Parish church of St Philip and St Jacob, Skomlin
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Parish church of St Philip and St Jacob

Skomlin

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One of the valuable examples of 18th-century sacred architecture, with full trompe l’œil painting of the interior and a set of Baroque fittings preserved.

History

The current church of St Philip and St Jacob in Skomlin was built in 1740 (1746?), owing to the efforts of the village owner, Władysław Bartochowski. The parish in Skomlin existed as early as 1459 and was one of the smallest parishes in the Wieluń district at the time. The first wooden church in Skomlin was mentioned in written sources back in 1520. The church was burned down in 1737 in a fire caused by a lightning strike and was then replaced in 1746 by the current one. Owing to the efforts of the local priest, Bartłomiej Witkowski, the church was fitted with three Baroque altarpieces. In 1776, K. Więckowski provided the funds for the execution of trompe l’œil interior paintings, designed in the Rococo style and depicting the scenes from the life of apostles and saints. The church was consecrated on 21.11.1781 by bishop Ignacy Kozierowski. After 1849, a sacristy adjoining the main body of the church was added. Shortly before 1939, the church underwent restoration, owing to the efforts of the erstwhile parish priest, Zygmunt Jędrzycki. During World War II, the church was robbed of all its paraments, and it was only thanks to the efforts of the erstwhile wójt (mayor of the rural commune) of German origin that the building was saved from complete destruction.

Description

The church of St Philip and St Jacob was originally located in the middle of a radial settlement. Currently, the western part of the village is located there, at the intersection of the roads whose layout is a remnant of the historical spatial layout of the settlement. The church area is fenced with a brick and wood fence, and circumscribed by a ring of trees. In the south-eastern corner, there is a brick tower. The 18th-century church, with Baroque and Rococo fittings, is comprised of a three-nave body built on a rectangular floor plan, and a narrower chancel terminating in a semi-hexagon. The body is adjoined from the south and west by two porches. The chancel is framed by rectangular annexes. The body of the church is partitioned. The nave body and the chancel are covered by a separate roofs: a gable roof and a multi-pitched roof, respectively. By the nave, from the west, there is a porch of a shape similar to the chancel. In the roof ridge of the nave there is an octagonal steeple turret. The chancel is adjoined from the north by the original sacristy (currently a storeroom), covered by a mono-pitched roof. The brick sacristy, built at a later time (after 1849) is covered by a gable roof set perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis of the chancel. The church is made of wood and built on a log structure. It rests on a brick foundation, its roofs are laid with wood shingles and copper sheet, it is covered with weatherboards. The walls are covered with vertical weatherboards, partitioned with supports and segmental-arch window openings. The façades under the eaves are circumscribed by a pronounced decorative cornice, with a concave-convex stepped cornice. The interior of the body houses three naves, separated by two rows of decorative pillars. The central nave is higher, covered with a false barrel vault, and it opens to the side naves covered with flat ceilings. The chancel is separated from the body by a rood wall with a single beam with chamfered edges. The space of the western porch is filled by a choir. The interior of the church is covered by Rococo trompe l’œil painting of 1776 by K. Więckowski, depicting the Seven Sacraments and scenes from the life of the apostles and saints (including the patron saints of the church), in architectural frames and rocaille surrounds, decorated with foliage and geometric motifs. In the northern nave, in the second bay from the east, there is an altar with trompe l’œil painting. In the western porch, on the ceiling beam under the choir, there is an inscription, reading: “K. WIĘCKOWSKI / THE INVENIOR OF THIS CHURCH ENDED / HIS WORK ON OCTOBER 4 / 1776 / HE ASKS FOR HAIL / MARY”. The door opening in a decorative surround, with two-arch top section (in the southern porch), and a set of Baroque, 18th-century altarpieces, is also worth particular attention.

The building can be viewed from the outside all year round; interior tours upon prior arrangement with the parish administrator.

compiled by Elżbieta Cieślak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Łódź, 15.12.2014.

Bibliography

  • Archidiecezja Częstochowska, Katalog, Częstochowa 1993, s. 468,
  • Katalog kościołów i duchowieństwa Diecezji Częstochowskiej, Częstochowa 1978, s. 170-171.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. II województwo łódzkie z. 12 Powiat Wieluński, Warszawa 1953, s. 378.
  • Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, pod red. T. Sulmierskiego, T. X, Warszawa 1881, s. 691-692.
  • Ryszard Rosin, Słownik historyczno-geograficzny ziemi wieluńskiej w średniowieczu, Warszawa 1963, s. 152.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Skomlin
  • Location: Voivodeship łódzkie, district wieluński, commune Skomlin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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