Parish church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mirsk
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mirsk

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A hall church retaining its distinctive Late Gothic outline despite subsequent redesigns, the building is notable for its surviving Gothic and Renaissance detailing as well as its sumptuous interior décor combining Baroque and Classicist influences.

History

The church was originally erected in the years 1562-67, replacing an earlier structure first mentioned in 1346 and subsequently lost to the blaze in 1558. Until 1654, the church served the needs of the local Protestant community. It was damaged by fire on numerous occasions in the years 1642, 1689 (after which it has been rebuilt by 1699) and in 1767 (reconstructed by 1780). During the late 18th century, the church was redesigned, receiving its interior galleries. The tower was also extended upwards, attaining the total height of 59.5 metres. The church underwent restoration on numerous occasions, including in 1817, 1827, 1869, 1904, 1950 and 1969-73.

Description

The church is located in the southern part of the town; it is surrounded by the cemetery. Its appearance reveals a mixture of the Gothic and Renaissance styles. It is an impressive brick and stone hall church oriented towards the east, with a three-nave main body and an integrated chancel with a semi-hexagonal end section. It features a monumental outline, its walls reinforced with pronounced buttresses, with a tower designed on a square floor plan and featuring an octagonal upper section adjoining it to the west. A two-storey annex containing the porch and the sacristy adjoins the tower. The main body of the church is topped with a tall gable roof with a multi-pitched eastern end section. The tower is crowned with a bulbous cupola designed in the Baroque Revival style (1904), while the side annex is covered by an extended section of the main roof. Most of the windows are topped with round arches and set into slightly splayed, deep niches framed with decorative surrounds and adorned with stone tracery. A fasciated stone portal dating back to the second half of the 16th century and featuring a semi-circular archivolt can be found on the western side of the church. The southern portal, on the other hand, is a rather restrained design incorporating both Gothic and Renaissance influences, topped with a cornice and inscription plaque bearing the date 1562. Epitaph plaques from the 16th-19th century are embedded in the walls of the church. The interior features a cross-ribbed vault supported by semi-circular structural arches positioned on corbels projecting from the walls as well as on octagonal pillars which divide the nave and the side aisles. Remnants of Gothic stonework decorations can still be seen on the vaulted ceiling. The patrons’ gallery opens towards the nave with a glazed triple arch. A wooden organ gallery dating back to the 18th century occupies the western bays of the nave. The interiors are graced by sumptuous Baroque and Classicist fixtures and fittings maintaining a consistent, uniform appearance; notable items include the polychromed wooden altarpieces funded by the von Schaffgotsch family (years 1800-05) as well as a pulpit dating back to 1805; both the altarpieces and the pulpit have been crafted by Franz Herden. Other notable features include the 1801 pipe organ casing and a stone baptismal font from the 2nd half of the 18th century as well as a donation box from 1580. The interior of the church is also home to a collection of Baroque sculptures and figures from the 17th and 18th century. Stone statues of St Florian and St John of Nepomuk (1720) stand in the vicinity of the church, the von Schaffgotsch family crests still adorning their plinths. A Baroque tomb chapel of the Kittelmann family (1751) and a number of stone epitaph plaques from the 18th and 19th century, positioned in a series of recesses set into the perimeter wall, can all be found in the cemetery which stretches around the church.

The church interiors may be visited during church service. For more information, please contact the parish office.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 23-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 2 Pogórze Izerskie, Vol. II, M. Staff (ed.), Wrocław 2003, pp. 50, 55-57,
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 573.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna , Mirsk
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district lwówecki, commune Mirsk - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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