A shrine, the so-called Tatar Sign, Ostrów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A shrine, the so-called Tatar Sign



A shrine is an example of sacred landscape architecture. Such features were erected in the early modern era in the Red Ruthenian territory and the western part of the Lesser Poland in order to commemorate events of importance for local communities, such as invasions of enemy troops, which were often related to the cult of saints or Mother of God.


The shrine was erected in the 17th century, most probably following one of the Tatar invasions the Przemyśl region encountered several times in that period. The shrine stands in the southern part of the village, referred to as Kolonia (Colony), at a turning of the road leading across the former manor complex at the corner of St Mary Magdalene church area. We can speculate that the masonry roadside shrine was erected after one of the largest and most destructive Tatar incursions on the territory of the Crown, which took place in 1624. As a consequence of the Tatar invasion the village was burned down almost completely, along with all peasants’ houses, a mill and a local tserkva. The shrine may have been funded by the then owner of Ostrów, Jan Maciej Ostrowski. During the construction works of a new parish church in the years 1979-1981, fragments of human skeletons were found close to the shrine. We can presume that they belonged to local residents who were murdered by the Tatars or to peasants who were killed while fighting the invaders in the memorable year of 1624.


The column shrine is made of brick and plastered; it is located on the roadside in the southern part of Ostrów; it stands on a plinth within the area belonging to the St Mary Magdalene parish; it was painted in white. The shrine was erected on a square floor plan with three storeys and is crowned with a small cupola with a metal crucifix and its topping, the so-called “Tatar Sign” in the form of a six-pointed star accentuated by a crescent in the lower part. The walls of each storey feature niches surrounded by double pilasters on imposts, while corners include volutes. The niche of the second storey, on the southern side, features a crucifix with a figure of Jesus Christ.

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Andrzej Gliwa, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow, 07-10-2014.


  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce. Województwo rzeszowskie. Powiat przemyski, b.m.w., b.d.w., s. 49 (maszynopis w bibliotece NID OT Rzeszów).

General information

  • Type: sacral architecture
  • Chronology: XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Ostrów
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district przemyski, commune Przemyśl
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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