The Jesuit monastery complex with Collegium Gostomianum, today comprehensive school, Sandomierz
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The Jesuit monastery complex with Collegium Gostomianum, today comprehensive school

Sandomierz

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The building known as Collegium Gostomianum is one of the most distinctive edifices in the Sandomierz townscape from the direction of the Vistula River. It was one of the first schools of the new type developed by the Jesuit Order as part of the Counter-Reformation initiative. It was Małopolska’s first example of a modern type of monastery with the corner, palace-like pavilions. At the same time, this specific Jesuit project was concentrated, due to its location, in a rather irregular shape. The unique impressive attic is smartly hidden behind the grand frieze of the residential level.

History

Jesuit buildings were situated in the old urban settlements with the church of St Peter. The Jesuit college, known as Collegium Gostomianum, was founded in 1602 by a convert into Catholicism, the governor of Poznań and Sandomierz, Starost Hieronim Gostomski of Leżenice, with the full endorsement of Kacper Cichocki, a canon of the collegiate church and the parish priest of St Peter church. The Jesuits came to Sandomierz in 1603 with their first Father Superior Jan Konarski. They settled at the 14th-century parish church of St Peter (originally wooden and dated to the 12th century). The first part of the college was built according to the designs approved by the Rome-based Jesuit General Superior in the years 1605-1609 under the supervision of the Jesuit architect Fr. Michał Hintz. The entire construction closed in 1615, although probably only in 1638 the residential part was ready on the level hidden behind the decorative attic. The successor of Fr. Cichocki, Fr, Mikołaj Leopoldowicz rebuilt the church with the assistance of the Jesuit architect Giacomo Briano, and he handed over the seminary founded in 1636 for the Sandomierz archdeaconry to the Jesuits. Due to the location of the complex on the slope of the old town and frequent landslide movements, it was necessary to implement certain protective measures by installing retaining walls. During the Polish-Swedish War, the Swedes converted the college into a hospital when retreating in April 1656 they demolished the castle and set fire to the city buildings, including the Jesuit complex. The reconstruction took more than ten years. As a result, the roofs and gables of the building were reshaped. Renovated was also the church with its grand altar with the painting of St Peter. It was re-consecrated in 1677 by Bishop Mikołaj Oborski. After disbanding the order in autumn 1773, the complex became the property of the National Education Commission and parts of the building were adapted to accommodate secular schools. After the fire in 1813, the deserted church was turned into a warehouse and finally, in 1823, demolished. The east wing of the college was rebuilt in the years 1820-1826 under the supervision of the architect Franciszek Reinstein; it was initially intended for the bishop's palace, but was finally occupied by various institutions and warehouses, thus falling into disrepair. Further repairs and reconstructions were held in the 1920s in connection with a plan to install a teachers' training college in the building. In the 1980s the research, repair and adaptation works were initiated, completed in 2001 when the complex became the seat of the Sandomierz comprehensive school.

Description

The former Jesuit complex was located in the east part of the city, on the edge of the old town escarpment. The building of the former Jesuit college, together with the integration of the then parish church of St Peter, is the only remaining part of the monastery of a rather unusual arrangement, ensuing from the fact that the complex sits on the edge of the old town escarpment and was surrounded by intense urban development. The preserved wing was built on the plan of an elongated rectangle, with a corridor and a row of vaulted rooms in the east. In the north-west corner of the north pavilion, there is an oval staircase, preserved only in the lower floors. The buildings were topped with an attic obscuring the residential floor, divided into bays with pilaster pillars with balls; only above the north pavilion, a Baroque gable was used. The façades were free from decorative elements and divided only by the rows of windows. In the south wall, a foundation plaque can be found of 1602 next to a plaque dedicated to Fr. Gabriel Rzączyński, a physiographer and pioneer of zoology in Poland, and in the early 18th century associated with the Sandomierz seminar. On the premises of the former cemetery, at the church of St Peter, there is late Baroque figure of the 2nd half of the 18th century of Jesuit St Francis Xavier, patron of missions, with the motifs of putti and “blazing” vases on the corner pillars. Other Jesuit buildings are known only from iconographic material and archeological investigations.

The structure is accessible from the outside, and the interior upon the consent of the school administration.

Compiled by Jerzy Zub, 18.12.2014.

Bibliography

  • Kieszkowski W., Kolegium jezuickie w Sandomierzu, (w:) Pamiętnik Koła Sandomierzan, Warszawa-Sandomierz 1936, s. 5-49.
  • Miłobędzki A. Architektura polska XVII wieku, Warszawa 1980.
  • Sito J., Prace rzeźbiarskie Tomasza Huttera (1696-1746) dla sandomierskich jezuitów (w:) Zeszyty Sandomierskie, nr 11, Sandomierz 2000, s. 2-10.
  • Juszczyk M., Historia budynku i remontu, (w:) Collegium Gostomianum. Nauczyciele, uczniowie i ich szkoła w latach 1944-2002, Sandomierz 2002, s. 523-41.
  • Paszenda J., Budowle jezuickie w Polsce XVI-XVIII w., t. 4, Kraków 2010, s. 299-314.

General information

  • Type: monastery
  • Chronology: 1605-1615 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: J. Długosza 7, Sandomierz
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district sandomierski, commune Sandomierz
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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