Franciscan monastery, Oborniki
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Franciscan monastery

Oborniki

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The remains of the Franciscan monastery in Oborniki form an example of a relic of monastic architecture which, following the fall of the Second Polish Republic, became secularised and was used for different purposes than originally intended, ultimately resulting in the dilapidation of the buildings. The surviving remains of the monastery form the only trace of an ecclesiastical complex located within the historic, medieval part of town, exhibiting features typical for the buildings erected for religious orders in urban environments.

History

The Franciscan monastery in Oborniki is believed to have been established as early as 1259, having been funded by duke Bolesław the Pious and his wife Jolenta. Some historians believe that the monastery was in fact founded on two different occasions, in years 1252-1272 and, when the original charter has expired, in 1292, when the Oborniki monastery was mentioned during a meeting of the Franciscan friars in Bytom. These details notwithstanding, however, one can still safely conclude that the monastery in Oborniki was one of the first Franciscan monasteries in Poland.

The original monastery building is believed to have been a wooden structure. The surviving monastery wing, designed in the Late Baroque style, was erected along with the new church in 1768 as a brick structure. In 1814, the church was completely destroyed by the Russian forces. Following the liquidation of the order in 1820, the building was donated to the Evangelical community and converted into a Protestant chapel. Following the construction of a Protestant church in Oborniki in 1891, the former monastery was used as a storage facility. Today, the edifice remains in the hands of the municipal authorities.

In 1993, the building was damaged by fire which led to the complete destruction of the entire roof structure. As the years went by, the building was never subjected to any restoration or even temporary maintenance works, despite the instructions to do so issued by the Regional Monuments Conservator on numerous occasions. Recently, there have been talks of restoration of the building as part of the contemplated Warta promenade project.

Description

The surviving wing of the former monastery is located on the right bank of the Warta river, south of the town’s main market square. The building is a structure made of brick and field stone, its walls having originally been covered with plaster; it was designed on a rectangular floor plan and featured two storeys in total. Its facades follow a nine-axis design. The building was once covered with a gable roof which was, however, completely destroyed during a fire in 1993, with no attempts at reconstruction having been made ever since. The windows are rectangular in shape, with conspicuous traces of subsequent alterations. The façade features vertical divisions in the form of pilasters positioned at regular intervals between every second vertical row of windows. Double pilasters adorn the building’s corners. Horizontal divisions are achieved through the use of crowning cornices and a string course on the gable wall. One of the surviving gable walls features a Baroque outline and a bricked-up oculus. The upper part of the other gable wall has partially crumbled.

compiled by Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 31-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. 5, Woj. wielkopolskie, red. Ruszczyńska Teresa, Sławska Aniela, z. 15, Pow. obornicki, opr. I. Galicka I., Kaczorowska I., Sygietyńska H., Warszawa 1965.
  • Maćkowiak M., Kronika m. pow. Oborniki, Oborniki 1926.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa, Oborniki - klasztor, oprac. Kamiński Robert, 1984, Archiwum Wielkopolskiego Wojewódzkiego Konserwatora Zabytków w Poznaniu.

General information

  • Type: monastery
  • Chronology: 1768 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Oborniki
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district obornicki, commune Oborniki - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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