Parish Church of St Catherine of Alexandria, Węglewo
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Parish Church of St Catherine of Alexandria

Węglewo

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The church is one of the few examples of an ecclesiastical building having a post-and-plank structure in Greater Poland. The church, erected in 1818, is one of the objects along the “Trail of Wooden Churches Around the Zielonka Forest”. The main altar of the church incorporates a worshipped painting of Mary with Child from the 16th/17th century, referred to as Our Lady from the Islands or Our Lady of Węglewo — the Help of the Piast Lands.

History

Węglewo was mentioned in written records for the first time in 1100 (in parish documentation). At that time, Węglowo was part of the castellan’s lands of Ostrów Lednicki. The name of the village was probably derived from the name of a knight — Węgiel — who was given the settlement by a duke in return for his outstanding service. Bolesław the Pious founded the village based on the Środa law (ius Novi Fori) in 1266, which obliged the sołtys [head] of the settlement to build a church there. A parish-priest of the first local church was mentioned for the first time in 1412. Węglewo was royal property until 1471, when King Casimir IV Jagiellon sold the village to Górka of the Łodzia coat of arms, the voivode of Poznań. In 1499, Węglewo was bought back and again became royal property.

In the mid-17th century, the church was fitted with three altars and was in good condition. A parish school operated by the church. In 1770, the church was in poor technical condition and was dismantled. The present church (built on the site which was occupied by the previous church building) was erected in 1818. It was renovated in 1854. A steeple was constructed in 1901. The church underwent restoration works in 1960, 1980, and 1996.

Description

The village of Węglewo is located in the Pobiedziska Commune. The Church of St Catherine of Alexandria is situated by a road to Węglewko. It is surrounded by a low wooden fence. Around the church, there are old trees and a graveyard, containing the grave of the parish-priest Hieronim Brońkański, who rendered numerous services to the village and the parish, and the grave of the parents of Józef Kostrzewski, a world-famous archaeologist, who was born in Węglewo in 1885. By the church, there are a statue of St Adalbert in a boat, a metal bell tower, an old stone stoup by the porch entrance, and a grotto with a statue of Mary the Mother of God, standing by an old lime tree (with a girth of 440 cm).

The church is oriented towards the east. It has a rectangular floor plan. The chancel, slightly narrower than the nave, terminates in a semi-hexagon. The church is adjoined by a sacristy on the north side and a porch on the west side. The building is topped with a gable roof passing into a multi-pitched roof over the chancel. The porch has a gable roof and the sacristy has a mono-pitched roof. In the western section of the nave roof, on the ridge, there is a small steeple, covered with sheet metal. All roofs are covered with wood shingles.

The church has a wooden post-and-plank structure. The walls are covered with vertically-positioned weatherboards. The door and window openings are framed by wooden surrounds.

The church has one nave (with no aisles). Inside, there is a beamed ceiling, suspended at the same height in the nave and the chancel. The wall structure is exposed. On the west side, there is a small music gallery, supported by two posts. The interior fittings mainly come from the period when the church was constructed. On the rood beam, there is a Crucifixion group with a Gothic image of the Crucified Jesus and sculptures of Mary the Mother of God and St John. The main altar incorporates a worshipped painting of Mary with Child from the 16th/17th century, with a wooden, silver-plated dress, referred to as Our Lady from the Islands or Our Lady of Węglewo — the Help of the Piast Lands. It is concealed behind a painting of St Lawrence from 1818. A copy of the famous painting, executed by Alfred Ber from Rybitwy in 2001, is displayed in the Church of St Anne, which was originally located in Wartkowice and then moved to the Ethnographic Park in Dziekanowice (Lednica Landscape Park) in 1985. Pilgrimages with the painting of Our Lady from the Islands, routed from Węglewo to Ostrów Lednicki, have been organised every year on 24 May since 1991. One of the side walls is adorned with a painting of the patron saint of the church from the 18th century.

The church is open to visitors. More information is available on the website www.weglewo.pl

compiled by Radomiła Banach, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 27-10-2015.

Bibliography

  • Drewniane kościoły w Wielkopolsce, koncepcja, teksty i wybór fotografii P. Maluśkiewicz, Poznań 2004, s. 273.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. V, z. 20: dawny powiat poznański, Warszawa 1977, s. 52.
  • Krzysztof Kasprzak, Beata Raszka, Park Krajobrazowy Promno, Poznań 2008, s.194-197

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1818 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Węglewo 23
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district poznański, commune Pobiedziska - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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