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Evangelical church, currently Roman Catholic parish church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Zabytek.pl

Evangelical church, currently Roman Catholic parish church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

church Tarnówka


woj. wielkopolskie, pow. złotowski, gm. Tarnówka

The church is an interesting example of an 18th-century ecclesiastical building with a timber-frame structure.

It is a valuable testimony to the multicultural heritage of Greater Poland.


Tarnówka was established in 1549. Originally, it was situated near a hill fort which existed at that time. The village was moved to its current location in 1579, which is when the translocation document dates back to. Tarnówka was part of the Krajna estate, which was owned by the Donaborski family in the 15th century, and subsequently by the Kościelecki, Grudziński and Działyński families. In 1609, Tarnówka was referred to as a town; it lost its municipal rights in 1631. From 1743 on, the Krajna estate was owned by Prince Aleksander Sułkowski, and later by his widow, Princess Anna Sułkowska. In the late 18th century, the property was bought by Jakub Komierowski. Following his death in 1809, the estate became property of the Hohenzollern dynasty.

In 1582, an evangelical church was erected in Tarnówka, with the Grudziński family being the founders. The building burnt down during the village fire in 1701 and rebuilt one year later. In 1732, the church was demolished. In 1768, the Sejm approved the reconstruction of the church. The existing building was erected in 1773, with Princess Anna Sułkowska providing the funds. The church underwent numerous renovations, e.g. in 1815, 1867, 1894 (full-scale restoration), and 1914. In 1945, the building was taken over by the Catholic Church. On 23 July 1945, the church was consecrated. The parish in Tarnówka was established on 1 June 1951. In 1979, the building walls were renovated, and in 1996, the roof truss and the ceiling were restored. The tower was renovated in the years 2002-2003.


The church is situated in the centre of the village, on the southern side of the local road leading to Złotów (Zwycięstwa Street). The church is surrounded by a large graveyard, enclosed with a new fence which is made of decorative metal bars mounted on a stone wall stretching between brick posts. Within the graveyard, there is a new chapel with a figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The single-nave church has the floor plan of an elongated rectangle, with an angular chancel on the eastern side. A narrower tower, built on a square floor plan, abuts the church from the west and incorporates a porch in its ground-floor section. On the northern side of the nave, there is a small, rectangular sacristy, referred to as the old sacristy. The new sacristy was created behind the altar by enclosing the former eastern gallery. The nave is covered with a tall gable roof with a hip section on the eastern side. The much lower sacristy which abuts the nave is also covered with a gable roof. The entire building is dominated by a tall, two-storey tower covered with a hip roof with convex-concave planes, topped with an octagonal lantern covered with an eight-faced roof.

The church is a wooden structure resting on field stone foundations. The walls of the nave and of the bottom part of the tower are based on a timber frame with brick infill, covered with plaster on the outside. The walls of the top storey of the tower are based on a timber frame and covered with weatherboards. The roofs above the nave and the sacristy are clad with beaver tail tiles forming a double lace pattern, and the roof above the tower was covered with sheet metal. Inside, there is a wooden beamed ceiling with a false ceiling underneath.

The exterior wall design is based on the contrast between the dark timber frame and the white plastered brick infill. Both the main entrance at the porch below the tower and the windows on two storeys are rectangular or square in shape. The top sections of the tower walls are clad with vertically positioned weatherboards. The windows there and the lantern openings are topped with segmental arches.

Inside, there is a beamed ceiling with a false ceiling underneath and extended oblique upper logs alongside the longer walls, adorned with painted decorations from the 1960s (the scene of the Visitation, the Lamb of God, the Eye of Providence). Galleries resting upon wooden posts run alongside the walls of the church (there used to be another gallery in the east). The balustrades of the galleries are adorned with rectangular panels, some of which currently contain painted Stations of the Cross.

The preserved fittings of the church include a Rococo altar from circa 1773, framed with columns with twisting shafts, with a newer painting of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the central section and the Dove of the Holy Spirit surrounded with rays, clouds and angels’ heads, worshipped by two puttos in the top section. Moreover, the western gallery contains a neo-Gothic pipe organ casing.

The church is accessible to visitors. More information, including the Holy Mass schedule, can be found on the website of the Koszalin-Kołobrzeg Diocese: www.koszalin.opoka.org.pl and the website of the parish: parafia- tarnowka.pl

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


  • Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, koncepcja, teksty i wybór fotografii P. Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2004, s. 265.
  • Śmigielski A., Złotów, Poznań 1995, s. 67-68.

Objects data updated by Tadeusz Rzepka.

Category: church

Architecture: nieznana

Building material:  timber framing

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_30_BK.171533, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_30_BK.128972