Monastery of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God, Prudnik
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Monastery of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God

Prudnik

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The Baroque building is the oldest monastery complex of the Merciful Brothers in Upper Silesia.

History

The origin of the monastery of the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God goes back to the settlement of the Fatebenefratelli brought by Cuirassier regiments of Friedrich Wilhelm von Röder (1718-1781). In 1764 the King of Prussia, Frederick II the Great, issued a permit to establish a monastery of the Fatebenefratelli in Prudnik. Colonel v. Röder purchased land for the monks, on which a hospital with a chapel and pharmacy was established by 1766. In 1769, the plans for the monastery complex were developed by Michał Klemens (Clement) from Karniów. The monastery and the hospital were built in 1783-1784, while the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul was erected in 1785-1787. The construction was supervised by Piotr Paweł Ertel, master mason from Wrocław. Because of their medical skills, the Fatebenefratelli were not covered by the secularisation edict issued by King Frederick William III in 1810.

In 1864, the friars installed a gas lighting system. In 1878-1882, the monastery was closed to the faithful. In 1893, the friars invested in a washhouse, stable and barn. At that time, the monastery building, hospital and church underwent renovation. In 1896, the hospital rooms were renovated, the monastery building was extended, and rooms for physicians and pharmacists were prepared. In the eastern part of the garden, a morgue was built with a room for autopsy. In 1914-1916, the eastern wing of the monastery was erected and the electricity was connected. The area surrounding the Vok Tower (Polish: Wieża Woka), which is the only remnant of the medieval castle called Wogendryssel, underwent adaptation. During World War 1, the monastery was adapted for use as a military hospital. In 1939, many monks were mobilised. After 1945, the assets of the Fatebenefratelli were handed over to private persons. In 1953-1957, the hospital and the pharmacy were nationalised, and the monks were left only with the church. The pharmacy returned to the Fatebenefratelli in 1991, and later they also regained the monastery with the garden. In 2004, the monks recovered the hospital.

Description

The monastery of the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God is located in the centre of the town, south-west of the Market Square. It is situated in the built-up area of Piastowska Street, and adjoins the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul to the west and the wing built in the early 20th century to the east. It was built on a rectangular floor plan with later annexes in the rear façade and the eastern wing erected during World War 1. The building is made of brick, plastered, and consists of two storeys and a basement underneath some of its parts. The front (south) façade of the building is fifteenth-axial, set on a base course with a central axis accentuated by a shallow avant-corps. It is articulated by the arrangement of rectangular window openings (enclosed in plastered surrounds on the second storey) and a cornice between the storeys. On the central axis, there is an entrance framed by a stucco portal. The portal features a semi-circular fanlight embellished with festoons on the sides and surmounted by a convex section of cornice, garlands and panel, which was originally covered with an inscription and now features a relief with a dove and dates "1764-2004". On the outermost eastern axis, there is an entrance enclosed in rusticated plaster surrounds. The north façade is fragmented with annexes of different height and character, and window openings of various shape.

The interior has a two-bay layout with a corridor located between the bays. In the south-western part, there is a refectory covered with a barrel vault with lunettes and painted decorations. Above it, on the upper storey there is a monastery chapel with Baroque Revival decoration. The corridor and ground floor rooms are topped with double barrel vaults and barrel vaults with lunettes. The building is covered with a tall hip roof clad with roof tiles. The interior features a part of the historic fixtures and fittings, including the altar in the chapel, paintings: "Christ before Pilate" from 1659, "Crowning with Thorns" from 1659, "Lazarus Feast" from 1755, portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm v. Röder - founder of the monastery from the late 18th c., and Baroque crucifix.

The church is located in the centre of the town and is open to visitors.

compiled by Joanna Banik, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 17-10-2015.

Bibliography

  • Degen K., Bleyl W., Werbik W., Focke F., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Namslau (Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler Schlesiens. Regierungsbezirk Breslau, Bd. 2), Breslau 1939
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. VII: Województwo opolskie, issue 12: Powiat prudnicki, prepared by T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warsaw 1960, pp. 57-58.
  • Green monument record sheet, Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Opole, 1963.
  • Lutsch H., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, Bd. 2: Die Kunstdenkmäler der Landkreise des Reg.-Bezirks Breslau, Breslau 1889.
  • Studium urbanistyczno-historyczne miasta Prudnika, PKZ Wrocław.
  • Wąsik K.O.H., 240 lat Bonifratrów w Prudniku, "Tygodnik Prudnicki" no. 27 dated 7.07.2004, p. 20.
  • Wąsik K.OH, 240 lat oo. bonifratrów w Prudniku, [in:] G. Weigt, A. Dereń (eds.), Ziemia Prudnicka. Rocznik 2004. Pięć lat powiatu, Prudnik 2004, pp. 30-37.

General information

  • Type: monastery
  • Chronology: 2 połowa XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Piastowska 8, Prudnik
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district prudnicki, commune Prudnik - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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