Parish church of St John Vianney, Poznań
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Parish church of St John Vianney

Poznań

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The church of St John Vianney is located on a picturesque hill which closes the view from the Pomorski Square in the villa district of Poznań called Sochacz. It was designed by Stanisław Mieczkowski, known, among other things, for the design of the chapel in Dzierżnica (Średzki district, Dominowo commune), and the church in Grabowo Królewskie (Wrzesiński district, Kołaczkowo commune). It is a building erected on a central floor plan, with an interesting rotunda-shaped body, exceptional when compared to the sacred architecture of the city.

History

The parish of St John Vianney in the Sochacz district was established on 25 June 1928. On 30 September that year, primate cardinal August Hlond consecrated the cornerstone of the church which was already being built at that time.

The construction proceeded very quickly. Before the end of 1928, external walls of the bottom storey of the church, shaped as a rotunda, were erected, as well as the chancel, and the sacristy from the north, and also the porch from the south. Year later, the central nave, resting on high internal arcades, was built. The building was covered with a cupola, resting on a high tholobate topped with a lantern. On 20 July 1930, the newly built church was officially consecrated by primate cardinal August Hlond. The first parish priest became Henryk Lewandowski, a man of great merits for the parish.

Finishing and interior fitting works lasted until 1934. They were possible owing to financial contributions of the parishioners, who had financed, among other things, two bells, confessionals, baptismal font, and stained glass windows.

The church provided services to parishioners until 1941, when it was closed by Germans who transformed it into a storehouse, and temporarily also into a stable. During World War II, as a result of gunfire, the walls and roof as well as some stained glass windows were destroyed; one of the columns of the front portico collapsed. The interior decoration was nearly totally destroyed, similarly as movable items which were in a great part dispersed or robbed.

After the end of the war, in February 1945, the church was consecrated once again, and three months later, priest Henryk Lewandowski, deported in 1939 to the General Government, returned to the parish. The reconstruction of the damaged church commenced. It was possible owing to the support of parishioners who paid contributions to the Church of St John Vianney Reconstruction Fund created for that purpose.

In the years 1945-1946, new stained glass windows, made in the workshop of Stanisław Powalisz, were installed. In 1947, the altar of Our Lady the Queen of the Polish Crown came into being, and two years later - the altar of the Sacred Heart of Christ, placed in the chancel. In 1976, stained glass windows made by Maria Powalisz-Bardońska were installed in the chancel, showing: the Last Supper, St Adalbert, and St John Vianney. In 1978, the main altarpiece made of granite slabs was set in the chancel. In 2000, new wooden elements of the fittings were installed: altarstone, tabernacle, and pulpit, as well as a pipe organ casing over the main entrance to the church on the south.

Description

The church of St John Vianney is located in the north-western part of the Sołacz district, on a hill by the northern border of Pomorski Square, in the quarter between Podlaska and Mazowiecka Streets, among villas.

The building with classical features was erected on a floor plan of a circle. It is made of brick and plastered. The two-storey body in the form of rotunda is covered by a cupola on a high tholobate with an arcaded, openwork lantern, topped with a bulbous tented roof with a cross. The lower storey of the church’s nave is covered by a bell-shaped roof. On the northern side, there is a chancel on a rectangular floor plan with a polygonal ending section, with round interior, covered with a cupola topped with a lantern. It is adjoined by two lower, polygonal sacristies covered with flat roofs - the priests’ sacristy from the east, and the altar servers’ sacristy from the west. On the southern side, there is a spectacular portico formed by six Corinthian columns supporting plain entablature crowned with a serrated cornice, and a narrower, three-step roof parapet on which a stone cross is set. From the east and west, there are two side entrances to the church, preceded by shallow porticos formed by two pairs of high columns, on which triangular pediments rest. All roof planes and cupolas are clad with copper sheet metal.

The façades in the rotunda and the tholobate over it are articulated by lesenes and vertical, rectangular panels, between which symmetrical rectangular window openings were arranged, framed by surrounds made in plaster. The window sills of the bottom storey rest on corbels between which there are nearly square panels with irregular corners, surrounded by plasterwork profiles.

Inside, the central nave of the church is separated from the ambulatory circumscribing it by high arcades. Over them, there is painted decoration made in 1980s by Teodor Szukała. Medallions with depictions of saints, connected with festoons, draw particular attention. The base of the tholobate is circumscribed by a pronounced profiled cornice, under which there is painted decoration with an acanthus frieze and rosettes.

The chancel is separated from the nave by an arcade incorporated in the wall. In its walls, there are wide pilasters between which, in the ending section, there are three window openings with stained glass panes depicting: the Last Supper, St Adalbert, and the patron saint of the church - St John Vianney. Interesting fittings include two side oak altars with paintings showing Merciful Jesus and Blessed Virgin Mary with Child, as well as wooden figures of St Andrew Bobola and St Hyacinth.

The monument is accessible to visitors. More information about the parish is available on the following website: http://www.jmv-solacz.pl/index.html (access date: 29-10-2014).

compiled by Anna Dyszkant, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 29-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Atlas architektury Poznania, Poznań 2008, s. 196.
  • Hałas H., Neoklasycystyczne kościoły i kaplice Poznania. Projekty, realizacje i konserwacja wybranych obiektów, „Ochrona Zabytków” 2001, nr 3, s. 317-329.
  • Urbańska A., Kościół parafialny pod wezwaniem św. Jana Vianney, „Kronika Miasta Poznania” 1999, nr 3, s. 161-172.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1928-1930
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Podlaska 1, Poznań
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district Poznań, commune Poznań
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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