Church of the Archangel Michael in Sępopol, Sępopol
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Church of the Archangel Michael in Sępopol

Sępopol

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A typical example of a Gothic hall church from the Warmia region, erected beyond the historic borders of Warmia.

History

The construction of the present church in Sępopol was started on the turn of the 14th and 15th century (Herrmann) or ca. in 1370 (Gall), however the parish priest was mentioned in the chartering privilege for the town dated 1351. During the first stage of construction, a chancel was built. In 15th century, a nave body was added with a tower from the west. The tower was completed around 1480-1490. Before the construction was ended, fire consumed the eastern part of the tower, which was rebuilt after 1457. After the church was completed, a chapel from the southern side was added, adjoining the choir gallery and nave body, which was used then as a funeral chapel of the Lockerwitz family. After the lightning strike in 1743, the towers were extended upwards and a new top section was made. Restoration and renovation works were carried out in 1756 and 1845. In 1773, after another lightning strike, the roofs and some vaults were destroyed, which were rebuilt in the next year. In 1807, the church was used as a warehouse. In 1826, the interior was whitewashed, and in 1845 — the church underwent renovation. In 1865, a new roof was installed, the crown of the walls was risen, and a neo-Classicist portal was added to the southern chapel. In 1872, the upper, wooden part of the tower and a new dome were made. In years 1523–1945, the church was used by Evangelical Protestants. The eastern gable and the tower were made in a manner mostly resembling the church of St. Peter and Paul in Reszel. The most valuable Sępopol church fittings include the Mannerist main altar originating from 1668 — the only signed work by Joachima Pfaffa from Königsberg.

Description

The construction of the present church in Sępopol was started on the turn of the 14th and 15th century (Herrmann) or ca. in 1370 (Gall), however the parish priest was mentioned in the chartering privilege for the town dated 1351. During the first stage of construction, a chancel was built. In 15th century, a nave body was added with a tower from the west. The tower was completed around 1480-1490. Before the construction was ended, fire consumed the eastern part of the tower, which was rebuilt after 1457. After the church was completed, a chapel from the southern side was added, adjoining the choir gallery and nave body, which was used then as a funeral chapel of the Lockerwitz family. After the lightning strike in 1743, the towers were extended upwards and a new top section was made. Restoration and renovation works were carried out in 1756 and 1845. In 1773, after another lightning strike, the roofs and some vaults were destroyed, which were rebuilt in the next year. In 1807, the church was used as a warehouse. In 1826, the interior was whitewashed, and in 1845 — the church underwent renovation. In 1865, a new roof was installed, the crown of the walls was risen, and a neo-Classicist portal was added to the southern chapel. In 1872, the upper, wooden part of the tower and a new dome were made. In years 1523–1945, the church was used by Evangelical Protestants. The eastern gable and the tower were made in a manner mostly resembling the church of St. Peter and Paul in Reszel. The most valuable Sępopol church fittings include the Mannerist main altar originating from 1668 — the only signed work by Joachima Pfaffa from Königsberg.

The historical building is open to visitors. It may be visited upon prior telephone appointment.

Compiled by Joanna Jakutowicz, Area Branch in Olsztyn, 23.10.2014.



Bibliography

  • Bötticher A., die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Ostpreussen, h. II. Natangen, Königsberg 1898, s. 159-166.
  • Herrmann Ch., Mittelalterliche Architektur im Preussenland, Petersberg 2007, s. 706-708.
  • Mroczko T., Włodarek A., Sępopol [w] Architektura gotycka w Polsce, T. II, red. Arszyński M., Mroczko T., Warszawa 1995, s. 204.
  • Bosko J., Wojtkowski J. M., Dziedzictwo historyczno-artystyczne archidiecezji warmińskiej. Zabytki ruchome, Olsztyn 2011, s. 202.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XIV-XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Sępopol
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district bartoszycki, commune Sępopol - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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