Church of St Bartholomew, Modliszów
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Church of St Bartholomew

Modliszów

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A Gothic church surrounded by an old cemetery, its interior featuring original painted decorations.

History

  • 1268 - first mentions of a church in Modliszów
  • second half of the 14th century - construction of the church
  • early 16th century — alteration works
  • 19th/20th century - renovation works
  • 1990 - redesign of the tower, which loses much of its original height as a result
  • 2014 — renovation
Description

Modliszów is located alongside the road no. 379, leading from Świdnica to Wałbrzych-Podgórze. The church in Modliszów is situated at the northern edge of the village, alongside a country road leading towards Pogorzała, its distinctive outline instantly defining the surrounding landscape.

The first mentions of local Romanesque church date back to 1268, with the current, Gothic church being erected in the second half of the 14th century. The church was then remodelled in the early 16th century, with the second phase of painted decorations found inside the church originating from this very period. The church underwent renovation works in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. Its tall, distinctive tower jutting from the middle of the roof ridge was substantially lowered in 1990 or thereabouts, with the church currently undergoing further restoration works.

The church is a single-nave structure designed on a rectangular floor plan, its walls reinforced with buttresses. The nave features a wooden ceiling. The nave is adjoined by a rectangular chancel to the east, featuring a cross-ribbed vault. The southern side of the chancel is adjoined by a sacristy feature vaulted ceilings of the barrel type. On the western side, the nave is adjoined by a porch designed on a square floor plan.

A number of Late Gothic portals made of stone can be admired in the church; these include the portal leading to the sacristy, the nave portal and the portal in the northern wall of the chancel.

The individual sections of the church are covered with gable roofs; the roofs above the nave and the chancel are clad with slate, while the roofs of the porch and the sacristy feature ceramic roof tile cladding. An octagonal tower rises from the nave roof ridge, its current height significantly diminished compared to the original. Three stone crosses, most likely originally serving as penitential crosses, are embedded into the top sections of the nave and chancel gables.

Apart from a Late Gothic tabernacle made of stone, the fixtures and fittings include the Baroque main altarpiece with the painting of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the pulpit and the baptismal font, all of them dating back to 1710.

The interior wall paintings have been created in two distinct phases. The cycle depicting St Catherine of Alexandria and St Christopher (late 14th century) adorns the northern wall of the nave, while the chancel ceiling and the underside of the rood arch are adorned with polychrome decorations from the year 1500: the symbols of the Four Evangelists, the angels holding the Instruments of the Passion, Christ at the well, St Barbara with the benefactor of the church, the Flagellation of Christ as well as the wise and foolish virgins. The painted decorations were discovered in 1963.

Next to the church there is an old cemetery (no longer in use), surrounded by a stone wall designed on a circular plan. The entrance to the cemetery leads through a stone gatehouse located east of the burial ground itself, designed on a rectangular floor plan and covered with a gable roof.The gatehouse features a wooden double gate topped with a pointed arch as well as a wicket gate, an architectural niche and a stone shrine.

The church is usually closed; it may be viewed from the outside without limitations, while its interiors may be explored before or after church service.

compiled by Krzysztof Czartoryski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 05-02-2015.

Bibliography

  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006
  • Gotyckie malarstwo ścienne w Polsce, A. Karłowska-Kamzowa (ed.), Poznań 1984
  • Malarstwo gotyckie w Polsce, A. S. Labuda, K. Secomska (eds.), Warsaw 2004.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Modliszów
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district świdnicki, commune Świdnica
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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