Filial church of St Michael, Olesno
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Filial church of St Michael

Olesno

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The filial church of St Michael constitutes an example of a church located within a fortified settlement, with Gothic architecture and interior re-designed in the Baroque style.

History

The original church of St Michael the Archangel within the fortified settlement of Oleśno was consecrated in 1226 by bishop of Wrocław Wawrzyniec. In 1374, duke of Opole Władysław II granted to Lateran canons regular of the rule of St Augustine from Wrocław the right of patronage over the parish and church in Oleśno. In the same year, the present, brick Gothic church was built, by which the first monastery school was created.

After fires in 1568 and 1642, the church was modified. In 1657, new vaults with stucco decoration were added, and by the eastern bay of the nave, the southern chapel (1642), and the northern chapel (1663) were built. After the extreme fires in 1722 and 1745, the church was reconstructed in its present shape with a high tower which, due to significant cracks in the structure, was dismantled in 1822. The new, 44-metre tower was built only in the years 1856-1857 by the local stone mason, Franciszek Hanke.

In the 18th century, fittings destroyed in the fires were replenished. In 1770, the indebted order of St Augustine was dissolved, and after the Prussian secularisation, from 1810 to 1935, the church was used as a parish church of Oleśno. The next renovation works were carried out in the years 1896-1897, 1953-1954, and 1997-2002.

Description

The church of St Michael is made of brick and plastered. It is located at the north-western corner of the market square in Oleśno. It is circumscribed by a brick fence with wicked gates from the south and the east.

The rectangular nave of the church has a three-bay layout. By the eastern bay, there are: from the north, a chapel built on a square floor plan; from the south, a chapel on an irregular floor plan, elevated in relation to the church level, and a square tower. From the west, a porch was added. By the chancel, which is lower and narrower than the nave and terminates in a semi-hexagon, sacristies were built: from the north (the old sacristy) with an original choir on the first floor; and from the south (the new sacristy) with a loge. The church is embraced with stepped buttresses, between which on the southern wall of the chancel there is a niche with Gethsemane.

The body and the chancel are covered with gable roofs, the turret with a steeple and the neo-Romanesque tower with a tented roof.

The interior of the church is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes, resting on structural arches in the nave section. The vault of the chancel is adorned with stucco decoration. In the former sacristy, gallery, northern chapel, and western porch, there are barrel vaults with lunettes, and in the southern chapel there is a double barrel vault. The ground floor of the tower is covered with a multi-faceted vault with a lowered arch. The walls of the nave are partitioned with pronounced doubled pilasters supporting segmented entablature. The chapel, the former sacristy, and the choir open towards the church interior with arcades with semi-circular arches. Window openings in the end section of the chancel are of pointed-arch type. Other windows have semicircular aches - in the nave, they are framed by surrounds with keystones. In the entrance from the south, under the tower, there is a partially bricked-up Gothic portal from the 14th/15th century. The lavish Baroque fittings and décor of the church originate mainly from the 17th and the 18th century.

The site is accessible to visitors.

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

Bibliography

  • Cichoń E., Dedyk M., Olesno. Róża wśród lasów, Olesno 2008.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. 7: Województwo opolskie, z. 10: Powiat oleski, oprac. R. Linette, E. Linette, Warszawa 1959, s. 17-18.
  • Thullie C., Zabytki architektoniczne województw katowickiego i opolskiego. Przewodnik, Katowice 1969, s. 201.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, red. zbiorowa, Warszawa 2006, s. 627-628.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1375 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna 1, Olesno
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district oleski, commune Olesno - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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