytery) and a lean-to roof (over the sacristy, chapel and porch). Among the modest façade of the main body (the north and west ones divided by a cornice horizontally at the 2/5 of height), the west façade stands out with its triangular wooden gable. The brick façades of the presbytery are enriched with architectural details (the east one with an arcade frieze and the south one with a decoration of bricks laid diagonally). The church's interior is covered with a wooden ceiling (in the nave) and cross vaults (in the presbytery with plant-ornamented brackets), lunette vaults (in the porch) and barrel vaults (in the chapel and sacristy). The presbytery walls are covered with murals of 1330 to ca. 1360 showing: Christmas, scenes from the Passion of Christ, the Apostles, Wise and Foolish Virgins, the legend of St Margaret. Some murals of the 1st half of the 16th century can also be seen in the upper part of the chancel wall (image of St James the Apostle with a heraldic cartouche, inscriptions and heraldic cartouches) and on the north-east arcade of the entrance to the chapel (St James the Apostle and St Thomas the Apostle). The following have ben preserved from the original fittings: the choir with a painted balustrade (ca. 1680), a stone baptismal font from 1629 (attributed to the workshop of Pińczów), a "marble" plaque with the presentation of the Crucifixion Group from the 1st quarter of the 17th century (attributed to the workshop of Chęciny or Kraków), a neo-Baroque altar with the image of the Virgin Mary and Child from the 1st half of the 17th century. The styleless, square belfry has a lower floor with inclined walls and an overhanging upper chamber. It is made of wood, based on a post-and-frame structure, on a stone-and-brick foundation. Its walls are boarded from the outside, and it features a tented roof laid with wood shingles. The belfry features a 15th-century bell.

The site is accessible to visitors. Sightseeing upon prior telephone appointment.

Compiled by Łukasz Piotr Młynarski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 23.09.2014.

Bibliography

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General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: ok. poł. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Mieronice
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district jędrzejowski, commune Wodzisław
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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