Parish Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pogorzela
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Parish Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus



Pogorzela was home to a medieval family of noblemen, who funded churches in nearby towns, among others, in Krzyżowice and Strzelniki. The church in Pogorzela lies on the Brzeg Polychromy Route. Murals on the chancel walls were attributed to the Master of the Brzeg Adoration of the Magi, a Burgundian artist active in Opole Silesia in 1418-1428. Recent iconographic analyses question his authorship; however, the polychromies in Pogorzela are one of the most valuable historical monuments in the field of wall paintings in the region.


The first information about the church in Pogorzela is from 1273. In the first half of the 14th century, the church was replaced with a new building preserved to this day. From 1545 to 1945 the church belonged to the Evangelical congregation. Around 1600, it was extended by a tower to the west. The porches with neo-Gothic top sections were added in 1830 (southern one) and 1850 (western one). The flag on the roof bearing the date "1870" refers to further works.

Overpainted murals were uncovered in 1964 (those in the south porch even later). They are dated to four stages between the first half of the 14th century and the early 16th century. Research from the late 20th century indicated that the murals in the chancel and southern porch were made after 1450 and may have been created by one artist Gregorros Alrat (?) from Opole, whose signature has been revealed in the chancel and on the arch wall). So far, some of the murals have been attributed to the Master of the Brzeg Adoration of the Magi.


The church is located in the middle of the village. The Gothic brick building is surrounded by a wall made of field stone. It was built on a simple plan typical of that time, i.e., with a rectangular main body and a chancel. The walls are supported by buttresses. Over the western part, there is a plastered bell tower surmounted by a spire. The church is covered with saddle roofs. Stairs by the southern wall of the chancel lead to a crypt beneath the chancel.

In the church, there are traces of its former form, for example, a bricked-up tracery window in the chancel, fragment of which is also visible from the outside, over the roof of the sacristy added later, and a window of the nave which was bricked up because of the construction of the southern porch. The chancel is covered with a cross-rib vault, with ribs on stone corbels, while the nave is topped with a ceiling. The choir (2nd half of the 17th c.) with depictions of King David and angels on the barrier, and galleries are supported by columns.

Ceiling paintings depict Christ Pantocrator, Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and, symbolically, the Evangelists. Paintings on the walls of the chancel depict scenes of Annunciation, Visitation, Sts. Barbara and Hedwig, Bishop Przecław, Sts. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, and next to the tabernacle there are angels and Vir Dolorum (eastern wall), Christ blessing the globe, Annunciation to Anne, Offering and Wedding of Mary (northern wall), Nativity of Jesus, Massacre of the Innocents, Transfiguration and Crucifixion (southern wall). The scene in the porch has been poorly preserved. On the underside of the arch, on the chancel arch wall there is a depiction of St. George, Moses, Old Testament prophets and kings, St. Gregory, and the founder of the paintings with the coat of arms. The fixtures and fittings include, among others, medieval baptismal font, predella — remnant of a late Gothic triptych (ca. 1500) placed above the entrance to the nave, with painted Christ of Sorrows, Our Lady of Sorrows, and St. John the Evangelist. The Baroque church furnishings include, among others, pulpit (1681) and main altar (1724), now without a patron's painting. Notable features include architectural and extended Mannerist stone epitaphs by Hans v. Panwitz (died 1588) and a plaque depicting the whole figure of his wife Krysolda v. Pogarell (died 1595). They underwent conservation in 2008.

The church is in use and is open to visitors.

compiled by Joanna Szot, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 01-12-2014.


  • Banik J., Działalność fundacyjna Panów z Pogorzeli na Śląsku w XIII i XIV w. Fundacje kościelne (Monument), Warsaw 2009.
  • Czechowicz B., Książęcy mecenat artystyczny na Śląsku u schyłku średniowiecza, Warsaw 2005.
  • Architectural monument record sheet, prepared by J. Skarbek, 1998, Archives of the Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Opole.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. VII: Województwo opolskie, T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki (eds.), issue 1: Powiat brzeski, inventory prepared by T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, M. Zlat, Warsaw 1961.
  • Lutsch H., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, Bd. 2: Die Kunstdenkmäler des Landkreis Reg.-Bezirks Breslau, Breslau 1889.
  • Malarstwo gotyckie w Polsce (Dzieje Sztuki Polskiej, vol. II., part 3), S. Labuda, K. Secomska (eds.), Warsaw 2004.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, collective work, Warsaw 2006.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: I poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Pogorzela 10
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district brzeski, commune Olszanka
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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