St Andrew Bobola Parish Church, Warszawa
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St Andrew Bobola Parish Church

Warszawa

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The church presents historical and artistic values. The building is the first and the main church of Saska Kępa district and the history of its construction was shaped by the events of World War II. The feature represents a valuable example of reception of Christian architecture in a modern form.

History

The growth of population of Saska Kępa triggered the need to establish a separate parish. Along with the relocation of a wooden church from the St Stanisław Kostka parish in Żoliborz district, on 17 September 1938 Cardinal Aleksander Kakowski founded a new Our Lady of Perpetual Help community in this place. On that day St Andrew Bobola was canonised in Rome, therefore, by decision of ecclesiastical authorities the relocated church received the new saint as a patron.

The construction of the first brick temple began already before the outbreak of World War II by efforts of the parish priest, Rev. Władysław Rogulski. The design was prepared by Piotr Lubiński. A cornerstone was consecrated on 30 April 1939 by Archbishop Stanisław Gall in the presence of President of Warsaw Stefan Starzyński. External walls were erected before the war; however, the temple suffered damages during the acts of war of 1939.

In 1948 a decision was made to introduce certain changes to the church design. The previous plan was modified by Józef Łowiński, Eng. and Prof. Jan Bogusławski, a resident of Saska Kępa district. The church was consecrated in 1952 by Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński.

Description

The church was built on a rectangular floor plan, with a short chancel surrounded by lower annexes and two semi-circular chapels on both sides of the corpus.

The front façade has three levels. An entrance portico has a form of a three-partite shed. The second level comprises a strip consisting of twenty one blind windows formed by pilasters, obstructing the windows in the central part; a row of christograms was placed in the frieze. The crest has a stepped gable with vertical bar tracery and blind windows. The entire facade is crowned with a crucifix.

The temple was constructed on the basis of transformed pre-war plans. A far-reaching change was the giving up of a standalone campanile. Other walls were extended upwards and connected by means of a reinforced concrete tie beam, which allowed the glazing of external walls in the gable part and the application of an openwork wall. Fourteen slender, profiled piers were introduced to a well-illuminated hall-like interior. Ribs supporting a barrel vault extend from piers in the central nave. In its form, the vault represents a modern interpretation of a palm vault.

Decoration of the interior has been enriched by paintings made in the years 1958-1963 by Maria and Jerzy Ostrowski in a combined sgrafitto and a fresco technique. The drawing is characterised by a network of overlapping lines in a form of a mesh and soft contours. Representations created in the presbytery and side naves depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, while those located in a rood arch are images of Polish saints.

The church can be viewed from the outside; inside, it can be viewed outside the hours of religious services.

Compiled by Bartłomiej Modrzewski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, 15-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • ks. P. Cieślik, Pamięć i wdzięczność. Historia parafii Matki Bożej Nieustającej Pomocy na Saskiej Kępie, Warszawa 2013.
  • Historia, Strona Parafii Matki Bożej Nieustającej Pomocy, dostęp: 15 grudnia 2014.
  • J. Pilch, Kościół parafialny pw. św. Andrzeja Boboli [karat ewidencyjna tzw. biała], Warszawa 2000.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1938-1952
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nobla 16, Warszawa
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district Warszawa, commune Warszawa
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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