Cemetery Church of St. Barbara, Strzelce Opolskie
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Cemetery Church of St. Barbara

Strzelce Opolskie

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The cemetery church in Strzelce Opolskie is located near the ruins of a castle, surrounded by a vast landscape park and a prison complex from the 19th century. Five centuries ago, it was built outside the urban space, now it is surrounded by newer building and is a relic of the former layout of the town and its surroundings.

History

The church was first mentioned in 1505; later, its technical condition deteriorated gradually. Around 1683-1690, it was rebuilt on the initiative of Anna Baas with the funds provided by her husband Florian Weiser, Mayor of Strzelce Opolskie in 1668-1677 and his brother Fryderyk, by carpenter Jan Brixi (Brychcy). The west door of the church bore the date "1684", while the rood beam bore the date "1690" and a foundation inscription, which have been obliterated. The church was renovated, among others, in 1720 (the renovation involved the construction of a turret over the nave), 1970, 2010 (vertical support reinforcing the walls). The church belonged to the parish of St. Lawrence in Strzelce Opolskie. The cemetery beside the church features historical gravestones and a grave of Polish airmen who died during the September Campaign of 1939.

Description

The church is located about 650 m north-west of the town hall in Strzelce Opolskie. It is situated at the fork of Opolska Street (national road no. 94) and Gogolińska Street (voivodeship road no. 409), in the eastern triangular part of the cemetery surrounded by a wooden fence with masonry posts.

It is oriented towards the east and was built as a log structure reinforced with clamps at a later time, on a foundation. All roofs are covered with wood shingles.

The church consists of a rectangular chancel closed off on three sides with a rectangular sacristy adjoining it to the north and a wider nave in the shape similar to a square, also closed off on three sides. Entrances to the church are in a straight section of the termination of the nave and in the northern and southern walls, near the choir, opposite each other.

The small body of the church is devoid of a tower and consists of a higher nave and a lower chancel, which are covered with saddle roofs, with three planes over each termination. The one-storey sacristy is topped with a mono-pitched roof. A tall steeple turret covered with a Baroque cupola with a lantern towers over the eastern edge of the nave. The church is surrounded by a canopy running at the level of the lower line of the windows. The window and door openings are topped with arches; in the sacristy they are filled with forged grates.

The interior is covered with a flat ceiling, while the sacristy with a beamed one. The wooden choir is supported by two pillars, can be accessed by stairs from the interior of the nave, and is fitted into the three-sided termination of the nave. The walls and ceilings are in the natural colour of the wood. On the straight rood beam, there is a Baroque crucifix from the late 17th century; the architectural main altar dating from the second half of the 17th century was also design in Baroque style and features gilded pillars and statues, with a brick altar stone.

The church can be viewed from the outside; the interior is open to visitors during services or by arrangement with the parish priest.

compiled by Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 01-01-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. VII: Województwo opolskie, issue 14: powiat strzelecki, prepared by T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, p. 43.
  • Lutsch H., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, Bd. 4: Die Kunstdenkmäler des Reg.-Bezirks Oppeln, T. 2, Breslau 1894, p. 278.
  • Nowack A., Die Barbarakirche in Gross Strehlitz, [in:] Oberschlesische Heimat, 1915, Bd.11, pp. 161-165.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, S. Brzezicki, Ch. Nielsen (eds.), Warsaw 2006, p.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Strzelce Opolskie
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district strzelecki, commune Strzelce Opolskie - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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