The parish church of St Dorothy, Rogowo
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The parish church of St Dorothy

Rogowo

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The Church of St Dorothy, designed in a mixture of the Classicist and Gothic styles, impresses the onlooker with its monumental outline, its two towers instantly defining the surrounding landscape. The church, surrounded by an old cemetery, remains one of the most important places of its kind in the Pałuki region.

History

In 1232, the village remained in the hands of the Knights Templar, followed by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. In the second half of the 13th century, the town of Rogowo was officially chartered; in 1580, however, the town lost its municipal status, only to regain it in 1672. Yet this success likewise proved to be relatively short-lived, for in 1934 Rogowo lost the status of a town once again. The first local parish church, known as the church of St Michael the Archangel, was a wooden structure erected in the second half of the 13th century, with the funds for its construction being provided by the knightly family of Grzymalit. The parish was first established in 1418. The funds for the construction of the existing brick church were provided by Józef Korytowski, the erstwhile owner of the surrounding lands. The church was completed in 1831 and consecrated during the same year. In 1858, the church underwent comprehensive restoration, encompassing its roof and vaulted ceilings. In 1948, the church was refurbished once again, its interiors now graced by new painted decorations executed by Władysław Drapiewski. On March 30, 2014 the church was gutted by fire, with both the roof truss, roof tile cladding and upper storeys of the towers with their cupola roofs being lost to the blaze. The interior plaster finish was likewise severely damage by the water used by firefighters. The renovation works began shortly afterwards, with the church being restored to its original appearance in November 2016.

Description

The church is located at the southern edge of the village, alongside the Rogowo - Janowiec Wielkopolski road. Standing on a small hill which had once been the site of a now-vanished hillfort, it is a free-standing structure oriented towards the east, surrounded by a cemetery circumscribed from the west by a stone wall; the other sides of the churchyard are protected by a simple wire fence. North of the church itself stands a wooden bell tower 19th century as well as a brick mausoleum of the Schedlin-Czarliński family, erected in the first half of the 20th century. The cemetery lies in the shadow of old trees.

The church was designed in a mixture of the Neoclassical and Gothic Revival styles; erected on an elongated rectangular floor plan, the church features a slightly wider tower section. It is a single-nave structure with a distinct, semi-circular chancel apse flanked by the sacristy and storage annex. The western part of the church is dominated by a pair of square towers flanking the vestibule and organ gallery within. A staircase leading up to the organ gallery is situated inside the southern tower, while the northern tower houses the new vestibule. The main entrance into the church is positioned on the middle axis of the front façade.

The two three-storey towers are clearly the most distinctive feature of the relatively uniform main body of the church, covered with a gable roof. The roof of the church is clad with roof tiles, whereas the tower cupolas feature sheet metal cladding.

The church is made of brick, its walls covered with plaster; the building features a pronounced socle. Inside, the nave features a barrel vault with deep, pointed-arch lunettes, with the individual bays being separated by structural arches. The chancel is graced by a pointed hemispherical ceiling. The vestibule and the rooms flanking the chancel all feature vaulted ceilings of the barrel type, while flat beamed ceilings are used for the interiors of the towers.

The front (western) façade follows a three-axial layout. The pointed-arch portal on the middle axis is flanked by a pair of Ionic columns supporting a simplified entablature and a triangular pediment. The date “1831” is inscribed on the architrave; above, inside the tympanum, there is a cast metal relief portraying the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, accompanied by an inscription which reads, “UNI TRINO OLIE DOMINO”. The side façades are punctuated with pointed-arch windows featuring a cruciform arrangement of muntin bars in the space below the transom and framed with single-stepped reveals - a design theme which is carried over to the other windows of the church as well. A profiled cornice runs between the first and the second storey of the towers. A small window is positioned on the middle axis of the front façade; it is flanked by pointed-arch blind windows, their sills supported by narrow cornices adorned with four triglyphs each - a recurring theme which can also be seen beneath the remaining windows of the church. The blind windows are flanked by fluted pilasters resting on tall plinths and topped with decorative capitals designed in the Ionic style. The front façade is topped with a full entablature which continues alongside all the other façades, featuring a profiled architrave, a fluted frieze and a projecting cornice. The central gable of the nave with its middle window is receded vis-à-vis the rest of the front façade and framed with a lavishly profiled cornice. The rectangular towers are topped with bulbous cupolas with roof lanterns.

The eastern façade follows a two-storey, three-axial layout with a triangular gable. A pointed-arch window takes the pride of place in the middle of the gable; a decorative panel with a stucco relief of a dove is positioned right above the window, while the space beneath the window opening is embellished with a plasterwork representation of a chalice.

The side façades are similarly disposed, following an eight-axial layout. The middle axis of the lower façade of the southern tower is accentuated with a decorative panel, while the corresponding section of the northern tower is occupied by an entrance door. The successive axes of the main body of the church are punctuated by windows flanked by buttresses, with the two outermost axes of each side façade featuring a blind window instead.

Inside, the church features an organ gallery occupying the space between the towers, supported by a pointed arch and featuring a wooden parapet adorned with decorative panels. Painted decorations incorporating various foliate motifs cover the walls, the structural arches supporting the ceiling as well as the vaulted ceiling itself.

The interior fixtures and fittings of the church include a Late Mannerist main altarpiece from the second quarter of the 17th century, incorporating a painting of the Virgin Mary with Child, presenting a portrayal of the Virgin known as Our Lady of the Snow. The painting is surmounted by a representation of St Gregory, positioned in the upper section of the altarpiece. Other notable items include the Baroque side altarpiece from ca. 1700, adorned with a profusion of sculpted decorations, as well as a Mannerist altarpiece from the first quarter of the 17th century positioned on the right side of the nave, a pulpit from ca. 1830 exhibiting both Baroque and Classicist influences, a Mannerist baptismal font from the second quarter of the 17th century and a Gothic Revival pipe organ casing.

Limited access to the historical monument. The church is open to visitors during church service.

compiled by Krystyna Parucka, Historical Monument and National Heritage Documentation and Popularisation Department of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Cultural Centre in Bydgoszcz, 10-12-2014 - 19-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Record sheet, Kościół parafialny pw. Św. Doroty, Rogowo, prepared by Gadzialska - Wołodźko D., 1996, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Bydgoszcz; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. XI: Dawne województwo bydgoskie, issue 21: Żnin i okolice, Warsaw 1979, pp. 25 - 27.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1828-1831 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościelna , Rogowo
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district żniński, commune Rogowo
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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