Filial church of St Catherine, currently of Our Lady of the Rosary, Niwiska
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Filial church of St Catherine, currently of Our Lady of the Rosary

Niwiska

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The church in Niwiska is a valuable example of an early-Gothic stone church of the rural type. It belongs to the group of buildings of that type which are best preserved in their original form in the Lubusz region. The church area is fenced with a wall with a Gothic gate.

History

The church was erected in the second half of the 13th century. In the years 1528-1668, it was taken over by Evangelicals. At that time, minor conversions were introduced to it, i.e. the windows were widened and galleries were installed inside. Also at that time, the wooden barrel vault over the chancel was replaced with a coffered ceiling. In 1766, the tower was topped with a tented roof, preserved to this day. In the late 19th century, wood shingles were replaced with ceramic tiles. After 1945, the church was taken over by Polish population. With time, it was abandoned, and the worship function in the village was assumed by a former Evangelical congregation. In the years 1964-1973, late-Gothic painted decorations in the interior were uncovered and subjected to conservation works. In 1974, the church was once again taken over by the parish.

Description

The church of Our Lady of the Rosary is located in the village centre, on a hill. The round church site is circumscribed with a stone wall with a rectangular, single-store Gothic gate covered with a hip roof. The church is oriented. It is an example of an early-Gothic style. The building is made of field stone and bog iron. It is of the single-nave type, with a separated rectangular chancel adjoined from the north by a tower with a sacristy. The nave and the chancel are covered with gable roofs, the three-storey tower is topped with a hip roof which in its upper section is formed as a spire. The roofs are clad with ceramic roof tiles and wood shingles on the tented roof of the tower. The façades are not plastered and multicoloured due to the used stone and bog iron. Only the reveals of window and door openings are covered with plasterwork. The original slit windows (chancel) and embrasures (tower) have survived, as well as two pointed-arch portals with wooden doors decorated with Gothic metal fittings (southern façade). The nave is covered with a wooden flat ceilings resting on three pillars which support also a unique Gothic roof truss. Over the chancel, there is a coffered ceiling, and in the sacristy section - a barrel vault. The northern walls of the nave and the chancel are adorned with late-Gothic painted decorations depicting Biblical scenes. Other elements of historical fittings include a wooden sculpture of the Blessed Virgin Mary from approx. 1520, a stone baptismal font from 1583, Renaissance and Baroque gravestones, and wooden galleries.

The site is open to the public. It can be visited by prior telephone arrangement.

compiled by Marta Kłaczkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 20-08-2015.

Bibliography

  • Garbacz K., Przewodnik po zabytkach województwa lubuskiego, Tom I, Zielona Góra 2011, s. 49-50.
  • Kowalski S., Zabytki architektury województwa lubuskiego, Zielona Góra 2010, s. 248.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Niwiska
  • Location: Voivodeship lubuskie, district zielonogórski, commune Nowogród Bobrzański - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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