Church of St Jadwiga, Pępowo
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Church of St Jadwiga



The church of St Jadwiga in Pępowo forms an excellent example of a transformation of an ecclesiastical building, from a design which exhibited features of both Gothic and Renaissance into a romanticised Gothic church. Its highly original design as well as the surviving period wall paintings, fixtures and fittings all serve as evidence of the fact that the church in Pępowo remains a historical monument of the highest order.


Pępowo is a village which serves as the seat for the local commune administration, located in the Gostyń district, 8 kilometres to the north-west of Kobylin. Back in the early 12th century, the settlement remained the property of the Krobia parish, while the surrounding lands were in the hands of the archbishop of Gniezno. In 1267, the parish in Pępowo was established. The church was most likely erected in the second half of the 15th century and was subsequently transformed at the behest of Andrzej Konarzewski, the erstwhile owner of the village. In 1734, a powerful thunderstorm resulted in the roof of the church being ripped off the building; the tower was also partially destroyed. In 1811, the tower - a dilapidated, crumbling structure at the time - was finally demolished. Later on, however, in years 1829-36, the tower was reconstructed, with the entire church being redesigned and attaining its current appearance, all at the initiative of Józef Mycielski, who owned the village at that time. The author of the redesign which imbued the church with elements of Romanticised Gothic style was Franciszek Maria Lanci. The church was transformed once more during the 20th century, this time on the basis of a design by a well-known Poznań architect, Marian Andrzejewski, prepared in 1918. During that period, six additional windows were added to the central nave, all of them adorned with lavishly designed decorative plasterwork in the Baroque Revival style. The sacristy was moved into the side narthex, replaced by the chapel of St Jadwiga.


The church of St Jadwiga in Pępowo is a brick building, oriented on the east-west axis, initially designed in a style which combined elements of the Gothic and the Renaissance, although it was later redesigned in the romanticised Gothic style. The main body of the church follows a three-bay layout; it has started its life as a single-nave structure on a rectangular floor plan, but was later converted into a pseudo-basilica through the addition of two side naves. The chancel, lower and narrower than the corps de logis of the church and featuring a polygonal termination, is flanked by an octagonal chapel in the south and a rectangular sacristy in the north. A rectangular abuts the body of the church from the west. Vaulted crypts are concealed beneath the chancel. The chancel and the main nave feature surviving barrel vaults with lunettes, adorned with Late Renaissance plasterwork consisting of roll-mouldings made of laurel leaves, rosettes and cherub heads as well as strapwork ornaments. The northern side nave features cross-rib vaulting, while sail vaults supported by arches are used for the southern nave. The choir gallery rests on three arches adorned with pilasters. The “A.K” initials which stand for Andrzej Konarzewski as well as the date “1625” can be seen above the choir gallery. The windows of the main nave and the chancel are topped with segmental arches, while all the remaining windows are of a pointed-arch design and are adorned with tracery. The Late Gothic chancel is supported by two-stepped buttresses. The façades of the tower and the naves feature lavish detailing in the romanticised Gothic style. The 30-metre-high tower, supported by buttresses at the corners, is crowned with a crenellated parapet, with its walls being pierced by both pointed-arch and double windows and adorned with slender pointed-arch blind arcades and friezes incorporating rosette and arcade motifs. The side naves and the chapel are supported by buttresses which are crowned with pinnacles. The plastered walls of the chapel feature lavish decoration in the form of two-level arcaded pattern made of glazed brick. The church is covered with a gable roof clad with roof tiles, extending over the central nave and the chancel, with shed roofs and a tented roof being used for the side naves and the chapel respectively. A flag-shaped weathervane with the date 1637 is positioned above the nave. The chancel features original roof truss dating back to the 17th century.

Inside, the main altarpiece deserves a particular attention; this Baroque altarpiece, constructed at the behest of Wojciech Konarzewski, serves as a lavish backdrop to the valuable painting which portrays the Assumption and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, executed by Bartłomiej Strobel. All the characters shown on the painting have the faces of actual persons who lived in the same times as the painter himself. And so, Jesus Christ has the face of king Władysław IV, the Virgin Mary’s face is that of the queen Cecylia Renata, the faces of the Angels have the features of the daughters of castellan Ossoliński, while the Apostles are painted to resemble various members of the Senate. Finally, the doubting Thomas has the facial features of Andrzej Konarzewski, who funded the church. One of the Late Classicist side altarpieces features a suspended Late Gothic crucifix dating back to around 1530.

The church is circumscribed by a brick wall with pointed-arch arcades, erected somewhere around the mid-19th century.

The church is open to visitors,

compiled by Beata Marzęta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 31.10.2014.


  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, woj. poznańskie, t. V, z. 4, pow. gostyński, Warszawa 1961
  • Piotr Maluśkiewicz, Gotyckie kościoły w Wielkopolsce, Poznań, 2008

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Pępowo
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district gostyński, commune Pępowo
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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