Bell tower, Nysa
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The bell tower in Nysa is one of few surviving free-standing medieval structures of that type both in Opole region as well as all over Poland. Its façades feature sumptuous Gothic decoration.

In 2011, pursuant to a regulation of the President of the Republic of Poland, it was inscribed together with the parish church on the list of monuments of history - Nysa, complex of the parish church of St James the Greater and St Anges the Virgin and Martyr.


The construction of the bell tower started in the late 15th century (in 1474, the cornerstone was laid). At that time, two first storeys were built. The third one was added in 1493. Although the tower was to be even higher, its fourth and - as it turned out - last storey was built in 1516, when Jan Thurzo acted as the parish priest in Nysa. The bell tower was covered with a temporary roof which was destroyed during a fire in 1542. In the late 19th century, a turret with an external staircase was added to the structure.

In 1945, as a result of war hostilities, the tower was severely damaged. In 1960-1961, conservation works were carried out and in 2004, the tower was adapted for museum purposes.


The bell tower is located in the centre of the old town, by the north-western corner of the church of St James and St Agnes. From the west, it neighbours Wrocławska Street, and from the south - the market square.

It was built on a quadrilateral floor plan, close in shape to a square. It has four storeys and is made of stone (split and cut stone), with brick infills. The corners of the tower are embraced by buttresses. In the 19th century, a brick staircase was built at the south-western buttress. The top section of the bell tower forms an observation terrace.

The façades of the structure are articulated with cornices between storeys and - up to the level of the second storey - window openings on the axis. Window openings in the southern façade are located on all levels.

The Late Gothic style of the building is accentuated by sumptuous façade decorations. At the level of the bottom storey, buttresses are adorned with tracery, crockets and finials, as well as diversified elements documenting the individual stages of the construction, such as: coat of arms cartouche, inscriptions with dates, and a stonemason’s mark. In the upper storeys, there are trefoil panels on the buttresses.

In the past, the interior of the bell tower was divided into floors with bells. At present, bells can be found only at the level of the top storey, and the other storeys are occupied by a three-level, steel and glass gallery structure in which the Treasury of St James is presented - an exposition of goldsmithery of Nysa.

The historic building is accessible to visitors.

compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 18-11-2015.


  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. 7: Województwo opolskie, z. 9: Powiat nyski, red. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warszawa 1963.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury, Dzwonnica kościoła pw. św. Jakuba Starszego Apostoła i św. Agnieszki, oprac. Grajewski G., 2004, Archiwum Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa w Opolu.

General information

  • Type: belfry
  • Chronology: 1474 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: pl.Katedralny 7, Nysa
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district nyski, commune Nysa - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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