Catholic Church of St James, Rzgów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Catholic Church of St James

Rzgów

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The Parish Church of St James the Apostle in Rzgów is a typical example of Late-Gothic wooden ecclesiastical architecture of Greater Poland. The octagonal Chapel of St Anne, built onto the church at a later date, is regarded as the oldest structure having such a form in Poland.

History

Rzgów was mentioned for the first time in a privilege document supposedly issued by King Mieszko the Old in 1145 (currently dated at the mid-13th century), where it was referred to as the property of a Cistercian monastery in Ląd upon the Warta River. The first church in the village was built in 1209; it is believed that it was made of larch wood. The next mention of a church in Rzgów comes from 1485.

The present church building was erected in the 1st half of the 16th century. The Chapel of St Anne was added in c. 1600. It was renovated in 1699. The church was dedicated to St James the Apostle in 1601. During World War II, in 1940, the Germans robbed the church of most fittings, including a monstrance, chalices, pyxes, candlesticks, banners, copes, chasubles, albs, and bells. They also destroyed the bell tower. The church was renovated in 1760 (when the walls were reinforced), 1790, 1867 (general restoration works), and in 1950 (replacement of the roof covering and new wall paintings); full-scale renovations were carried out in the years 1990-1991. In the years 2003-2005, conservation works were carried out on the church paintings, the roof, and the wooden exterior walls.

Description

The church is oriented towards the east. It has a wooden log structure. It has one nave (with no aisles); the chancel terminates in a semi-hexagon. A sacristy adjoins the chancel on the north side. The nave is adjoined by the octagonal Chapel of St Anne on the north side and a porch on the south side. In 1790, a square two-storeyed tower was built onto the west wall of the nave. It has a post-and-frame structure. At the ground floor level, there is a porch with annexes. The tower is topped by a tall hip roof crowned with a cupola. The church has a one-ridge gable roof with eaves, covered with sheet metal. The Chapel of St Anne is covered with a hexagonal dome topped with an onion-shaped roof with a lantern. The nave and the chancel have a common flat ceiling. The Chapel of St Anne has a flat coffered ceiling. The Rococo music gallery, adorned with a Nałęcz coat of arms, is supported by two posts. The church fittings mostly date from the Baroque period. The modern wooden bell tower standing by the church has a rectangular floor plan and a closed structure.

The church graveyard is enclosed with a wall with a gate. It features a number of lime trees with a trunk circumference of approx. 450 cm, having the status of natural monuments.

The church can be visited from the outside. Holy Masses: Sunday at 08:30, 10:00, and 12:00; weekdays: according to notifications provided on an ongoing basis.

compiled by Tomasz Łuczak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 16-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. 5, Woj. wielkopolskie, red. Łoziński Jerzy, Wolff Barbara, z. 8, Pow. koniński, opr. Eckhardtówna Joanna, Orańska Józefa, Warszawa 1952, s. 20.
  • Kościoły drewniane w Wielkopolsce, red. Mariusz Grzebalski, Poznań 2004, s. 223.
  • Kościół parafialny pw. św. Jakuba w Rzgowie, Karta ewidencji zabytków architektury i budownictwa, ze zbiorów WUOZ w Poznaniu - Delegatura w Koninie
  • Piotr Maluśkiewicz, Województwo konińskie. Szkic monograficzny, Warszawa-Poznań 1983, s. 267-268.
  • Piotr Maluśkiewicz, Ziemia konińska. Przewodnik turystyczny, Konin 2002, s. 138.
  • Wielkopolska. Słownik krajoznawczy, red. Łęcki Włodzimierz, Poznań 2002, s. 316.
  • Diecezja włocławska 2000, red. W. Frątczak, W. Kujawski, A. Poniński, K. Rulka, L. Urbański, Włocławek 2001, s. 327.
  • http://kosciolydrewniane.pl - odsłona z listopada 2015 r.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1501-1549
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rzgów
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district koniński, commune Rzgów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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