The church of St Stanisław Kostka and St George, Racot
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The church of St Stanisław Kostka and St George

Racot

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The church in Racot, which began its life as a palace chapel, constitutes an example of a successful initiative of the local dukes, combining religious and representational functions and supplementing the spatial concept which underpins the design of the entire palace complex.

History

The first mentions of the village date back to 1366; during the 15th century, the village remained in the hands of the Borek family from Gryżyna. It was then subsequently acquired by the Gułtowski, Kostka, and Tarło families. In the years 1676-1719, it belonged to the Bronisz family. From 1719, the owner of the complex was Piotr Bronisz’s daughter, Dorota, by her first marriage Janowa Radomicka, by her second marriage Stanisławowa Jabłonowska, the province governor (wojewodzina) of Rawa. In 1778, ownership of the Racot estate passed to her son, Antoni Barnaba Jabłonowski, the castellan of Kraków, who subsequently sold it in 1798 to duke William of Orange, who would later become the king of the Netherlands. William continued to reside in Racot during the first half of the 19th century. Between 1887 and 1888, Racot remained in the hands of the dukes of Weimar. The first church in Racot formed part of the Wyskoć parish. The existing church was erected towards the end of the 18th century, designed as a palace chapel and commissioned by the Jabłonowski family, the erstwhile owners of the village. Construction started somewhere between 1768 and 1770, at the initiative of duchess Dorota Jabłonowska, the province governor of Rawa, and was completed after 1780 by her son, Antoni, the castellan of Cracow. In years 1818-1945, the church was owned by the local Evangelical community. From 1946 onwards, it served as the filial church of the parish in Gryżyna.

Descritpion

Racot is a village located approximately 6 kilometres to the south-east from Kościan. The Late Baroque church of St Stanisław Kostka and St George was erected on a Greek cross floor plan and features a circular central nave. It is a brick building with plastered walls, oriented towards the east, with basements present under parts of the structure. The shallow, single-bay arms open up into the circular central nave; the arms contain the chancel (eastern arm), the choir gallery (western arm) and the galleries constructed in 1818, positioned on the southern and northern sides of the nave. A low sacristy, designed on a square floor plan, can be found behind the chancel, while the western façade is preceded by a porch. The truncated corners of the nave and the side walls of the arms of the cruciform building are framed with Ionic pilasters, with reliefs depicting ornamental urns visible in the top section. The nave features a domed ceiling, with sail vaults used for the arms of the cruciform church and the porch. The sacristy features a simple, flat ceiling. Outside, all corners are adorned with simplified Tuscan pilasters, with a profiled crown cornice providing the finishing touch. The façades of the arms of the church are topped with triangular corniced gables; each arm is covered by a separate gable roof intersecting with the roof above the nave; a tall, quadrangular steeple with truncated corners, topped with a profiled, octagonal cupola, rises above the western arm of the church. A four-sloped, rounded pyramidal roof clad with slate rises above the porch; the roof above the sacristy featured a similar design right until the 1970s, when it was replaced with a three-sloped design. Low, semi-cylindrical turrets were built into the corners between the arms of the cruciform structure after 1818 in order to accommodate stairs leading up to the galleries. The windows are topped with stepped basket-handle arches and adorned with plastered surrounds. The most outstanding feature of the interior is the main, architectural altarpiece designed to fit in with the rest of the interior decor, featuring a pair of free-standing columns and a pair of engaged columns supporting the convex entablature with a division in the middle. The semi-circular choir gallery rests upon two 19th-century cast iron pillars. The painted decorations on the ceiling of the nave were executed in the 1970s. A wooden belfry from the late 18th/early 19th century stands in front of the church; the structure, incorporating three suspended bells, is covered by a hip roof with edges following an ogee curve.

The church may be visited from the outside. The interiors may be visited during church service.

compiled by Beata Marzęta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznań, 15-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Barokowe kościoły Wielkopolski /red./ Mariusz Grzebalski, Poznań, 2006
  • Grażyna Balińska, Racot. Przemiany i zagrożenia zespołów podworskich, Wrocław 1996
  • Teresa Wiśniewska, Racot perła Wielkopolski, Kościan 2010
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, woj. poznańskie, t. V, z. 10, pow. kościański

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1780 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Dworcowa 12, Racot
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district kościański, commune Kościan
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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