Evangelical church, currently serving as a Roman Catholic filial church of Christ the King, Wielin
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Evangelical church, currently serving as a Roman Catholic filial church of Christ the King

Wielin

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An example of a small timber-framed aisleless church erected during the second half of the 17th century. The church has kept its original architectural form (with a tower jutting out from the main body), half-timbered walls as well as period interior fittings designed in the vernacular Baroque style.

History

The church was erected in 1689, as evidenced by two inscription plaques as well as the type of timber framing used (i.e. a timber-framed structure without braces). The Evangelical church was funded by the von Natzmer noble family, who owned the village between the first half of the 17th century and the mid-19th century. During the late 17th/early 18th century, the church received its new altarpiece, pulpit and patrons’ gallery. The church underwent renovation works in 1914, with the date of the restoration being displayed on the weathervane perched atop the tower cupola. From 28.11.1945, the church served as a Roman Catholic church of Christ the King, forming part of the parish in Polanów. After World War II, the church underwent restoration and conservation works on numerous occasions, with the operations performed including the reinforcement of half-timbered wall and roof truss, roof cladding replacement as well as renovation of the period fixtures and fittings.

Description

The church of Christ the King is located in the south-western part of the village, in the middle of the village green, on an elevation positioned among a number of escarpments overgrown with trees, on the site of the former cemetery. The church, positioned on the south-west - north-east axis, is an example of the regional half-timbered architecture, with a tower jutting out from the main body. The nave was designed on a rectangular floor plan, with a semi-hexagonal eastern end section, its total dimensions being 17 x 7 metres. It is a cuboid structure covered with a gable roof. The tower jutting out of the western part of the main body is a three-storey structure with a pyramid roof crowned with a metal spire which consists of a sphere, a weathervane and a metal cross. The walls of the church feature a half-timbered (timber-frame) structure with brick infills which are covered with plaster and painted white. The timber frame consists of a regular arrangement of posts positioned on the sill plate, fastened with top plates and bound together with three layers of horizontal beams (lintels). No diagonal braces are present in the wall structure. The western wall is made of ceramic brick and features a plaster finish. An internal post-and-beam structure is present on the third storey of the tower. The ceiling above the nave is made of exposed wooden beams supported by brackets positioned alongside the walls. The rafter and collar roof truss is reinforced with diagonal beams running beneath the rafters on the northern side. The roofs are clad with wood shingles. The façades of the church feature a regular arrangement of windows, with the longer façades following a three-axial layout, with a single-axial layout used for the gable-end walls. The entire arrangement is accentuated by a black-and-white grid pattern formed by the timber frame. A faux avant-corps is positioned in the middle of the tower façade, flanked by a pair of pilasters and featuring a circular blind window above the entrance. A foundation plaque with heraldic coat of arms, dating back to 1698, is embedded in the eastern gable-end wall. The interior of the nave retains its original layout, with a patrons’ gallery supported by spiral columns running alongside the walls of its eastern section, while the pipe organ gallery occupies the western part of the church, rising on a pair of supporting pillars. The altarpiece is positioned in the middle of the nave. The surviving original fixtures and fittings of the Wielin church, dating back to the late 17th/early 18th century, exhibit an outstanding artistic quality, being fine examples of vernacular Baroque woodcarving. Notable items include the main altarpiece, the patrons’ gallery and the pulpit; all these wooden structures are lavishly decorated with various figural, foliate and architectural motifs.

The church can be viewed from the outside. Viewing of the interior is only possible with the consent of the parish priest.

compiled by Waldemar Witek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 27-04-2015.

Bibliography

  • Böttger L., Die Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungsbezirks Köslin, Bd.I, Hf. III: Kreis Schlawe, Stettin 1892.
  • Lippoldes L., Möllerke G., Vellin, in: Der Kreis Schlawe. Ein Pommersches Heimatbuch, Bd. II, red. M. Volack, Husum 1989, pp. 1252-1257.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wielin
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district koszaliński, commune Polanów - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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