Evangelical cemetery chapel, currently serving as exhibition space, Siemiatycze
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Evangelical cemetery chapel, currently serving as exhibition space

Siemiatycze

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One of the two Classicist rotunda-shaped chapels in the Podlaskie region, the other one being the chapel in Łomża; the characteristic silhouette and floor plan of the building are both typical of its period of origin, complemented by the tasteful and restrained Classicist detailing. The chapel also possesses a significant historical value, forming a tangible trace of the Evangelical community which had once resided here.

History

The exact date of construction of the chapel is unknown. Some researchers assume that the chapel was erected in the late 18th century or in the early 19th century, its design attributed to Bogumił Zug. However, no actual source documents exist which could support these claims. The building was most likely erected somewhere around the mid-19th century, most certainly before the year 1889. By 1921, the Evangelical community in Siemiatycze has dwindled to just six individuals. After World War II came to an end, the chapel was abandoned and became the property of the local community. The long period of disuse has led to the building descending into a state of disrepair. During the 1970s, works intended to secure the structure against further damage were performed. From 1994 onwards, major conservation works have been performed, including the replacement of the existing roof cladding with copper sheets, the addition of ventilation apertures in the wall base, the application of a new plaster finish, the installation of new flooring and the recreation of architectural detailing. In the year 2000, the structure was adapted to serve as a Gallery of Sepulchral Art.

Description

The chapel is located in the ecumenical cemetery in Siemiatycze, located in the northern part of the city, with the Romana Rogińskiego, Powstania Styczniowego and Ciechanowiecka streets forming its southern, western and eastern boundaries respectively. The cemetery is surrounded with a concrete and stone wall, with entrance gates located in its southern and western sections. The chapel is situated in the south-western part of the cemetery, its entrance positioned on the axis of the western entrance gate. The structure, erected on a circular plan and oriented towards the east, was designed in the Classicist style; it is a single-storey, cylindrical building topped with a dome which features a low, circular skylight at the top, covered by a transparent conical roof surmounted by a cast iron cross. The chapel features a basement underneath parts of its structure. It is a brick building, its walls covered with plaster; the roof is clad with copper sheets. The outer walls are partitioned with a profiled string course above which there is a row of rectangular recesses. The entire façade is crowned with a pronounced profiled cornice following a stepped outline, above which rise two low roof parapets which conceal the lowermost section of the dome. The entrance portal topped with a triangular pediment supported by decorative corbels is positioned on the western side of the structure.

The site is open to visitors.

compiled by Grzegorz Ryżewski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 14-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. XII, Województwo białostockie, issue 1, Siemiatycze, Drohiczyn i okolice, compiled by Kałamajska-Saeed M., Warsaw 1996, p. 72.
  • http://www.siemiatycze-um.com.pl/art/2494/kaplica_ewangelicka_cmentarna
  • Dobroński A. Cz., Miasta województwa podlaskiego, Białystok 2014, pp. 264-265.
  • Record sheet, Siemiatycze.

General information

  • Type: chapel
  • Chronology: poł. XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Siemiatycze
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district siemiatycki, commune Siemiatycze (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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