Parish church of the Holy Trinity, Palowice
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Parish church of the Holy Trinity

Palowice

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The church in Palowice is a representative example of ecclesiastical architecture typical for the Upper Silesia region, its traditional form and interior layout having survived almost unchanged despite the passage of time. The numerous period fixtures and fittings of its interiors, dating back to the Late Renaissance and the Baroque period, also deserve a mention at this stage due to their considerable artistic value. In addition, the church is also an example of successful relocation which allowed the historical monument to be saved from utter destruction.

History

The very first mentions of the church in Leszczyny date back to the year 1447. According to the inscription on one of the wooden beams inside the tower, the church of the Holy Trinity was erected by Jan Ożga, a master carpenter, in the year 1606. The documentation stored at the parish archives proves that the very first among the interior painted decorations depicting scenes of the Passion of Christ were created in 1679. In 1884, the interior was refurbished, with new painted decorations also being added. In the second half of the 20th century, the church was abandoned, its condition deteriorating gradually. In order to save the old church from an ignominious end, bishop Herbert Bednorz wrote a letter in which he detailed the necessary measures which had to be taken to save the building, namely the relocation thereof to Palowice. Luckily, his impassioned appeal was heeded,

especially since the local parishioners have wanted to become independent from the Woszczyce parish for many years. However, the authorities denied the request to allow the relocation of the church to a piece of land purchased for the purpose in 1969; in the end, the entire operation was only carried out in 1981, with the church being moved to a plot of land donated by Klara Gorzewska. Owing to the involvement of a master carpenter from Orawa as well as the efforts of the local residents, the reconstruction works lasted for barely 6 months and involved the replacement of the side porches, the removal of the painted decorations and the replacement of the 19th-century brick sacristy with a much lighter, wooden structure. On October 21, 1981, the consecration ceremony led by bishop Bednorz was finally held. The church has served as a place of worship ever since, with a wooden bell tower being added in 1997; the design of the tower, positioned in the immediate vicinity of the church, is reminiscent of the architecture of the church itself.

Description

The parish church of the Holy Trinity is located at 17 Woszczycka street, south-east of the Palowice village centre. The entire complex is surrounded by a wooden fence covered with a mono-pitched rooflet. The entrance gate is crowned with a small hip roof clad with wood shingles. The churchyard is separated from the nearby road by a line of larch trees, trimmed into unusual spherical shapes.

The church itself is devoid of any features pointing towards a specific architectural style; it is predominantly a wooden log structure, with the exception of the porch and the tower, which are both post-and-beam structures. The single-nave church, oriented towards the east, consists of the nave, designed on a roughly square plan and a narrower, rectangular chancel adjoined by a sacristy to the north, designed on an elongated rectangular floor plan, which was added at a later date. The western side of the nave is adjoined by a tower designed on a square floor plan, featuring a belfry at the top, separated by a broad skirt roof. The tower is preceded by a small porch which incorporates the main entrance into the church. The second porch, leading directly into the nave, adjoins the southern side thereof. The nave and the chancel are covered by gable roofs, as are the porches adjoining the main body, the latter also featuring narrow skirt roofs at the base of the gables. The tower is covered with a pyramid-shaped roof, while the steeple above the nave features a conical roof. The walls of the porches as well as the lower section of the tower below the skirt roof - reminiscent of the roof covering the cloister-like walkways flanking the main body of the church - are clad with vertically arranged weatherboards, while the rest of the church is clad with wood shingles, the exception being the rear façade, which is covered with weatherboards in an arrangement mirroring that of the side porches. The simple windows are topped with round arches, bringing an element of variety to the northern and southern façades and providing illumination to the church interior. The interior itself is simple and restrained in appearance, its flat ceilings now completely devoid of painted decorations; the decorative organ gallery occupying the western part of the nave features a projecting middle section and is supported by two pairs of ornate wooden posts. In contrast with the interior décor, the surviving fixtures and fittings are lavishly ornamented, with the gilded main altarpiece, dating back to the 17th century, being adorned with sumptuous auricular style decorations and the sculptures of the Four Evangelists. Other notable items include the stone stoup, the Baroque pulpit and the Late Renaissance confessional.

The site is open to the general public.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 27-04-2015.

Bibliography

  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture and urban design. Parish Church of the Holy Trinity, compiled by H. Wiąk-Marzec, 1997 (available at the Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Katowice)
  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture and urban design (the so-called green record sheet). Filial church of the Holy Trinity (available at the Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Katowice)
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. VI woj. katowickie, I. Rejduch-Samkowa, J. Samka (eds.), issue 11 powiat rybnicki, compiled by J. Lepiarczyk, Warsaw 1964 pp. 15-16
  • Musiolik S., Palowice - droga do parafii, Czerwionka-Leszczyny, 2000
  • Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warsaw 2008, pp. 327-328

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1606 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Woszczycka 17a, Palowice
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district rybnicki, commune Czerwionka-Leszczyny - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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