Filial Church of St Peter and Paul, Rusko
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Filial Church of St Peter and Paul

Rusko

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A church surrounded by an old cemetery.

History

  • 1239 - first mentions of a church in Rusko
  • 2nd quarter of the 13th c. - construction of the church
  • 16th century - extension
  • 18th century - extension works
  • 1835 — renovation
  • 1962 — renovation
  • 2002 — renovation
Description

The village of Rusko is located alongside the road from Wrocław to Świdnica (DK 35), in the immediate vicinity of an active open-pit fire clay mine known as the “Stanisław” mine, the area of which has been steadily encroaching upon the western part of the village throughout the years.

The church of St Peter and St Paul is located in the southern part of the village, on the top of a small hill; the churchyard is surrounded by a wall made of ashlar blocks.

The church in Rusko was first mentioned in written sources dating back to 1239. The current church was constructed during the second quarter of the 13th century. In 1288, the patronage over the church was granted to the Knights Hospitallers (Order of Saint John) from Strzegom. It was subsequently extended during the 16th and 18th century. Further restoration works were also performed in 1835, 1962 and 2002.

The church follows a single-nave layout. Its nave is covered with a flat ceiling with crown mouldings; east of the nave lies the chancel, dating back to the 13th century and featuring a ribbed groin vault. The chancel is adjoined by a rectangular sacristy to the north, featuring an elliptical barrel vault. South of the nave lies the two-bay annex from the 16th century, with a ground-floor porch topped with a double barrel vault with pronounced groins, with a patrons’ gallery on the first-floor level. A contemporary porch adjoins the western side of the church. To the north rises the tower, designed on a horseshoe-shaped plan, its walls reinforced with buttresses; the ground floor section of the tower is accessible from the inside of the church through an entrance topped with a semi-circular arch. The upper storey of the tower dates back to the 19th century and features semi-circular windows and circular panels; at the top of the tower rises a semi-conical roof. The church of the roof itself are of the hip or three-sloped type.

The southern entrance portal is topped with a pointed arch and adorned with a roll-moulding. A chamfered pointed-arch portal connects the sacristy and the chancel. The eastern wall of the chancel is pierced with a pointed-arch window.

The interior fixtures and fittings include a Late Baroque crucifix as well as figures of St Peter and St Paul which form part of the altarpiece. Other notable items include a late 18th-century pulpit and Gothic Revival pipe organ. There is also a number of 16th-century recumbent tomb effigies embedded in the walls.

The church is accompanied by the former cemetery (in active use until 1845), around which a stone wall was erected during the 16th century, its overall shape being roughly that of a triangle with rounded corners. The wall is reinforced with buttresses. On the inner side, four residential buildings adjoin the wall, two of which, flanking the main cemetery entrance, were most likely erected using fragments of the wall itself. Two old headstones can still be seen in the now-defunct cemetery.

The church is usually closed; it may be viewed from the outside without limitations, while its interiors may be explored before or after church service.

compiled by Krzysztof Czartoryski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 09-05-2015.

Bibliography

  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2. ćw. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rusko
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district świdnicki, commune Strzegom - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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