Monastery complex of Bernardines, Ostrołęka
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Monastery complex of Bernardines



The monastery complex of the Bernardines, dating back to 1666, is a valuable example of scared architecture of the Baroque period. 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.


In 1665 Tomasz Gocłowski began the construction of a church, which was consecrated in 1696 and dedicated to St Anthony. At the same time, a monastery was erected. Some of the utility buildings of the monastery were damaged in 1704, while the monastery and church in 1708. Before 1752 cloisters with a calvary were erected. In the years 1763-1764 renovation works were carried out. Floors of marble slabs were laid down in the church. They were founded by Antoni Brukowski. In the years 1762-1765 the wall painting of the church was created by Walenty Żebrowski, a monastic painter. The church and monastery were severely damaged in the 1770s and subject to renovation in the late 18th century. The monastery was damaged in 1831, later repaired. A full-scale renovation of the church was carried out in the years 1848-1855 to the design by architect Henryk Marconi, collaborating with builders of the Ostrołęka Poviat, August Pelletier and Wilhelm Arnold. The Bernardine Order was abolished in 1864. In the years 1906-1911 the wall paintings were restored. W the years 1915-1917 the monastery was transformed into a military hospital. The church and the calvary erected in the Baroque style, the monastery was initially Baroque, currently it bears resemblance to no style.


The complex is situated in the north-eastern part of the city, in the area demarcated by Gomulicki, Staszic, Bogusławski and Wójt Roma Streets. It consists of an oriented church preceded by a yard surrounded by cloisters and a post-monastery building adjoining it from the south. The church is a brick building with plastered walls. It has a form of a basilica with a transept. A corpus was set on a rectangular floor plan; a two-bay nave terminating in pairs of shallow chapels opening towards the nave and connected with each other. A narrower presbytery with a straight ending section, with two bays of unequal depth. In a corner between a chancel and a northern wing of a transept there is a treasury set on a rectangular floor plan. The building has one storey with a basement extending under the entire building, with lower chapels and a low annex from the north and one-storey cloisters at the façade. Gable roof over the nave and the chancel; three-sloped roof over the transept and a shed roof over the cloister and chapels. The front façade is a two-storey structure, partially obstructed by a cloister including a porch. The cloister wall is partitioned by pilasters, crowned with chamfered cornice. Partitioned by four double pilasters supporting breaking imposts and profiled cornices with dentils. The second storey is accentuated on the sides by volutes and crowned with a triangular gable. A segment-headed window along the axis; semi-circularly terminating niches in side fields. A gable with cornices, partitioned by two lesenes, with two windows arranged in zones, three segment-headed niches and two oculi. Side façades of the corpus, chancel and chapels without partitions, with a low plinth, crowned with a chamfered cornice. Segment-headed windows. Walls in the interior partitioned by Tuscan pilasters; naves and chancel partitioned by even, supporting pilasters, encompassing entablature with a serrated cornice. Chapel arcades with profiled archvolts resting on small pilasters, whose cornices encompass the chapel interior. Barrel vault with lunettes on pairs of arches in the nave and chancel; barrel vault on arches in the transept arms, chapels and passages between them; cross-barrel vault under the choir gallery. There is courtyard with a calvary along the church façade axis, enclosed with cloisters on three sides. Cloisters along the front façade function as a porch. The monastery building abuts on the front façade of the church and chancel from the south. The building is made of brick, plastered, on a rectangular floor plan, with a small, square garth in the middle; it has one and a half bays with rooms along the corridor that circumcises the garth. The northern wing includes a corridor extended along the church corpus and linked with cloisters in front of its front façade. A refectory is located in the south-eastern corner. A rectangular utility building was added to the south and west façade. The monastery building has two-storeys and a basement in the part under the eastern and southern wing. Covered with a gable roof and pent roof over the south-western part. East façade has eight axes; on the south corner it is obscured by the utility building; it has a low plinth and is crowned with a chamfered cornice. A wide, segment-headed entrance, accentuated by two simplified pilasters crowned with a segmented pediment. Rectangular, segment-headed windows (the extreme one was walled-up). South façade arranged similarly as the east one, also includes eight axes. Four wall dormers in the roof part. West façade has four axes on the ground floor and five axes on the upper floor; in the southern part it is obstructed by the utility building; it has a plinth and is crowned with a profiled cornice, rectangular windows and an entrance. South façade at the church front façade has three axes and low plinth; it is crowned with a profiled cornice. It is accentuated by a pilaster extending over the cornice and crowned with a decorative profiled cornice with dentils. Rectangular openings.

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: monastery
  • Chronology: 1666-1696
  • 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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