Parish Church of St Simon, St Jude Thaddaeus and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Więcbork
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Parish Church of St Simon, St Jude Thaddaeus and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Więcbork

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The church in Więcbork, founded by a local noble family, is one of the few churches erected in the Krajna region during the reign of King Stanisław August Poniatowski. The church, designed in the Baroque style, was erected in the 1780s. Dawid Fecel (Fetzel), the architect responsible for its design, is also the author of other ecclesiastical buildings in the Krajna region, namely the church in Sadki near Nakło nad Notecią (1749-1760), the church in Wąwelno near Więcbork (1758-1767) and most likely also the church in Zamarte near Kamień Krajeński (1766-1780), although this is uncertain.

History

The construction of the church, completed in the years 1772-1778, was funded by Aleksander Potulicki. The new place of worship replaced an earlier structure, incorporating the walls erected during the times of Józef Remigian Potulicki (ca. 1694/1695-1734). One is left to speculate that this has not been the first church to be erected in Więcbork, however, since - according to the available documents - the local parish existed from 1405, as evidenced by the deed of donation made in favour of the parish priest named Aleksy on 28.10.1405 by Sędziwój from the House of Grzymalit, who was the erstwhile lord of the Więcbork manor. The existing church was most likely erected by Dawid Fecel (Fetzel) from Chojnice, who is variously referred to as an architect or a master brickmason. The date of foundation of the church (1772) is still proudly displayed on the cross surmounting the western gable. The consecration ceremony took place on October 28, 1778. In 1785, the accompanying clergy house was lost to the blaze. The church was renovated on a number of occasions, with new fixtures and fittings being gradually added as the years went by. Towards the end of the 19th century, a new flooring was installed, while the altarpieces, the pulpit and the pews were restored in 1908. In 1937, the church underwent a redesign which resulted in its original form being partially altered. The author of the redesign was the architect Zygmunt Knothe from Toruń. The task of supervising the actual construction works was entrusted to A. Piszczek. The aim of the project was to extend the edifice eastwards through the addition of a new chancel. At the same time, the oval sacristy was demolished and replaced by a new one, adjoining the southern side of the chancel. A new porch was also added to the western façade of the church. The southern and northern façades were left unchanged. A new, free-standing brick bell tower was also erected during that period, positioned about 10 metres away from the church itself.

After 2010, a cycle of conservation works was set in motion which has continued in stages to this very day.

Description

The Roman Catholic parish church of St Simon, St Jude Thaddaeus and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Więcbork is situated at the south-eastern corner of the market square, on a small hill the slope of which falls away towards the south, where it finally meets the Więcborskie lake. The church itself is oriented towards the east. The bell tower is positioned west of the church, while the rectory lies north of the building, forming part of the eastern frontage of the market square. The rectangular, three-bay nave of the church is adjoined by the narrower chancel, designed on a square floor plan. The main body is covered with a gable roof, while the chancel features a three-sided roof design. The church features a pair of decorative gables. A staircase annex with rounded corners is positioned at the junction of the walls of the chancel and the nave. The front (western) façade is flanked by corner pilasters and preceded by a single-storey porch with rounded corners, incorporating the main entrance. A segment-headed window with splayed reveals is positioned on the middle axis of the façade. The gable with a volute-shaped fractable rises above the front façade entablature, its surface partitioned with pilasters adorned with Regency motifs. A semi-circular pediment at the top of the gable provides the finishing touch. The pediment is surmounted by a metal cross with initials and a date, the entire inscription reading, “MP 1772”. The eastern façade features a chancel flanked by corner pilasters, with a plasterwork symbol of the cross adorning the surface of the wall. The gable of the nave rising above the chancel roof features a volute-shaped fractable and a semi-circular corniced pediment. The wide façades are pieced with large windows topped with segmental arches, providing ample illumination to the interior.

The nave features a sail vault supported by a regular arrangement of structural arches, while the chancel comes equipped with a vaulted ceiling of the barrel type. The stylistically uniform fixtures and fittings, exhibiting features of the Rococo and Classicist styles, date back to the times of construction of the church (1772-1778) and the period which came shortly thereafter. A trio of altarpieces installed at the church were crafted for the funds provided by Aleksander Hilary Potulicki as well as by his son, count Michał Bonawentura. The remaining items, such as the pulpit, the two confessional and most likely also the pews were likewise funded by the members of the Potulicki family. The baptismal font and the Potulicki epitaph plaque were made at the request of count Michał Bonawentura Potulicki, who also provided the necessary funds. One of the side altarpieces incorporates the painting of the Virgin Mary with Child Jesus which is strongly reminiscent of the famous Black Madonna of Częstochowa and was painted in 1858 by E. Josef Boltz. Much like the image which inspired it, this painting also served as a centre of Marian worship, as evidenced by numerous votive offerings.

compiled by Agnieszka Wysocka, Historical Monument and National Heritage Documentation and Popularisation Department of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Cultural Centre in Bydgoszcz, 26-11-2014 - 8-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. XI: Województwo bydgoskie, issue 13: powiat sępoleński, Chrzanowski T. and Kornecki M. (eds.), Warsaw 1970, pp. 29-32
  • Pałys D., Zespół XVIII-wiecznych wotów w kościele parafialnym we Więcborku, “Materiały do dziejów kultury i sztuki Bydgoszczy i regionu”, no. 2, 1997, pp. 112-117
  • Record sheet, Kościół pw. Św. Ap. Szymona i Judy Tadeusza oraz Wniebowzięcia N.M.P. Więcbork, prepared by Moszczyński J., 2001,
  • Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Toruń/branch office in Bydgoszcz

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1772-1778 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Plac Zwycięstwa 1, Więcbork
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district sępoleński, commune Więcbork - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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