Parish church of St Bonaventure accompanied by a Franciscan monastery, Pakość
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Parish church of St Bonaventure accompanied by a Franciscan monastery

Pakość

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An example of an early modern monastery complex established on the site of a medieval castle, enjoying the status of a regional landmark.

History

From 1325 onwards, the town of Pakość remained in the hands of the Leszczyc knightly family, hailing from the neighbouring town of Kościelec Kujawski. It is suspected that the Gothic castle which had once stood here was originally erected by Bogumił Leszczyc, the castellan of Bydgoszcz, references to whom appear in written sources dating back to the years 1326-1330. It was at that point that the quadrangular arrangement of brick defensive walls was erected, designed on a square plan with each side measuring approximately 30 metres; an ensemble of wooden buildings is known to have stood in the yard located within these walls. In the second half of the 14th century, a pair of monumental buildings known as the southern and eastern house were erected alongside the peripheral walls, while in the first half of the 15th century, a two-storey, quadrangular gatehouse projecting ahead of the western wall was also added. In the second half of the 15th century, the western wing was erected, while the so-called northern palace appeared in 16th century; the palace, adjoining the outer side of the peripheral wall, was subsequently demolished in 1680. In 1610, the castle and the neighbouring town (founded in the years 1326-1330) was acquired by the Działyński family, who have decided to establish a Calvary here. The members of the Działyński family - specifically Kasper, the bishop of Chełmno, Michał, the alderman of Kościan as well as Paweł, the alderman of Inowrocław and Nieszawa - invited the Reformed Franciscan friars to set up a monastery here in 1631, choosing the old castle as the site of their residence. The monks have commenced the alteration works intended to transform the former castle into a monastery. The western section of the former castle, where the tower had stood, was taken up by the church of St Bonaventure, consecrated in 1637. The transformation of the castle into a monastery ended in 1680, with the residential monastic buildings being located within the surviving castle walls. In 1680, the ground-floor level of the castle tower was adapted to serve as the chapel of the Virgin Mary of Pakość. In the years 1755-1769, the monastery was thoroughly remodelled, with the church being extended and receiving new vaulted ceilings. Numerous works were carried out inside the church in the years 1763-1769, based on the design produced by the architect Józef Zydliger from Oliwa. In 1795, the church roofs were restored, while the old steeple was replaced with a new one in 1806. In 1837, the Prussian authorities ordered the dissolution of the monastery, with the monastic buildings being entrusted to the local parish; as a result, the complex saw several instances of alteration works, being adapted to serve, inter alia, as a school and as residential buildings. In the years 1925-1926, renovation works were conducted inside the church, and in 1970-1971 the walls and ceilings received new painted decorations. In 1971, the monastery and the parish church was taken over by the Franciscan monks, who conducted a full-scale renovation of the monastery in the 1980s.

Description

The church, designed in the Baroque style, is a brick building, its walls covered with plaster - with the exception of the Gothic walls of the former castle tower. The elongated, three-bay chancel features a separate, single-storey chancel in its south-eastern bay, with a monastic choir gallery at the first-floor level. The nave, likewise divided into three bays, has the same width as the chancel. The third, westernmost bay of the nave is narrower than the rest and was designed to accommodate the organ gallery. The entrance into the rectangular chapel of the Virgin Mary of Pakość is located in the easternmost bay of the nave. The chapel occupies an interior which started its life as the gatehouse passage. Inside the nave, the walls are partitioned with pronounced engaged pillars, their surface adorned with Ionic pilasters. The chancel, monastic choir gallery and sacristy all feature sail vaults, with double barrel vaults supported by basket-handle arches being used for the nave and the chapel. The chancel arch wall likewise features a basket-handle arch. The windows of the church are topped with basket-handle arches as well as segmental arches. The chapel opens towards the nave with a segment-headed aperture incorporating mid-17th century grillwork, designed in a mixture of the Renaissance and Baroque styles. Towards the end of the 18th century, the reveals of the arched opening as well as the surfaces beneath the arch itself were decorated with painted scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The organ gallery is a brick structure with a sail vault, supported by a pair of pillars adorned with pilasters. The triangular gables rising above the nave and the chancel are adorned with volutes, flanked by ornamental urns and enlivened by the presence of decorative framing. The tower features a slightly more restrained gable design, incorporating a tower clock. The church features gable roofs clad with roof tiles. A wooden steeple rising above the chancel is believed to originate from 1806. The lavish interior décor, with its seven altarpieces, dates back mostly to the 17th and 18th century and incorporates predominantly Baroque and Rococo design themes. The most valuable item is unquestionably the painting of the adoration of the Virgin Mary with Child by St Bonaventure and St Louis IX of France, created in 1647 by Bartholomeus Strobel. The church is adjoined by a monastery consisting of three wings, with a quadrangular garth in the middle. The Baroque design features of this two-storey edifice have been substantially diminished over the years. The building features habitable attics concealed beneath hip roofs clad with roof tiles. A Baroque chapel of St Roch, most likely erected somewhere around the mid-18th century, is located in the churchyard.

The monument is open to visitors.

compiled by Lech Łbik, Historical Monument and National Heritage Documentation and Popularisation Department of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Cultural Centre in Bydgoszcz, 06-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kabaciński R., W czasach staropolskich (do roku 1772), [in:] Dzieje Pakości, Warsaw - Poznań 1978, pp. 66-71, 101-104, 108-110.
  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J., Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Kajzer L. (ed.), Warsaw 2010, pp. 368-369.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. XI: Dawne województwo bydgoskie, issue 8: Powiat inowrocławski, prepared by Chrzanowski Tadeusz and Kornecki Marian, Warsaw 1974, pp. 45-52.
  • Wojciechowski Zbigniew, Kalwaria Pakoska. Materiały do dziejów klasztoru OO. Franciszkanów-Reformatów, kalwarii, kościołów i miasta Pakości, Pakość 2003.

General information

  • Type: monastery
  • Chronology: 1326-1330 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Inowrocławska 3, Pakość
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district inowrocławski, commune Pakość - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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