Church complex, Smolice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The church complex in Smolice, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century and founded by Countess Helena v. Ziethen, is stylistically uniform and forms a compositional whole with the neo-Baroque residence. The body of the church with its high tower oversees the palace and park complex, and is the dominating architectural feature of the village. It has remarkable architectural and historical value, as well as a well-preserved spatial layout.

History

In 1233, Duke Henry the Bearded granted the ownership of Smolice to Hugon of the house Łodziów. In 1258, it belonged to the Benedictine monastery in Lubiń. In the 14th century, Smolice obtained its own church, founded by the Lubiń monastery. It was a wooden building, probably dedicated to St Adalbert. The first written mention of the church comes from 1407. In the 15th century, Smolice went into the hands of Smolicki family, which in 1446 founded a new parish church that replaced the old building, but was still wooden. Then, the village was owned in turn by Siedlicki, Konarzewski, and Siewierski families, and since around 1618 the estate became the property of Rogaliński family. In the second half of the 16th century, Reformation began to rapidly spread in the southern area of Greater Poland, and Sierwierski family, the Protestant owners of Smolice, gave the then parish church to the Lutherans. In 1648, the new owner of Smolice, Władysław Rogaliński, the castellan of Nakieł, took the church away from the Protestants and returned it to the Catholics. The next owner of Smolice was Antoni Umiński, Roman Rogaliński’s son-in-law, who bought the estate in 1746. The last owner of Smolice from this family was general Jan Nepomucen Umiński, up until it was confiscated by Prussian authorities in the early 1830s. In 1860, Erazm Stablewski became the new owner of Smolice; however his son Władysław sold his estates to Samson Woller in 1875. After Woller’s death in 1900, the estate was inherited by his two daughters - Helena and Otylia, who divided the inheritance among themselves in 1901. Helena, who was married to Count Leopold von Ziethen from Nysa since 1893, inherited Smolice. It was she who in the years 1907-1909 founded the new, neo-Baroque, brick church for 250,000 marks. The church was designed by Gaze and Bottcher from Wrocław. It was built somewhat to the north of the old church building. The old church was completely dismantled. In 1909, a stone cross was placed in the spot where the privileged altar of the old church used to stand. Helena, who was of Jewish descent, run away from Smolice from the Germans in 1940; her ashes were buried next to her husband in 1975, in the church she founded in Smolice.. Two pavilons in north-eastern corners of the cemetery, the fence with gates, and priests' house were built at the same time as the church.

Description

Smolice are located approx. 5 km west of Kobylin, and approx. 23 km west of Krotoszyn, by the national road Ostrów-Lubin and closed railway line Kobylin-Rawicz. The church complex is situated in the south-eastern part of the village, in the northern corner of the palace park from which it is separated by a brick wall. The main feature of the complex is the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, surrounded by the cemetery, and the priests' house on the other side of the road, enclosed with a wall.

The plastered, neo-Baroque church was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century by Countess von Ziethen, and designed by architects Gaze and Bottcher from Wrocław. The building was constructed on a Latin cross floor plan; it is a brick, three-nave church with a transept, which is not clearly separated from the nave and terminates in a semi-circular apse of the chancel. On the northern and southern side, the chancel is adjoined by circular annexes which house a sacristy and a gallery. The church’s façade is comprised of a four-storey tower, topped with an orb with a cross, and flanked with square side porches. The entrance to the church is in the 46-metre tower on the western side of the building; it is in the shape of an elaborate column portal, with a figure of Jesus Christ in the top section. The interior is covered with barrel vaults, with a cupola at the intersection of the nave and the transept. The main nave and the transept are covered with a gable roof with two-storey, volute-shaped gables; the lower side naves - with mono-pitched roofs, and the chancel - a semi-conical roof. The gallery, sacristy, and side porches are topped with cupolas with lanterns. There is a steeple at the intersection of the nave and the transept. The tower topped with a cupola with a lantern. The roofs are covered with roof tiles, the copulas - with sheet metal. The façades are lavishly decorated with lesenes and composite pilasters, with windows of various shapes, partly enclosed in surrounds with keystones. In the windows, there is stained glass with figural representations, founded in 1913 by the Countess, and created in Khard’s workshop in Charlottenburg. In the four largest windows, there are images of the founders of the church.

One notable feature of the church are its fittings, especially the main altar made of painted and gilded wood. The altar is adorned with two paintings, used interchangeably: the Heart of Jesus from 1915 and Our Lady of Smolice, probably from the end of 14th century. Two pavilons, covered with red roof tiles, in the north-eastern corners of the cemetery were built at the same time as the church. One of the pavilons was supposed to serve as a morgue, and the other as a storage for church equipment. The whole cemetery was enclosed with a plastered, brick wall, covered with mono-pitched roofs. In the wall, there are two steel gates and a steel wicket gate which leads to the palace park. West of the church, there is the priests' house, situated in a large garden enclosed with a wall. This plastered, brick, one-storey building is decorated on the axes of the northern and eastern façade with two-column porticos with balconies, and wall dormers in the mansard roof section. The window openings have round arches, the mansard roof is covered with roof tiles. The priests' house is in a similar architectural style as the church.

The Holy Mass is held on Sundays at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m.; on weekdays - 6:00 p.m., the parish office is open on weekdays during mass.

compiled by Beata Marzęta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 17-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bogdan Zgodziński, Województwo leszczyńskie, Warszawa-Poznań 1989
  • Dzieje ziemi gostyńskiej, pod .red. St. Sierpowskiego, Poznań 1979
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, woj. poznańskie, t. V, z. 4, pow. gostyński, Warszawa 1961

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1907-1909
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Smolice
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district krotoszyński, commune Kobylin - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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