Parish church of St Stanislaus the Bishop, Niedźwiadna
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Parish church of St Stanislaus the Bishop

Niedźwiadna

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As Kazimierz Stronczyński had once said, The local church, with its highly peculiar layout and intriguing crenellated gables, appears to have originated from the very same period as those in Wizna and Łomża. It is one of the few examples of Late Gothic ecclesiastical architecture surviving in this part of the country, presenting certain similarities to the churches erected by the Teutonic Order (the overall layout, and the gables with a rounded outline, devoid of horizontal divisions). Today, the church presents an outstanding architectural and artistic value.

History

The first mentions of the establishment of a local church date back to the year 1450 or thereabouts; however, these references only mention the existence of a wooden church. The existing masonry structure dates back to the second half of the 16th century. While visiting the church in 1693, a church official has found the date “1551” inscribed on the ceiling. The documents prepared during an inspection visit conducted in 1719 provide that the church has recently been repaired, its roof clad with roof tiles, with both the ceiling and the gallery erected anew. However, during all subsequent inspection visits, it has been repeatedly stated that the date of construction of the church could not be determined. Mentions of various extension works are contained in the documents prepared in the course of subsequent inspection visits; these were carried out in 1708 (extension of the top section of the walls and cornice), before 1781 (addition of the vestibule), in 1896 and after 1916 (restoration works). The church interior fittings are Baroque in style.

Description

The church is situated on a small hill in the middle of the village. The church cemetery is surrounded by a wall made of field stones. The church in Niedźwiadna is one of the churches erected during the Late Gothic period which did not feature a distinct chancel. Originally, all that differentiated the chancel from the rest of the interior was the presence of a rood beam. The aisleless church features a single, open space inside, its walls adjoined by buttresses which do not, however, serve any structural function. A sacristy with a separate treasury section adjoins the northern side of the church. The eastern and western gables follow a seven-axial design and are adorned with tall blind windows with semi-circular top sections.

The historical monument is open to visitors.

compiled by Iwona Górska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 15-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kazimierza Stronczyńskiego opisy i widoki zabytków w Królestwie Polskim (1844-1855), vol. I, Ogólne sprawozdanie delegacji, prepared by J. Kowalczyk, Warsaw 2009, p. 131, p. 274.
  • Kunkel R., Architektura gotycka na Mazowszu, Warszawa 2006, pp. 276-278.
  • Rogińska A., Historia, [in:] Niedźwiadna, [no place or date of issue available], pp. 12-17.
  • Zalewska K., Architektura kościoła, [in:] Niedźwiadna, [no place or date of issue available], pp. 22-24
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. IX: Województwo łomżyńskie, issue 3: Kolno, Grajewo i okolice, prepared by Kałamajska-Saeed M., Warsaw 1988, pp. 25-27, fig. 2, 5-6, 104.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Niedźwiadna
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district grajewski, commune Szczuczyn - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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