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Wooden chapel of the Holy Mother of Częstochowa with direct surroundings - Zabytek.pl


woj. mazowieckie, pow. otwocki, gm. Kołbiel-gmina wiejska

A small wooden temple was erected in the inter-war period and is recognised as one of the most picturesque and original sacred features in Mazovia.

Its body, unique in this region and associated with wooden sacred architecture of southern regions of Poland, attests to its extraordinary character. More detailed analogies point to temples of Orava and the Hutsul Land as well as Uniate tserkvas of the Lower Beskids. This unique shape must have been influenced by the reverberations of the national style from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, among others, by old wooden architecture patterns.


The temple’s profile is so untypical for Mazovia that previous tourist studies thought it had initially been a tserkva relocated from southern Poland. In fact, the chapel was built in the years 1935-1937, funded by Halina nee Pfeiffer and Karol Szlenkier, owners of the nearby manor house. They were members of an extremely distinguished family of manufacturers and philanthropists from Warsaw. Next to the temple, there is a crucifix that commemorates the founders who were murdered by the Germans in 1944. The church was built to the design of architect Wacław Lipieński, under the contracting entity’s supervision. Readymade elements, manufactured in Pinsk in a carpentry shop belonging to the designer, were assembled by a carpenter Jan Kubicki. The foundation was made by a foreman from Kołbiel named Mlądzki. The temple was covered with wood shingles manufactured by the local population on machines built by Ksawery Szlenkier - son of the founders. The roof cover turned out very persistent. It was replaced only during renovation works in 1985. New interior fittings come from that period as well. Currently, the chapel is a filial church of the Holy Trinity in Kołbiel.


The chapel is located on a slightly elevated dune, in a pine forest, on the southern side of the town’s main road. Direct surroundings of the temple are enclosed by a low wooden fence. Initially, a sandy path running diagonally to the road and wide concrete stairs led to the north-facing front entrance. After 1995 the path was reinforced with contemporary cobbles, while the stairs were clad with stone boards and equipped with handrails. There are wooden pews for the believers around the yard (holy masses are held outside in the summer). A charming view of this place is complemented by pines overgrowing the elevation - some of them having extremely interesting shapes - and glacial erratic rocks scattered around.

The chapel building is made of pine logs, covered with weatherboards, resting on a foundation made of broken fieldstones. The feature was erected on a rectangular floor plan with a single-bay nave and a three-sided terminating vista from the south. A tower erected on a square floor plan, which serves as a porch, was annexed in the north. Its shape narrowing upwards and walls covered with wood shingles - similarly as roofs - bestow the building with attributes that are untypical for the region’s architecture. A ceiling with a rafter-collar beam structure, covered with a roof with five slopes, rests atop the nave. The tower is crowned with a steep hipped roof with a pronounced eaves and a tall spire topped with a crucifix. Below the eaves, there is a gallery presenting structural elements of the bell tower - corner pillars with angle braces. Modest side façades of the corpus with vertical weatherboarding have corners lined with vertical boards. The walls are pierced by rectangular four-field windows contoured by profiled surrounds. Entrance is provided through the only front door located in a northern wall of the tower. The door has entablature with a herringbone pattern and is crowned with a gable roof, whereas a gable has an oblique layout of battens as well.

The feature can be viewed from the outside; the interior can be accessed around the hours of religious services.

Compiled by Małgorzata Laskowska-Adamowicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, 13-07-2015.


Category: chapel

Building material:  drewniane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_14_BK.175020, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_14_BK.309451