Parish church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, Ostrołęka
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary



The brick church dates back to the 14th-17th century. Its construction was completed in 1785. It represents a valuable example of sacred architecture. Despite numerous alterations, the church has Gothic relics. The feature is deemed valuable for national architecture due to its spatial layout and architectural shape, of importance to the country and the history of architecture.


The first wooden church was founded in 1399 by Janusz I the Senior, Duke of Mazovia. It was burned down in 1565. Another wooden church was erected in the years 1564-1573 owing to funds of Wojciech Borukowski, parish parson of Ostrołęka. That church was burned down before 1609. In the years 1641-1658 a wooden nave and a masonry presbytery with a sacristy was erected owing to funds of Jan Ostrołęcki and the Zejdlic family. In the years 1739-1740 the construction of the masonry nave corpus took place to the design of architect named Bay. In 1751 a vault was installed in the sacristy. The finishing works took place in the years 1754-1784, along with the adding of a chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary and a treasury, replacement of sacristy walls and laying down roofs. Dedicated in 1773. In 1831 the roof burned down. Renovated in the mid 19th century, in 1873. In 1863 a turret was built for a steeple. In 1909 it underwent thorough renovation. Surrounded by a wall in 1934. During World War II the church was transformed into a prison, then to a cereals warehouse, finally to a tank workshop. Partially destroyed in 1944. The Germans demolished side naves erected before the war and a front part that lengthened the church. Religious services began to be conducted in the church only in 1957.


A chancel and a sacristy were erected in mid-17th century, in the Gothic style. The younger nave has features of the Baroque period. It is covered with a gable roof clad with sheet metal. There is an openwork, quadrangular turret for a steeple on a roof ridge over the nave. It is crowned with a lantern clad with sheet metal. The church is 39 metres long and 12 metres wide. It has one nave consisting of three bays. The chancel is narrower and has two bays. The chancel is adjoined by a rectangular sacristy in the west. The nave is widened from the west by a rectangular chapel and from the south traces of a demolished porch are visible. The walls are partitioned by shallow arcaded niches. They include three simplified Tuscan pilasters. Beyond them, there is a faintly outlined cornice. Beyond, over the nave niches, there are segment-headed windows. A presbytery is illuminated by two side windows with semicircular arches and one round window in the gable. Double strips reinforce the nave’s barrel vault. The strips run from above the double pilasters. The chancel has a barrel vault with lunettes, while a chapel has a groin vault. The choir gallery rests on two pillars.

The feature is open to visitors throughout the year.

Compiled by Katarzyna Kosior, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, 25-11-2014.


  • Atlas Zabytków Architektury w Polsce, H. Faryna - Paszkiewicz, M. Omilanowska, R. Pasieczny, Wydawnictwo naukowe PWN. Warszawa 2003 r.
  • J. Żabicki, Leksykon zabytków architektury Mazowsza i Podlasia, Arkady, Warszawa 2010 r.
  • Ks. W. Jemielity, Zabytki sakralne Ostrołęki, Łomża 1989 r.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Tom X Województwo Warszawskie, zeszyt 11 Ostrołęka i okolice, Instytut Sztuki PAN, Warszawa 1983 r.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XIV-XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Ostrołęka
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district Ostrołęka, commune Ostrołęka
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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