Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Tomaszów Lubelski
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Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tomaszów Lubelski

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One of the most fascinating wooden churches in Poland - a unique example of a design which successfully applies an ambitious spatial concept in practice, taking its inspiration from brick-and-stone Baroque architecture.

History

The town of Tomaszów Lubelski was originally founded in 1590 by Jan Zamoyski, the great crown hetman, with the establishment of the town having later been confirmed by way of an appropriate charter in 1621 by his son, Tomasz Zamoyski, the voivode of Kiev, who also funded the construction of the very first parish church back in 1627. It was later succeeded by the existing church, erected in 1727 for the funds donated for the purpose by Michał Zdzisław Zamoyski, the voivode of Smoleńsk. The bell tower was most likely erected at the same time as the church itself. In 1750, brick foundations were added, with the original, wooden treasury being replaced by a brick structure. The church has survived to the present era in a virtually unaltered state. The renovation works performed in years 1788, ca. 1807, before 1873 and in 1878, 1929 and 2006 mostly involved the replacement of roof cladding as well as the replacement and conservation of damaged components. In 1962, the towers received a new inner structure, while the roof truss of the church also underwent restoration.

Description

The church complex is located to the south-east of the market square and consists of a wooden church and the accompanying bell tower. The cemetery which lies adjacent to the church is circumscribed by a modern fence, with the sculpture up front dating back most probably to the 17th century.

The church. The church was designed in the Baroque style. The building is oriented towards the east. The main body was designed on a rectangular floor plan and follows a three-nave, three-bay pseudo-basilica layout with a pair of square towers and a two-storey porch adjoining it to the west; towards the east lies a partially projecting, rectangular chancel, its width being identical to that of the nave. The chancel is flanked by the treasury and the sacristy, forming the extensions of the northern and southern side aisles respectively, with first-floor storage rooms which had originally served as additional chapels. The church is a corner-notched structure made of larch logs on a brick foundation. The treasury is made of brick. The main body of the church and the chancel are covered with gable roofs; the towers feature concave tented roofs crowned by bulbous cupolas topped with spires and crosses; the roofs of the church are clad with wood shingles. The naves and the chancel feature faux barrel vaults, with flat ceilings used for the remaining interiors. The treasury features a brick double barrel vault. The main nave opens up towards the side aisles in a series of arches resting upon four pairs of rectangular pillars with pronounced bases and capitals. Separate chapels are found inside the side aisles; the walls of the chancel are pierced with broad, arched openings leading into the former chapels located on the first floor of the sacristy and treasury. The walls of the naves and the chancel are crowned with a profiled cornice, while the corners of the building are adorned with faux lesenes made of wood. The rood beam is split into two sections connected by means of a semicircular arch above which rises the Crucifixion Ensemble, most likely dating back to the mid-17th century. An overhanging pipe organ gallery is located in the western part of the church. The design of the front façade is clearly reminiscent of brick-and-stone Baroque architecture. The façade follows a three-axial design, with a two-storey middle section topped with a triangular pediment and flanked by a pair of projecting, three-storey towers. An overhanging balcony is positioned in the space between the towers. The corners of all façades are adorned by faux lesenes made of wooden boards; the eastern wall and the chancel are covered with weatherboards which are positioned vertically, whereas the gables and the upper storeys of the towers feature a diagonal arrangement. The eaves of the roof are pronounced and feature a wooden crown moulding beneath, with a broad skirt roof projecting from the walls much further down, providing protection against the elements to the wooden sill plate. The façades of the treasury feature divisions arranged in a frame-like pattern. The multi-pane, rectangular windows are adorned with profiled wooden surrounds; the towers feature circular windows on the lower level and oval windows at the top. Inside, visitors can admire the main altarpiece designed in the Mannerist style, dating back to the second quarter of the 17th century and modified at a later date. The remaining altarpieces are Late Baroque designs, incorporating religious paintings from the period between the 17th and the 19th century.

The free-standing bell tower was designed as a two-storey building on a square floor plan and features an overhanging bell chamber. It is a wooden post-and-frame structure, clad with weatherboards and covered with a tented roof clad with wood shingles.

The church is open to visitors.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 24-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Górak J., Kościoły drewniane Zamojszczyzny, Zamość 1986, pp. 17, 31-36.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Dawne województwo lubelskie, issue 17: Tomaszów Lubelski i okolice, compiled by Brykowski R., Warsaw 1982, pp. 66-72, fig. 15, 16
  • Miłobędzki A., Zarys dziejów architektury w Polsce, Warsaw 1978, p. 216.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1627
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Tomaszów Lubelski
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district tomaszowski, commune Tomaszów Lubelski (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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