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Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, Nowosielce
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene



The church in Nowosielce is an example of a wooden sacred building from the late 16th century, inspired by architecture of wooden Gothic temples, both in terms of structural solutions and a spatial pattern. When it comes to this design, strong historical traditions exhibited by a building that functioned as a peasant fortress and was defended effectively against foes, are important here as well.


The town of Nowosedlcze was mentioned for the first time in the documents confirming the granting thereof to Franciszek of Marszowice by Duke Władysław Opolczyk in 1372. In 1384 the owner of the village, Katarzyna, widow of the Franciszek mentioned above, endowed the parish with a fief of land and an island situated in front of the church and assigned to serve as a parish house. The current temple, probably the second in turn, was consecrated in 1595. In 1624 residents of the village took shelter in the church when defending the area against the Tatar cavalry (according to the tradition, the church was a fortress equipped with four falconets, surrounded by water on three sides and by tall earthen ramparts on the fourth). Nondescript renovation works took place in the years 1801-1802 and focused on a belfry. In the years 1871-1877 the church was subject to a full-scale renovation (roofs were covered with new wood shingles, while altars, pulpit, baptismal font and music gallery were renovated). Subsequent, small-scale renovations were carried out in the years 1903, 1913 and 1920. The church was renovated also in 1936 and a mound was heaped up in its immediate vicinity as a commemoration of an effective defence against the Tatars, organised by the commune head Michał Pyrz in 1624. Subsequent renovations were conducted in the years 1955 and 1984-1985. In the 1990s the ground floor of the tower was altered by adding a stone vestibule with buttresses on corners.


The church is oriented, located on top of a hill, in the eastern part of the village. It is surrounded by a wooden fence with a roof clad with wood shingles. Old tree stands have remained within the fenced area. Apart from the fence, the northern part of the hill is occupied by M. Pyrz mound. The church consists of a single-space, rectangular nave (preceded by a square vestibule in front of the tower) and a narrower, rectangular chancel terminating in a semi-hexagon in the east. The chancel is adjoined by a rectangular sacristy in the north. A tall, starling belfry is a dominating element in the temple’s body. The nave and chancel with walls of equal height are covered with a tall gable roof with a common roof ridge, lowering in three slopes over the terminating vista of the chancel. Slopes at the meeting point of the nave and the narrower chancel are seamlessly folded. The sacristy is covered with a gable roof. The nave and the chancel are circumscribed by cloister-type walkways resting on pillars with braces, only discontinued in the place where the sacristy is located. There is a small, hexagonal steeple turret, clad with sheet metal, on the roof ridge at the meeting point of the nave and chancel. The tower, with its walls narrowing towards the top, is crowned with a starling and covered with a hip, mansard roof. Lower parts of the tower are protected by pronounced roofing. All roofs and the tower are covered with wood shingles; walls of the church and the starling of the tower have vertical weatherboarding. The church was made of wood, based on a log structure, while the tower was based on a post-and-frame structure. The new ground floor of the tower is made of stone. The walls of the nave and the chancel are reinforced with clamps. The roof truss features a king-post structure. The door leading from the chancel to the sacristy is made of iron and features fittings with an inclined chequered pattern, with hinges and a lock (most probably from the 17th century); window openings are rectangular. The interior features a flat ceiling without upper logs. The central part of the nave features two large, wooden posts supporting transverse and longitudinal crossbeams bearing the ceiling. The rood beam has visualisations of the Passion of Christ. A choir gallery, supported by two profiled posts with tall plinths, has a projecting, wavy parapet. There are ornamental paintings on the walls and the ceiling. Fixtures from the Rococo period have survived: the main altarpiece and two side altars from the years 1773-1775, a pulpit, a baptismal font and decoration of the music gallery from the second half of the 18th century.

The building is available for viewing from the outside all year round; interior tours upon prior telephone appointment.

compiled by Ryszard Kwolek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow, 10-16-2014.


  • Brykowski R., Drewniana architektura kościelna w diecezji przemyskiej, „Nasza Przeszłość” XLVI, 1976
  • Chrzanowski T., Kornecki M., Zabytki plastyki gotyckiej w diecezji przemyskiej, „Nasza Przeszłość”, XLVI, 1976
  • Jedynak W., Parafia Nowosielce w latach 1870-1939, Łańcut 1996

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: ok. 1595 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nowosielce
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district przeworski, commune Przeworsk
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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