Seminar church of St Peter and St Paul the Apostles, Nysa
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Seminar church of St Peter and St Paul the Apostles

Nysa

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The church of St Peter and St Paul in Nysa is one of the masterpieces of Baroque architecture in Silesia. The building was designed by Michał Klain who also directed the construction works. His project was continued by Feliks Antoni Hammerschmidt. The church features an exceptionally sumptuous stucco decoration and trompe l’œil painted decorations on the vaulting, created by brothers Krzysztof Tomasz and Feliks Antoni Scheffler.

History

In 1231, bishop Wawrzyniec and wójt (village head) of Nysa Walter founded a hospital of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by which, in 1231, monks of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre were settled. In 1346, the monks erected a new monastery and a church of Our Lady of Rosary, burned down in 1428 by the Hussites. New buildings of the monastery complex came into being in 1434, by Rynek Solny, but in 1622, bishop Karol Habsburg handed them over to Jesuits. In return, the monks of the Holy Sepulchre received the church of St Peter and St Paul, and a corner house on Bracka Street.

The wooden monastery of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre built in this place was replaced, at the initiative of provost Urban Kasper Stenzl, by the present building, erected in the years 1708-1713. Next to it, in the years 1720-1727, the present church of St Peter and St Paul, based on a design by Michał Klein, was built. Owing to the efforts of provost Eliasz Klose, in 1730 Tomasz and Feliks A. Scheffler created the painted decorations in the interior.

After the order was dissolved, in the years 1811-1814 the building was closed. Only in 1848, the monastery was taken over by the Sisters of Mercy of St Borromeo. After 1945, the church and the monastery were used by a seminary. Currently, the church is used as a parish church, and the monastery building - as a retreat house.

Description

The church of St Peter and St Paul in Nysa, forming part of the monastery complex of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, was built within the line of the buildings of Bracka Street. The church is oriented, made of brick, and plastered. It is a single-nave structure, with rows of chapels and galleries on the sides, and two towers in the western façade. The wide and short chancel has a semi-hexagonal termination. The nave has three bays, with the fourth, slightly narrower bay housing a choir located between the towers. By the northern chapel, built by the chancel, there is a two-storey, rectangular, single-bay annex, which - on the ground floor level - contains two rooms of the sacristy and residential rooms on the upper storeys. The body of the church is topped with a gable roof with a multi-faceted termination over the chancel. The towers are covered with quadrangular, bulbous tented roofs with lanterns.

The lower section of the church façades is separated with a pronounced stone plinth. The front façade and the five-axial side façades are decorated in the same manner. On the bottom storey level, there are rusticated strips forming plinths of composite pilaster pairs. The pilasters support segmented entablature and a profiled crowning cornice on the upper storey. Window openings on the bottom storey level are quatrefoil in shape, while in the top storey they feature semicircular arches stucco decoration. The western façade is tripartite, with a three-storey central part, slightly projecting ahead of the wall face and embraced by four-storey towers. In the southern façade, there are portals - the central one, flanked with pairs of composite column supporting entablature and a balcony, and the eastern one - with sculptures of St Peter and St Paul.

The church interior is covered with a sail vault in the nave, chapels, and galleries, and a hemispherical vault in the chancel. The chapels and the galleries open to the interior with semi-circular arcades. The walls are partitioned with pilasters supporting segmented entablature. Inside the church, there are surviving lavish Baroque fittings as well as stucco and sculpture decoration, and painted decorations created by brothers Tomasz and Feliks A. Scheffler.

The building is accessible to visitors.

compiled by Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 09-12-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. 7: Województwo opolskie, z. 9: Powiat nyski, oprac. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warszawa 1962, s. 104-113.
  • Thullie C., Zabytki architektoniczne województw katowickiego i opolskiego. Przewodnik, Katowice 1969, s. 53, 54, 170-171.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, red. zbiorowa, Warszawa 2006, s. 619-621.
  • Zalewski Z., Nysa. Śląski Rzym, Opole 2007, s. 22-25.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1720 - 1727
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bracka 18, Nysa
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district nyski, commune Nysa - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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