Parish church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St Andrew, Strzegom
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Parish church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St Andrew

Strzegom

photo

One of the most beautiful wooden churches in the Świętokrzyskie region, featuring a plethora of valuable painted decorations and Late Renaissance fixtures and fittings.

History

The first written mentions of the Strzegom parish date back to 1326, although the first references to a wooden church of St Andrew the Apostle were only made by Jan Długosz (Johannes Longinus) in the 15th century. Since the village itself was the property of the Crown at the time, the founder of the church was the King himself. The existing church was most likely erected somewhere between the late 16th century and the early 17th century – a conclusion stemming from the fact of its consecration by cardinal Jerzy Radziwiłł, the bishop of Cracow. Shortly thereafter, in 1609, it became the filial church of the Wiązownica parish. Throughout its long history, the church underwent comprehensive restoration on several occasions – first in the mid-19th century, then in 1875 or thereabouts and finally somewhere around the year 1927, when the nave was extended westwards through the addition of two bays, resulting in the relocation of the organ gallery. In addition, the walls of the church received a new weatherboard cladding. In years 1965-1967, the wooden ceilings of the church were refurbished; the valuable painted decorations which grace the interior were also subjected to conservation works at that time. The porch and western gable received a new weatherboard cladding a few years later. The most recent works took place in the years 2005-2009; during that period, the old chancel flooring was replaced with new ceramic tiles, corresponding to the rediscovered remnants of an even older floor; in addition, a new, wooden flooring was also installed inside the nave. In the early 20th century, a free-standing wooden tower was erected in the immediate vicinity of the church, ahead of the western façade thereof. Some researchers believe that before that time, an earlier tower had stood adjacent to the front façade, although it was not fully integrated with the structure thereof.

Description

The relatively small church is located in the northern part of the village, in a large yard which had formerly seen use as a church cemetery. The church is a wooden log structure made of larch logs, positioned on sturdy foundations made of brick and stone pebbles. The structure consists of a three-nave main body and a substantially narrower chancel with a semi-hexagonal end section. The sacristy adjoining the chancel forms an extension of the nave. The entire main body of the church is covered by a tall gable roof clad with wood shingles. A steeple topped with an arcaded lantern and a bulbous cupola can be seen jutting from the roof ridge, directly above the rood arch. The walls of the church are clad with vertically positioned weatherboards both inside and out. The nave and the chancel feature flat ceilings, with the chancel ceiling also adorned with faux coffers. The side aisles, separated from the nave by rows of wooden posts, are much lower than the rest of the church and feature slanting ceilings corresponding to the pitch of the roof above. In contrast with its austere exterior, the interior of the church dazzles the onlooker with the profusion of vibrantly coloured, realistic painted decorations framed with floral designs, covering both the walls and the ceilings of the church, including, in particular, those of its chancel. The main altarpiece was designed in the Late Renaissance style, much like the polychromed wood panelling in the chancel and the organ gallery balustrade adorned with small pilasters as well as a sculpture of St Andrew. The Pietà painting incorporated into the altarpiece reredos was once believed to possess miraculous qualities. A recently discovered Late Gothic sculpture of Christ further enhances the value of the church and its interior.

The bell tower, positioned ahead of the main façade, was designed as a post-and-beam structure. Its weatherboard cladding mirrors that of the church itself.

The historical monument is open to visitors. The interiors may be explored by prior arrangement with the parish priest.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, 06-12-2015

Bibliography

  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture, Strzegom, kościół par. pw. Matki Boskiej Bolesnej i św. Andrzeja, Dzwonnica (Strzegom, church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St Andrew, the bell tower), prepared by J. Maraśkiewicz, 1988, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Kielce, Sandomierz Branch Office.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. III, issue 11, Warsaw 1962.
  • Adamczyk A., Wróbel T. (illustrations), Kościoły drewniane w województwie świętokrzyskim, Kielce 2010.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: przełom XVI/XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Strzegom
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district staszowski, commune Rytwiany
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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