The parish church of the Holy Cross – church complex, Rzeczyca Księża
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

The parish church of the Holy Cross – church complex

Rzeczyca Księża

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A valuable example of 17th-century ecclesiastical architecture, the church belongs to the so-called “Kraśnik group” of wooden churches.

History

The village of Rzeczyca Księża (formerly known as Plebania) is first mentioned in written sources dating back to the 14th century. It was here that a grange was originally established by the Canons Regular from Kraśnik, who also funded the construction of the existing church back in 1742, most likely replacing an earlier structure that was built back in 1611. Following the dissolution of the monastic order in 1864, the church came under the care of the priests from the local diocese; a separate pastoral centre was established in 1971, followed by a separate parish in 1985. The church underwent comprehensive restoration works in 1872. In 1874, the interiors received painted decorations executed by Jan Ruciński. A few series of renovation works were also carried out in the 20th century, including a thorough restoration in 1931, 1972 and 2010 (roof cladding replacement), 1985 (when the weatherboards - including those on the bell tower - were replaced), 1998 (when the roof truss was restored and the floor tiles and the rood beam were replaced) as well as 2009, which saw a series of works aimed at ensuring the preservation of the weatherboard cladding. The bell tower, believed to have been erected towards the end of the 19th century to replace an earlier belfry, was initially an openwork timber-framed structure which was subsequently covered with weatherboards.

Description

The complex consists of the church and the bell tower; it is located in the middle part of the village, about 100 metres to the north from the nearest houses. The church belongs to the so-called “Kraśnik group” of wooden temples distinguished by the absence of a tower in their front façades. The church is oriented towards the east; it was designed on a floor plan consisting of a rectangular, single-nave main body and a narrower chancel with a semi-hexagonal termination, its height being identical to that of the nave; a sacristy adjoins the chancel and the nave to the north. The main entrance is preceded by a small, low porch. The church is a wooden, corner-notched log structure, reinforced with vertical supports and clad with weatherboards. The interior features a flat ceiling in the nave, supported by a pair of pillars. The church features a wooden queen-post roof truss. The roofs are covered with sheet metal. The main body of the church and the chancel share a single gable roof with a three-sided end section to the east; the porch and the sacristy feature a gable roof and a shed roof respectively. A multi-tier steeple with lantern rises above the roof ridge. The façades are covered with vertically positioned board and batten siding; decorative timber pelmets grace the exterior of the church, extending from beneath the eaves, while the sill plate is covered by a separate skirt roof which protects it against the elements. The eight-paned windows are rectangular in shape, adorned with wooden surrounds. The interior features a series of 19th-century figural wall paintings. The remaining interior fixtures and fittings date back to the period between the 17th and the 19th century. The free-standing bell tower was designed as a two-storey building on a square floor plan. The tower is a wooden post-and-beam structure, its walls covered with vertical board and batten siding. The entire structure is covered with a squat, four-sloped cupola. The rectangular openings are filled with louvers, behind which lurks an original bell dating back to 1776.

The site is open to visitors.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 16/12/2014.

Bibliography

  • Record sheet. The parish church of the Holy Cross. Rzeczyca Księża, compiled by Kiełboń Cz., 1991, Archive of the Regional Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Lublin; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Record sheet. Bell tower. Rzeczyca Księża, compiled by Kiełboń Cz., 1991, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin; Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw.
  • Górak J., Typy i formy drewnianej architektury sakralnej Lubelszczyzny, “Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki”, 1987, no. 3-4, pp. 240-242.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Województwo lubelskie, issue 9: Powiat kraśnicki, compiled by Galicka I., Rowińska E., Warsaw 1961, pp. 39-30.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1742
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rzeczyca Księża
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district kraśnicki, commune Trzydnik Duży
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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