Evangelical garrison church, currently Roman Catholic parish of the Holy Virgin Mary the Queen of Poland and Holy Archangels, Olsztyn
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Evangelical garrison church, currently Roman Catholic parish of the Holy Virgin Mary the Queen of Poland and Holy Archangels



An example of neo-Gothic architecture from the early 20th century, characteristic of former Eastern Prussia, referring to Gothic tradition of brick construction, as well as an interesting example of a comprehensive composition resulting in a uniform style of the architecture and interior fittings created at the same time.


The Evangelical garrison church in Olsztyn (in German: Allenstein) was designed in 1909 by an architect from Berlin, Ludwik Dihm, and built in years 1913–1915. Ludwig Dihm was also the creator of the interior fittings concept and he re-designed the porch, adapting it to serve as a place of commemoration of German soldiers fallen during the World War I (Kriegergedächtnishalle). Construction works were carried out by companies from Olsztyn. After 1945, the church was taken over by the Polish army and a garrison Roman-Catholic parish was created there. Spacious balcony galleries originally positioned along the length of side naves were removed, and fitting elements were introduced, resulting from the change of nationality and denomination (wall painting and side altars). Also the arrangement of the church in the surrounding landscape was changed — in the early 1960s, stairs placed originally on the hill slope, in the front of the entrance to the church were dismantled. Currently, the stairs are located on the side. The garrison parish operated until 2009.


The church is located on the western side of an old municipal complex, on a hill between the complex of the chapter of Warmia castle and a railway line. Its location ensures good visibility of the church — it towers above the immediate surroundings. The building is neo-Gothic in style, made of brick, features hall layout with a transept. It is a three-nave church with very narrow side naves. The body is comprised of four bays and one-bay chancel with a straight ending section, directed towards south-west. The wall enclosing the chancel is directly adjoined on the axis by a low rectangular annex housing sacristy. The church's body is compact, with a symmetrical layout of masses. The entrance section of the body was elaborated in the form of a cubic edifice (westwerk) with a porch on the ground floor, preceded by turrets flanking a balcony resting on an open pointed-arch opening. The entrance section is topped with twin domes covered with sheet metal; the roof of the body is laid with ceramic roof tiles. The façades are made of tapestry brick, accentuated by pointed-arch openings and plastered blind windows, the ending section of the chancel and the transept are topped with elaborate stepped gables with blind windows and openings on individual axes (openings are pointed-arch or circular); also the sacristy annex has its own gable. The church's front façade features the entrance on the axis (twin doors with rosettes above, framed by a pointed-arch niche), and is accentuated by rhythmically arranged blind windows of various height on individual storeys, and narrow openings. The bottom section of side façade features a row of low rectangular windows whose top sections are formed as segmental arches, and over them — large pointed-arch windows — such an arrangement of openings corresponds to the original concept of the two storeys of the interior, separated by galleries in side naves. The wall closing the chancel features two round windows. The façades are decorated with brick architectural detail, particularly variegated in the front façade, within the entrance section. The church's interior is divided into three naves by massive columns, the porch and main nave are covered with a lierne vault, the side sections of the transept — with a groin vault, and over the chancel — with a tripartite vault. Preserved elements of neo-Gothic fittings of the church from the time of its construction, made by artists from Berlin, include, among other things: a sculptured main altar with the Last Supper, as well as a crucifix crowing the altar (sculptor Hugo Bürger, painter Peter (?) Rief), painting decoration of the chancel, presenting the 12 Apostles (design by Walldorf, P. Asbach, work most probably by P. Asbach), a set of ornamental stained glass windows designed by the said two artists (made by : "Gessler", Berlin), and ambo by master of carpentry Plato ("Weiss" company; the set includes also stalls in the chancel). The fittings also include, among other things, a pipe organ casing made by a renown company from Elbląg, "August Terletzki — owner Eduard Wittek" and a set of external and internal doors with decorative fittings by the company of Gustaw Carl and August Schmidt from Olsztyn. The preserved bell from 1924 comes from the bell foundry of C.F. Ulrich in Apoldia (Thuringia, Germany). The stained glass windows in the porch feature a motif of oak leaves, common in the iconography of the World War I, were founded by Walter Sperl, an entrepreneur from Olsztyn and the owner of a mill located near the church. The post-war wall painting in the main nave, picturing, inter alia, Polish rulers and saints, originate from the years 1957–1958.

Porch opened during daytime, which makes it possible to see the church's interior.

Compiled by Joanna Piotrowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn, 4.07.2014.


  • Zespół Prowincjonalny Konserwator Zabytków Sztuki i Historii w Prusach Wschodnich, Archiwum Państwowe w Olsztynie, sygn. 367/19.
  • L. Dihm, Die evangelische Garnisonkirche mit Kriegergedächtnishalle in Allenstein, “Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung” 39, 1919, nr 7-9.
  • A. Funk, Geschichte der Stadt Allenstein von 1348 bis 1943, Aalen 1979, s.266.
  • E. Vogelsang, Aus der Geschichte der evangelischen Garnisonkirche und Garnisongemeinde in Allenstein, “Allensteiner Heimatbrief” 220, 1995.
  • A. Rzempołuch, Architektura i urbanistyka Olsztyna 1353-1953. Od założenia miasta po odbudowę ze zniszczeń wojennych, Olsztyn 2005, s.125-127.
  • R. Bętkowski, Zamkowe młyny, „Debata”, 3(18), 2009.
  • R. Bętkowski, Olsztyn jakiego nie znacie, Olsztyn 2010, s.195-196.
  • Zespół kart ewidencyjnych części wyposażenia ruchomego kościoła, aut. J. Piotrowska, 2008, Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków w Olsztynie.
  • Informacje prezentowane na tablicy poświęconej historii kościoła.
  • http://architekturmuseum.ub.tu-berlin.de (zdigitalizowane projekty i widoki kościoła autorstwa L. Dihma przechowywane w Muzeum Architektury w Bibliotece Uniwersyteckiej Uniwersytetu Technicznego w Berlinie).

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1913-1915
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kromera , Olsztyn
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district Olsztyn, commune Olsztyn
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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