The parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Turów
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The parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary



A stone church designed in the Gothic style, surrounded by a fortified cemetery. It is an example of a rural Gothic church with Baroque fixtures and fittings.


The church in Turów (known as Thauer until 1945) was first mentioned in 1265 as the church of the Holy Cross; references were also made to the local parish priest named Jan. Another document, dating back to 1395, refers to it as the parish church of St Michael the Archangel. Turów is known to have retained a parish status until the 18th century. In the second half of the 16th century, the church was taken over by the Protestants. It was subsequently returned to the Catholic community in 1654, remaining the property of the commandry of the Order of St John along with the rest of the village right until the secularisation of monastic lands in 1810. The parish of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1971.

Researchers have been unable to come to a definite conclusion insofar as the date of construction of the church is concerned. According to H. Lutsch, the current church can’t have been erected before the 16th century. K. Degen, on the other hand, believes the church to have been constructed somewhere around the year 1500. The authors of the Catalogue of Historical Monuments and the Catalogue of Artefacts in Poland (Silesia) place the construction of the church during the second half of the of the 13th century.

Somewhere around the year 1611, the chancel received its vaulted ceiling. It was also during that time that structural reinforcements were made to the buttresses, while the tower was extended upwards. The window surrounds adorned with voussoirs originate from the same period. In 1701, a rectangular porch was added to the southern side of the nave; the porch was then converted into a chapel in 1965. A morgue adjoining the northern façade of the church was erected before 1736. During the 18th century, the church received its Baroque fixtures and fittings. The cemetery wall was reconstructed in 1735, with many sections thereof being rebuilt practically from scratch.


The church is situated on the eastern edge of the village, at the top of an elevation; it is surrounded by an oval burial ground circumscribed by a stone wall reinforced with numerous, broad buttresses. The church is oriented towards the east.

It was constructed using split and field stones. Only the uppermost storey of the tower was made of brick. The church is a single-nave building with a distinct chancel section and a tower on the western side, positioned on the building’s axis. The walls of the church are reinforced with massive buttresses. The sacristy adjoins the northern wall of the chancel. The nave is flanked by rectangular annexes positioned on the northern and southern sides thereof; the southern annex, initially designed as a porch, currently serves as a chapel, while the northern one performs the role of a morgue. The two-bay chancel features a flattened barrel vault with lunettes, whereas the nave has a false vault with small lunettes, likewise based on the shape of a flattened arch. The porch located on the ground floor level of the tower features a double barrel vault with pronounced groins. A pointed-arch barrel vault can be found in the sacristy.

The tall tower, positioned on the axis of the western façade, is crowned with a low crenellated parapet and a polygonal brick spire topped with a sphere and wind vane bearing the date “1611”. The surface of the brick spire features a plaster finish. An entrance door topped with a segmental arch and featuring plain reveals covered with plaster is positioned in the western façade of the tower, on the axis thereof.

The pointed-arch nave and chancel windows are framed with decorative surrounds adorned with voussoirs.

The fixtures and fittings of the interior originate from the Late Baroque period. The main altarpiece incorporates a Gothic sculpture of the Virgin Mary with Child, while the southern altarpiece features a 15th-century Pieta. The balustrade of the organ loft is adorned with painted Biblical scenes created in 1730 by the painter P. J. Hübner.

The cemetery surrounding the church, designed on an oval plan, is circumscribed by a wall made of split stone, its surface covered with plaster; the wall is reinforced by numerous, broad buttresses and features a number of surviving embrasures.

The church is open to visitors.

compiled by Maria Czyszczoń, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 02.10.2014.


  • Degen K., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Landkreises Breslau, Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 295-300.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, seria nowa, vol. IV, issue 2. Województwo wrocławskie, Sobótka, Kąty Wrocławskie i okolice, Warsaw 1991, pp. 24-26.
  • Lutsch H., Verzeichnis der Kubnstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, vol. II, Die Kunstdenkmäler der Landkreise des Reg.-Bezirk Breslau, Breslau 1889, pp. 455-456.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 888.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Turów
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district wrocławski, commune Żórawina
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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