Filial Church of St Nicholas, Pełcznica
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Filial Church of St Nicholas

Pełcznica

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The filial Church of St Nicholas is an example of a rural ecclesiastical building erected in two distinct phases under the patronage of the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré (Premonstratensians) from Wrocław, combining a Gothic chancel with a Baroque main body and tower. The fixtures and fittings were designed in the Baroque style and Rococo styles.

History

The existence of a parish in Pełcznica was first noted in written sources back in 1298 and 1335. The church and the entire village which surrounded it remained the property of the Premonstratensians of Wrocław until 1810. The church was constructed in two distinct phases. The Gothic chancel and sacristy were constructed towards the end of the 15th century. The Baroque nave and tower was added in the years 1748-1750 (during the times of the Abbot Wincenty Schulz) at the request of the Order’s chancellor, Jan Karol Neumann. The alteration works were performed by a man called Wittuer (his actual name most likely being B. Wittwer - a master brickmason fron Wrocław) as well as by Zachariasz Winsch, an expert carpenter. The windows of the existing chancel were widened during the alteration works. The new nave was erected to replace an earlier structure, completed in 1706, which was in turn a replacement of the original nave, known to have been a timber-frame structure. The new tower superseded an earlier, wooden structure erected in 1723. The church underwent restoration in years 1927-1928 (replacement of plasterwork and flooring), 1959, 1968-1969 and 1975 (roof cladding replacement).

From 1945 onwards, the building served as a filial church; at the present stage, the church belongs to the parish of St Peter and Paul Apostles in Kąty Wrocławskie.

Description

The church is located in the middle of the village, at the top of a hill, and is surrounded by a cemetery circumscribed by a brick and split stone wall.

The church is oriented towards the east. It is a masonry structure with plaster-covered walls. Designed on a rectangular floor plan, it is a single-nave church with a narrower, rectangular chancel from the 15th century, featuring a semi-hexagonal end section and walls reinforced with buttresses; the chancel is adjoined by a rectangular sacristy to the north (late 15th century). A quadrangular tower erected in years 1748-1750 adjoins the western end of the nave; it is crowned with a four-sided mansard cupola. The roofs are clad with ceramic roof tiles. The nave, chancel and sacristy feature a gable roof, a multi-hipped roof and a shed roof respectively. The façades are topped with a cornice, while the walls of the tower are accentuated with simplified paired pilasters, a strip-like cornice between the individual storeys as well as a crowning cornice. The windows of the chancel, nave and the uppermost storey of the tower are topped with bell arches and framed with plasterwork surrounds. The remaining windows are rectangular in shape, framed with eared surrounds. The ground floor section of the tower features an eared portal made of sandstone, topped with a header supported by a pair of volutes. A hemispherical niche can be seen directly above the portal.

The chancel features a two-bay cross-ribbed vault; the nave has a flat ceiling adorned with a crown moulding, whereas the sacristy features a vaulted ceiling of the barrel type.

Most of the fixtures and fittings of the church date back to the years 1748-1751 and exhibit features of the Baroque and Rococo styles, with Leopold Jaschke being credited with the authorship of the majority of the interior décor. Notable items include the main altarpiece (late 17th century, with Rococo elements), the Rococo side altarpieces, the pulpit, the baptismal font and the oil cabinet.

A Late Gothic shrine made of sandstone (15th/16th century) and a penitential cross can be found embedded in the wall surrounding the cemetery.

The site is open to visitors.

compiled by Beata Sebzda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 01-01-2011.

Bibliography

  • Degen K., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Landkreises Breslau, Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 209-213.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce. Seria Nowa, vol. IV, issue 2, Województwo wrocławskie, Sobótka, Kąty Wrocławskie i okolice, J. Pokora and M. Zlat (eds.), Warsaw 1991, pp. 75-77.
  • Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska. Warsaw 2005, p. 263.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 673.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Pełcznica
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district wrocławski, commune Kąty Wrocławskie - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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