Evangelical church, currently Roman Catholic parish church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Starogard
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Evangelical church, currently Roman Catholic parish church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

Starogard

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One of the oldest surviving half-timbered churches in Western Pomerania, dating back to the 16th century. Designed as an aisleless church, the building features a semi-hexagonal chancel end section and a tower dating back to 1908, its structure a combination of masonry and half-timbering. Both the church and the nearby Baroque palace and park complex form the material heritage of the eminent Pomeranian noble family of von Borck.

History

The church was built in the years 1578-1579, under the patronage of the von Borck noble family - the erstwhile owners of the village. There is no information about the builders or architects responsible for the design of the church. Historic fixtures and fittings - including Renaissance choir stalls and a Baroque altarpiece - have survived inside the church until World War II. In 1908, a tower was added, combining elements of typical brick structure and timber framing. In addition, the church also received two stained glass windows, created by Hans Schreiber of Berlin. On July 21, 1946, the church was consecrated as a Roman Catholic church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; initially a part of the Rusinowo parish, in 1986 it received the status of a parish church. After 1945, the church underwent ad-hoc repairs; it has also received new fixtures and fittings. A sacristy was added in 1959.

Description

The church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is located in the western part of the village, on the southern side of the road, in the middle of a plot of land which currently serves as the municipal cemetery. The aisleless church is oriented towards the east and features a tower adjoining it to the west. Today, the church remains a representative example of regional ecclesiastical half-timbered architecture. The nave was designed on a rectangular floor plan with a semi-hexagonal eastern end section, its total dimensions being 20 x 8.5 metres. The nave is covered with a gable roof, with the chancel section featuring a three-sided roof instead. The dimensions of the four-storey tower at its base are 5.6 x 4.1 metres; the tower features an overhanging belfry covered with a half-hip roof with a slender spire with roof lantern jutting from its ridge. The walls of the church feature a half-timbered oakwood structure with brick infills, their surface covered with plaster and whitewash. The timber frame consists of an irregular arrangement of posts positioned on the sill plate, fastened with top plates and bound together with three layers of wooden beams and long, diagonal braces. The walls of the tower are made of ceramic brick, with the exception of the uppermost storey which features timber-framed walls with a decorative arrangement of braces. The nave features a wooden ceiling with exposed beams supported by brackets positioned alongside the walls. The building features the surviving period roof truss of the rafter-and-collar type (with double collars), supported by a double queen post system whereby the posts are positioned at an angle. The roofs are clad with ceramic beaver-tail roof tiles arranged in a “lace” pattern, with the spire atop the tower being covered with sheet metal instead. The façades of the church have retained their original appearance and décor, with the rhythmic arrangement of the building’s timber frame serving as its primarily distinguishing feature. The longer walls of the church follow a four-axial, symmetrical layout, with a two-axial layout used for the chancel walls. The façades of the tower follow a single-axial or two-axial layout; the window openings vary in terms of size. Notable design features include the Neoclassical portal and the decorative arrangement of wooden beams which comprise the half-timbered walls of the overhanging belfry and the gables above. Inside, an organ gallery supported by two pillars occupies the western section of the nave. A distinct chancel section is located in the eastern part of the church. A porch and staircase are positioned on the ground floor level of the tower. The surviving historical fixtures and fittings include the Gothic Revival pipe organ casing and baptismal font (late 19th/early 20th century) as well as a pair of figural stained glass windows depicting St Peter and St Paul and incorporating the marshalled coats of arms of the von Borck noble family.

The building can be viewed from outside. Viewing of the interior is only possible with the consent of the parish priest.

compiled by Waldemar Witek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 02.04-2015.

Bibliography

  • Borcke W.D., Starogard / Stargordt. Zamki i ogrody w województwie zachodniopomorskim, Kulice-Berlin-Szczecin 2013.
  • Lemcke H., Die Bau - und Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungsbezirks Stettin, BD. III, Hf. X: Der Kreis Regenwalde, Stettin 1912.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Starogard
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district łobeski, commune Resko - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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