Parish Church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Adalbert, called the Church on the Hill, Opole
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Parish Church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Adalbert, called the Church on the Hill

Opole

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Built on the hill, the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Adalbert of Gothic provenance is one of the landmarks in the old town area of the city, hence the name "Church on the Hill" (Polish: Kościół Na Górce). The interior fittings of the church date back to various periods ranging from Gothic, through Baroque, to contemporary works of art.

History

The construction of the church on the hill is associated with the figure of St. Adalbert who was preaching there in the 10th century. Since 1254, the church has been raised to the rank of a parish church (in 1295, there rights were transferred to the Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross). According to some sources, the construction of a monastery for the Dominicans, to whom the church on the hill was transferred, began in 1295. The construction of a masonry church began in the early 14th century, and its consecration took place in 1361. The church was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sts. George, Adalbert, Dominic and Anne. In 1430, the church was again consecrated most probably because of the construction of the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Częstochowa.

In the 16th and 17th century, the friars abandoned the church and the monastery several times. There were also fires and subsequent work on the reconstruction of the church. The early 18th century saw its thorough renovation involving, among others, baroquisation of the interior and probably construction of the tower over the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Częstochowa.

In 1811, the monastery buildings were transformed into a hospital and warehouse, and the church was used until 1820 as a lower secondary school church, and then as a pastoral church. Another full-scale renovation to the church took place in 1931-1938 and involved simplifying the west façade.

Description

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Adalbert was erected on a limestone slope in the immediate vicinity of the old town walls, east of the Market Square buildings. To the south-east of it there are former monastery buildings, now occupied by the University of Opole, and to the north-west the church adjoins a former cemetery.

It is oriented towards the east, built as a three-aisle basilica with an elongated four-bay buttressed chancel closed off on three sides. The chancel adjoins a quadrangular sacristy with an oratory on the upper storey to the south and the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Częstochowa closed off on three sides to the north. The body of the church is preceded by semi-elliptical stairs to the west and adjoins porches to the north and south.

The church is built of brick, on a base course used to even out the difference in the height of the area. The body of the church and the chancel are covered with a gable roof with eyelid dormers over the nave. The chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Częstochowa is surmounted by a three-storey octagonal tower covered with a bulbous cupola with a lantern.

The façades of the church are smoothly plastered with frame decoration in the tower and simplified decoration of the western façade with pilasters flanking the central axis and an arcaded frieze in its finial. In addition, the façades are articulated with buttresses (in the chancel and chapel) and window openings, including pointed-arch openings with reconstructed tracery and profiled mullions in the chancel and round-arched openings in the body of the church.

The chancel is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes decorated with painted plafonds (E. Fey), the central and southern aisle with groin vaults separated by arches, while the northern aisle with a cross-ribbed vault. The chancel walls are partitioned with pilasters. The entrance to the chapel Blessed Virgin Mary of Częstochowa was framed by a Baroque portal with paintings and modern grillwork (Marian Nowak) placed therein. In the western bay of the main aisle, there is an overhanging choir gallery with a stucco sill. The interior décor complements fittings dating, among others, from the period of baroquisation of the church, including the main altar, regency side altars and pulpit, set of paintings and sculptures from the 18th and 19th century, and nineteenth-century pipe organ casing, into which Baroque sculptures were incorporated.

The building is open to visitors.

compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 04-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. VII, Województwo opolskie, issue 11: Miasto Opole i powiat opolski, T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki (eds.), Warsaw 1968, pp. 21-26.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury- kościół podominikański pw. Matki Boskiej Bolesnej i św. Wojciecha - „Na Górce”, prepared by Dariusz Stoces, PG, 2005, Archives of the Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Opole

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: ok. połowy XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Plac Kopernika 12, Opole
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district Opole, commune Opole
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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