Church of St Jadwiga, Nieszawa
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Church of St Jadwiga

Nieszawa

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The church belongs to a group of similar buildings scattered around the Kuyavia region, da-ting back to the Gothic and Renaissance periods and featuring monumental towers at their western ends. Other churches forming part of this group are located, among others, in Służe-wo, Raciążek and Kowal.

History

The building, originally known as the church of St Hedwig, the Sending of the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary, was initially conceived as a parish church and was constructed fol-lowing the relocation of Nieszawa to its current location by King Casimir IV Jagiellon. The main body and the chancel were erected in the years 1461-68. The tower was added in 1592, its construction funded by Wawrzyniec Rzuc. In the 16th century, a chapel positioned on the northern side of the chancel was added. At the turn of the 17th century, the chancel received its vaulted ceiling. The northern chapel of St. John the Baptist and the southern chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary were added in 1637 and 1705 respectively. In the years 1951-1952, the church underwent a comprehensive restoration, in the course of which the 17th-century vault-ed ceiling of the nave was replaced with a flat ceiling made of reinforced concrete and breeze blocks.

Description

The church is located in the north-eastern part of town, amidst a churchyard positioned on the eastern side of Noakowskiego street. The eastern part of the parcel is positioned adjacent to the Vistula river bank. The church is oriented towards the east, designed on a floor plan simi-lar in shape to the Latin cross. The main body of the church, designed on a rectangular floor plan, features a single, open space inside. The two-bay chancel adjoining the eastern end of the main body is separated from the nave by a chancel arch wall with a pointed arch. The chancel is visibly narrower than the main body. The sacristy and the chapel, separated by a small vestibule, are positioned on the northern side of the chancel. Paired, arched openings connect the main body and the two-bay side chapels on the northern and southern side, each of them designed on a rectangular floor plan. The tower, designed on a square floor plan, ad-joins the western side of the main body.

The silhouette of the church is dominated by the monumental tower, topped with a pyramid hipped roof with a steeple. The main body is slightly taller than the chancel. The side chapels of the main body are covered with gable roofs and topped with triangular gables; the ridges of the chapel roofs reach slightly above the crowning cornice.

The chancel features two-stepped buttresses at the corners as well as a single buttress in the middle of the southern façade, flanked by a pair of pointed-arch windows. The eastern façade is crowned with a Baroque gable with a volute-shaped fractable and a triangular pediment on top. A pronounced, pointed-arch blind window is positioned on the middle axis of the façade, incorporating a smaller, segment-headed blind window within. The eastern façade of the sac-risty is pierced by a window topped with a round arch and featuring stepped, chamfered re-veals. Two almost identical windows can be seen in the northern façade. It is topped with a triangular half-gable adorned by a trio of pointed-arch blind windows as well as a row of an-gular pinnacles. A two-stepped buttress surmounted by a pinnacle is positioned on the north-eastern corner of the sacristy. The sacristy and the adjoining chapel share a single northern façade, featuring a centrally positioned doorway topped with a round arch and surrounded by chamfered, stepped reveals. The façades of the main body are partially obscured by the side chapels. The walls of the main body are pierced with pointed-arch windows with splayed re-veals, partially obscured by the chapel roofline with the exception of the westernmost win-dows. The eastern end of the main body is graced by a Baroque gable with a volute-shaped coping and a segment-headed pediment, surmounted by a small steeple.

The two side chapels flanking the main body are similar in shape and form. The corners of the front façade are reinforced with buttresses positioned on pronounced plinths. Similar buttress-es can also be seen on the axes of the southern and northern façades of the chapels, the spaces between them occupied by round-arch windows. The chapel façades are topped with triangu-lar gables surmounted by small pediments resting on cornices. The northern chapel gable is adorned with a volute-shaped coping.

Tall, three-stepped buttresses support the corners of the tower. The tower is divided by plas-terwork string courses into five distinct storeys; at the lower levels, the string courses are inter-rupted at the corners by the massive buttresses. The walls of the individual storeys of the tow-er are adorned by blind windows, their surfaces covered with plaster. The blind windows gracing the uppermost storey are topped with paired, round arches.

A commemorative plaque in the form of an aedicula, incorporating the coat of arms of Wawrzyniec Rzuc and the date 1592, is embedded in the southern façade of the tower, above the first-floor level.

Limited access to the monument. The interiors can be explored immediately before and after church service. It can be viewed from outside.

compiled by Piotr Dąbrowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Toruń, 14-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. 11, Województwo bydgoskie, issue 1: Powiat ale-ksandrowski, T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki (eds.), Warsaw 1969, pp. 18-19.
  • Rozynkowski W, Z dziejów kościelnych Nieszawy, [in:] Dzieje Nieszawy, vol. 1: Do roku 1945, Toruń, 2004, pp. 259-322.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nieszawa
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district aleksandrowski, commune Nieszawa
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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