Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Oporowo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Oporowo

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The church was built in c. mid-17th century. It has a timber frame structure with brick infill. The walls are covered with plaster. On the west side, it is adjoined by a tower, built at a later date. In 1870, it underwent full-scale renovations, supervised by A. Lange from Wrocław. The church boasts rich interior fittings dating from the 17th and 18th century. In the nave, there is an impressive candelabrum having the shape of a mandorla surrounding a free-standing statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Immaculate Conception, made at the time of the construction of the church.

History

The parish was mentioned in written records for the first time in 1310, and a local parish-priest was mentioned in 1378. The first parish church, dedicated to Saints Martin and Clement, was probably built as early as in the 13th century. In the years 1564-84, it was in the hands of Protestants. After it was returned to Catholics, it was dismantled in the 1st half of the 17th century due to its state of preservation.

The construction of a new church, to be dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was commenced in 1640. The new building was founded by Jan Śmigielski. The church was consecrated in 1644. It was granted parish rights a year later. At the beginning of the 19th century, Józef Morawski financed the construction a tower, which was built onto the church façade, a porch on the south side of the church, and probably also a chapel, situated by the south section of the wall surrounding the church. The church was renovated in 1870, which was an initiative by Rev. Wojciech Morawski. The works were supervised by the architect A. Lange from Wrocław. They included executing interior wall paintings, which were removed in the 1950s. During World War II, the church was closed to worshippers. The church underwent numerous renovation and conservation works after 1945, e.g. in the years 1951-52, 1954 (removal of the wall paintings executed in 1870), 1987-88 (renovations of the window woodwork), 1991 (renovations of the façades and part of the roof), and 1992 (renovation and conservation of the pipe organ).

Description

The church is situated in the southern part of the village, in a small square having an irregular, polygonal shape, where local roads leading to Pawłowice (west), Grabówiec (north), and Czarkowo (south) meet. The church is enclosed with a wall having gates on the east and west sides. Behind the wall, there is a former graveyard and a path running around the church yard. Along the wall, there are solitary large trees and graves. There are also some graves by the chancel façade. By the south section of the wall, partially embedded into it, there is a chapel featuring Neoclassical architectural decoration. The church is linked to a palace complex located on its west side, across the Grabówiec-Czarkowo road (the gate leading to the church yard from the east is located on the axis of the entrance gate of the palace complex). To the north of the church, there is a rectory.

The church is oriented to the east; it has one nave, without aisles. The nave, having a rectangular floor plan, is adjoined by a narrower chancel terminating in a polygon. On the west side, there is a tower having a nearly square floor plan. The nave is adjoined by a rectangular porch on the north side. On the east side, there is a sacristy, which adjoins the chancel.

The one-storeyed body of the church has a complex structure made up of cuboids. The nave and the chancel (lower and narrower) are covered with tall gable roofs. The extended northern plane of the chancel roof covers the adjoining sacristy. The north porch has a mono-pitched roof and the south porch has a flat roof with a parapet. The tower adjoining the nave on the west side is higher than the main body of the church — it has two storeys. It has a low roof surmounted by an obelisk topped with a cross on a sphere.

The church has a timber frame structure with brick, plastered infill. The tower and the south porch are made of brick. Their walls are covered with plaster. The roofs over the nave, the chancel, and the sacristy are covered with wood shingles. The roof over the north porch is covered with roofing felt. The interior walls of the nave and the chancel are covered with horizontally-positioned weatherboards. The walls inside the porches, the sacristy, and the tower are covered with plaster. The nave and the presbytery have wooden coffered ceilings. The sacristy has a beamed ceiling; the north porch has a ceiling made of wooden boards. The porch at the ground floor of the tower and the south porch are covered with ceramic ceilings covered with plaster.

The façades of the nave, the polygonally-terminated chancel, the sacristy, and the north porch have a frame structure with brick plastered infill, with tall, rectangular, segmental-arched window openings. The façades of the tower and the south porch are made of brick and covered with plaster.

On the central axis of the west façade rises the tall, two-storeyed tower, having brick plastered walls. The lower storey is separated from the upper storey with a stepped string course. The corners are decorated with pilasters. The west façade at the ground floor level has a round-arched door opening, above which there is a niche having the same shape. At the second level, there is a window opening, also having the same shape, above which there are two round openings, one of which is walled up.

The church has one nave (with no aisles). The narrower chancel is separated from the nave by means of a round rood arch with a horizontal rood beam from 1640, adorned with a crucifix and sculptures of Our Lady of Sorrows and St Mary Magdalene. The coffers of the nave and chancel ceilings are decorated with a star motif. In the east wall of the chancel, there is a founder’s loge opening to the interior with a round arch and enclosed with a balustrade decorated with plant motifs. In the western part of the nave, there is a music gallery supported by two piers. In the chancel, there is a Late-Baroque main altar from the 4th quarter of the 18th century, incorporating a painting of Mary with Child from 1640 in the centre (the silver dress comes from c. 1700) and a painting of St Stanislaus at the top. The two side altars situated nearby the rood arch come from the years 1720-30. The nave features an impressive candelabrum with a free-standing sculpture of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Immaculate Conception standing on a dragon, surrounded by a forged plant-scroll mandorla, with radially arranged candle holders flanking the figure and two rings of candle holders — a smaller, six-branched one at the top and a larger, sever-branched one at the bottom.

The historic monument is accessible. The church can be visited every day half an hour between each Holy Mass. More information is available on the website of the parish: www.parafiaoporowo.cba.pl (accessed on: 3-11-2015 r.)

compiled by Anna Dyszkant, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 03-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, koncepcja, opracowanie tekstów i wybór fotografii Piotr Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2004, s. 184-187.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V: Województwo poznańskie, z. 12: Powiat leszczyński, oprac. T. Ruszczyńska, A. Sławska, Warszawa 1975, s. 45-48.
  • Zgodziński B., Województwo leszczyńskie, Warszawa-Poznań 1989, s. 268-269.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1640-1644
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Oporowo 37
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district leszczyński, commune Krzemieniewo
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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