The parish church of St Stanislaus the Bishop and Martyr Church, Stary Zamek
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The parish church of St Stanislaus the Bishop and Martyr Church

Stary Zamek

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The church in Stary Zamek is a Late Romanesque rural church, its interior layout and architectural detailing surviving intact despite the passage of time. One of the most intriguing features of this church is the decorative portal which incorporates the very first portrayal of St Stanislaus known to exist in the Polish territory. The original silhouette of the church was subsequently modified through the addition of a Gothic tower and, later on, the southern porch.

History

The first mentions of a local parish church date back to 1381, although the Late Romanesque church is believed to have been erected much earlier than that, back in the third quarter of the 13th century. It is a single-nave church with a narrower chancel featuring a rectangular end section. Initially, the church featured a western gallery which was subsequently torn down to make way for the tower, most likely during the early 14th century. Between the 16th century and the year 1672, the church served the needs of the Protestant community. Somewhere around the year 1600, the interiors of the church were rearranged, with a patrons’ gallery being added above the sacristy. A pipe organ gallery was also constructed during that time, extending into the side gallery running alongside the northern wall of the nave. The vertical shafts supporting the ribs of the vaulted ceiling as well as the southern portal were now graced with painted decorations. When the Catholic community managed to regain control of the church, renovation works could begin. In 1694, the southern porch - designed as a wattle-and-daub structure - was built; the porch was lost to the blaze in 1846 and was later replaced with the current, brick and stone structure. A sacristy annex was most likely erected in 1846. In the years 1853 and 1915, the roof truss and cladding were restored. In 1915, maintenance works were carried out on the nave ceiling; the window outline was modified and the interior walls were replastered.

The parish was revived in 1958. In 1962, restoration works were carried out on the southern portal. Subsequent renovation and conservation works were carried out in years 1963-1964, when the Late Romanesque stonework detailing was exposed, with the pulpit being moved to its present location. In 1966, the eastern chancel window with its tracery decoration was partially reconstructed based on the drawings produced by Hanna and Tadeusz Kozaczewski. In the years 1974-1975, conservation works were carried out on the southern portal.

Description

The church is located in the middle of the village, on a small hill. It is surrounded by a cemetery circumscribed with a stone wall supported by buttresses.

The building is a masonry structure made of split stone, oriented towards the east. It is a single-nave building designed on a rectangular floor plan, with a narrower, roughly square chancel, its northern side adjoined by a sacristy with annex (1846). The nave is preceded by a quadrangular tower adjoining its western side, covered with a gable roof. A porch designed on a rectangular plan (1846) adjoins the southern side of the nave. The nave, the chancel and the porch all feature gable roofs, while the sacristy and its annex are both covered with mono-pitched roofs. Putlock holes can still be seen in the walls of the tower, nave and chancel. The corners of the nave and chancel are reinforced with buttresses made of smoothed granite blocks. The southern porch and northern annex are both brick structures, their walls covered with plaster. The eastern wall of the chancel features a pointed-arch window with partially reconstructed sandstone tracery. A small paired window pierces the northern wall of the nave; sacristy windows are framed with sandstone surrounds. A pointed-arch main portal dating back to the third quarter of the 13th century can still be admired in the southern wall of the nave. This archivolt portal features three pairs of small columns as well as a sculpted tympanum adorned with the image of the Virgin Mary with Child Enthroned, accompanied by St Stanislaus (front) and the glorified image of the saint’s martyrdom (back). The portal is flanked by a pair of granite sculptures of lions from the 12th century, embedded in their current location in the 20th century.

The nave features a beamed ceiling structure with counter-ceiling, with a single-bay ribbed groin vault used for the chancel. The groins of the vaulted ceiling are supported by vertical shafts in the form of slender stone columns with chalice-shaped capitals. The vault keystone is adorned with a rosette. The southern porch and the ground floor section of the tower both feature vaulted ceilings of the barrel type.

In the chancel one will find a stone tabernacle in a pointed-arch surround and a trefoil-shaped recess positioned above the piscina, dating back to the third quarter of the 13th century, as well as a fragment of a tabernacle surround from the late 15th century. Both the Late Baroque main altarpiece and the pulpit date back to the year 1714; the altarpiece incorporates the painting of St Stanislaus from 1858, created by Karl Krachwitz. A genealogical tree of the von Sedlitz noble family from ca. 1600 is displayed on the parapet of the patrons’ gallery. The pipe organ gallery, likewise dating back to the year 1600, is adorned with heraldic cartouches which are believed to have been repainted in the years 1963-64. Late Renaissance figural epitaph plaques can be admired inside the nave.

The church is open to visitors.

compiled by Beata Sebzda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 12-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Degen K., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Landkreises Breslau, Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 225-235.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce. Seria Nowa, vol. IV, issue 2, Województwo wrocławskie, Sobótka, Kąty Wrocławskie i okolice, J. Pokora and M. Zlat (eds.), Warsaw 1991, pp. 126-129.
  • Kozaczewski T., Jednonawowe kościoły romańskie na Dolnym Śląsku. Zeszyty Naukowe Politechniki Wrocławskiej, no. 16, Architektura II, Wrocław 1957, pp. 33-63.
  • Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku (miejscowości P-S), Research Papers of the Institute for the History of Architecture, Art and Technology of the Wrocław University of Technology, no. 29, series: Monographies (17). Wrocław 1994, pp. 27-28, 233-237.
  • Pietrusiński J., Portal św. Stanisława w Starym Zamku. Biuletyn Historii Sztuki, Year 1968, no. 3, pp. 346-355.
  • Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska. Warsaw 2005, p. 320.
  • Rozpędowski J., Warowne kościoły na Śląsku. Roczniki Sztuki Śląskiej, vol. VI, Year 1968, p. 54-97.
  • Świechowski Z., Architektura na Śląsku do połowy XIII w., Warsaw 1955, pp. 62-66.
  • Świechowski Z., Architektura romańska w Polsce, Warsaw 2000, pp. 226-228.
  • Świechowski Z., Katalog architektury romańskiej w Polsce, Warsaw 2009, pp. 446-450.
  • Walicki M., Sztuka polska przedromańska i romańska do schyłku XIII wieku, Warsaw 1976, pp. 487-488.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 803-80.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 3. ćw. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Stary Zamek
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district wrocławski, commune Sobótka - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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