Church on the pass of St Just, Świdnik
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Church on the pass of St Just

Świdnik

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A church of unique beauty owing to its situation on the Pass of St Just (400 metres above sea level) in Island Beskids. It is famous for legends about the first heralds of Christianity in this area. In the church, relics of the fittings of former churches have been preserved.

History

It was either erecter or thoroughly renovated in the 17th century, and extended in the 18th century. In 1871, a spacious vestibule was added to it. There is a legend that it was built in the place of the hermitage of St Just - the first promoter of Christianity in this region. The first church was allegedly built in 1083, but burned down 1259 during the Mongolian invasion. It is said that it was the parish church of the parish in Tęgoborze. In 1400, another church was built. Since 1400, St Just had been worshipped by canons of Cracow from the monastery of St Mark, on the Hill of St Just, in a little monastery founded by Chebda from Rożnów. The church and the monastery were destroyed in 1611 by the Aryan owner of Tęgoborze, Cyryl Chrząstowski. The present church was built in the place of this complex. The church was the place of marriage of Janina Dowbor-Muśnicka-Lewandowska, pilot, the only woman murdered in Katyn.

Description

The small building was constructed on a log structure, covered with weatherboards, and topped with a one-ridge roof. The nave and the chancel have gable roofs. The roof was originally laid with wood shingles, which were replaced, in 19th century, by sheet metal. Under roof canopies, decorative “valances” are visible. The church is comprised of a nave, a narrower chancel terminating in a semi-hexagon, with a tiny sacristy and a porch of considerable size added in the end of the 19th century and featuring post-and-frame structure, with a steeple turret with a Baroque sheet metal tented roof and a lantern. On the front wall of the nave, there is a dovecote. The ceilings of the church are flat. On the Baroque main altar from the 17th century, there is a painting of Black Madonna of Częstochowa, so-called St Just Black Madonna (also called Our Lady of Sowing) from the 17th century - oil painted on canvas pasted on a wooden board made of three planks. The painting of St Just from 1677 shows folklore Baroque features. The confessional and pews are late Baroque in style and originate from the 18th century. The ambo is Baroque in style, and also from the 18th century. Some things we can see today in the church’s interior are remnants of the former churches - a Gothic sculpture of the Holy Mother with Child from the 15th century and a late Gothic stone baptismal font from the early 16th century, decorated with coats of arms of the church’s collators. The church is surrounded by a ring of old lime trees. Its area is fenced by a low, wooden fence with two gates. In the recent years, a field altar was built by the church, used during services associated with the Virgin Mary, and the harvest festival.

The church can be visited after services. Week days 7:00, 19:00. Sundays and holidays - 7:00, 9:00, 10:30, 17:00. The keys are kept by the family of Osierda, living in the vicinity.

compiled by Roman Marcinek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Krakow, 20-03-2015.

Bibliography

  • G. Ruszczyk, Drewniane kościoły w Polsce 1918-1939, Warszawa 2001,
  • [M. Kornecki], Kościoły Diecezji Tarnowskiej [w:] Rocznik Diecezji Tarnowskiej, Tarnów 1972,
  • A. Matuszczyk, Beskid Wyspowy. Pruszków 2008.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, T. I, Województwo krakowskie, z. 7, Powiat limanowski, Warszawa 1953

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Świdnik 12
  • Location: Voivodeship małopolskie, district nowosądecki, commune Łososina Dolna
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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