Parish Church of St Andrew, Nowa Wieś Królewska
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Parish Church of St Andrew

Nowa Wieś Królewska

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The church is one of the oldest examples of wooden ecclesiastical architecture in Greater Poland. It is the only Late-Gothic wooden church in this region (such architecture being typical of Southern Lesser Poland). The construction of the church was probably financed by the king. Inside, there are fittings dating from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The main altar incorporates a Late-Gothic sculpture of Madonna and Child with Saint Anne from the early 16th century. Another notable element is the elaborate Crucifixion group on the rood beam, dating from the 1st half of the 16th century. It includes an image of Crucified Jesus and sculptures of Our Lady of Sorrows, St John the Evangelist, St Mary Magdalene, and two soldiers.

History

Nowa Wieś Królewska was a royal estate for many centuries. A local parish was established here in the 2nd half of the 14th century (the oldest mention indicating its existence dates from 1360), which was the king’s initiative. The village was referred to as part of the Crown lands until the late 18th century. Thus, it is very probable that the church in Nowa Wieś Królewska was founded by the king. It is assumed that it was constructed in the period between 1550 and 1580. The majority of the works were probably carried out by a carpentry workshop brought from Lesser Poland, which provided services to the royal court. The church was renovated before 1658; the works included the replacement of the wood shingles covering the roof and the restoration of the church fittings. Inspection documents from 1696 suggest that the church and the free-standing bell tower required renovation. The church was extended before 1737. A tower was built onto the west wall of the nave. Most probably, the sacristy on the north side of the church and the porch were also added at that time. The walls were covered with weatherboards. In the late 18th and early 19th century, the church was in poor condition. Full-scale renovation works were carried out in the 1st half of the 19th century (the walls were reinforced with vertical supports and posts supporting the side ceiling beams were introduced, among other things). During the next renovations, carried out between 1973 and 1979, pieces of 16th-century wall paintings were discovered on the chancel walls.

Description

The Church of St Andrew is located in the south-eastern part of the village, by a road connecting Września with Pyzdry and Kalisz. The surrounding area (a former graveyard) is enclosed with a wooden fence.

The church has no aisles. The chancel terminates in a semi-hexagon on the east side. A rectangular annex containing a porch and a sacristy adjoins the nave and the chancel on the north side. The square tower with a porch at the ground floor level, slightly narrower than the nave, adjoins the church on the west side. The nave and the chancel have a common gable roof. The sacristy and the porch are covered with an extended section of the north plane of that roof. The dominant element of the building is the two-storeyed tower. The storeys are separated with a wide skirt roof running around the tower. The tower is topped with a tall hip roof crowned with a cross.

The church has a wooden log structure reinforced with vertical supports. The tower has a post-and-frame structure and the porch has a post-and-beam structure. The walls are covered with weatherboards. The roofs are covered with wood shingles. Inside, there is a wooden ceiling. The extended upper logs of the chancel side walls run along the entire length of the nave; they are supported by a pair of posts.

The exterior walls of the church are covered with vertically-positioned boards. The doors and the windows, having various sizes, are rectangular and framed by wooden surrounds.

The rectangular opening between the chancel and the nave is marked by a profiled rood beam. On top of the beam, there is an elaborate Crucifixion group from the 1st half of the 16th century, including an image of Crucified Jesus and sculptures of Our Lady of Sorrows, St John the Evangelist, St Mary Magdalene, and two soldiers. In the chancel, there is a decorative reinforcing beam supported by a pair of posts. The chancel walls are adorned with 16th-century paintings (with ornamental motifs, part of a figure of an unknown saint, and St Michael the Archangel). The ground floor level of the tower contains a music gallery. The church has predominantly Late-Renaissance fittings from c. 1640. The main altar features a Late-Gothic sculpture of Madonna and Child with Saint Anne from the early 16th century and a 17th-century painting of St Andrew at the top. The side altar incorporates a sculpture of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and a relief depicting St George fighting against a dragon at the top.

The church is open to visitors. More information about the parish and the Holy Mass schedule can be found on the website of the Gniezno Archdiocese: www.archidiecezja.pl.

compiled by Krzysztof Jodłowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 04-08-2015.

Bibliography

  • Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, koncepcja, teksty i wybór fotografii P. Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2004, s. 170.
  • Inwentarz drewnianej architektury sakralnej w Polsce, z. 4a : kościoły w Wielkopolsce XVI w., oprac. M. Pawlaczyk, Wrocław [i in.] 1985, s. 61-70.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. V, z. 29: powiat wrzesiński, Warszawa 1960, s. 11-12.
  • Ruszczyk G., Architektura drewniana w Polsce, Warszawa 2009, s. 530.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1550-1580
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nowa Wieś Królewska
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district wrzesiński, commune Września - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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