Parish Church of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary - Zabytek.pl
woj. dolnośląskie, pow. świdnicki, gm. Żarów-obszar wiejski
The church in Wierzbna was first mentioned in written sources dating back to 1283 and is believed to have been constructed in years 1230-1250. During the second half of the 15th century, the nave of the Romanesque building received a new, vaulted ceiling, with the frescos in the former chancel originating from the same period. In years 1729-1730, the church was redesigned at the initiative of the Cistercian monks from Krzeszów, who maintained a priory in Wierzbna and who also contributed the necessary funds, with the performance of the works themselves being entrusted to Christoph Koehler, a master brickmason from Świdnica, who used the walls of an earlier, early modern monastery as a source of building material. The church was modernised in the second half of the 19th century and subsequently restored in the years 1962-1969.
The original Late Romanesque church, oriented towards the east, currently serves as a chapel, organ gallery and sacristy. It is a single-nave, two-bay building with a Late Gothic vaulted ceiling of the stellar type. Its single-bay chancel, covered with a cross-ribbed vault, terminates with an apse. A pair of towers designed on a square floor plan and crowned with Baroque cupolas adjoin the western side of the structure. Polychrome decorations from the mid-15th century grace the walls of the former chancel. The nave of the old church opens towards the current main nave through an arched opening piercing its northern wall. Notable period detailing include the western portal, topped with a shouldered flat arch, as well as the paired arched windows of the towers and the western gable of the nave. A chapel of the Holy Sepulchre is positioned between the towers.
The current church consists of a Baroque nave which adjoins the northern wall of the old, Romanesque structure. The new nave is a four-bay structure with a single-bay chancel, which is not clearly separated from the nave itself. Each bay of the nave features a sail vault supported by structural arches resting upon engaged pillars adorned with diagonal lesenes. The fixtures and fittings are designed in the Baroque style and have originally graced the abbot’s church in Krzeszów, from which they were later relocated. The altarpiece and the pulpit were created at the workshop of Georg Schrötter. The altarpiece incorporates a painting by Michael Willmann entitled The Coronation Blessed Virgin Mary by the Holy Trinity (1678). The decorative pipe organ casing dates back to the late 18th/early 19th century. The frescos adorning the vaulted ceiling were executed by Frantz Heigel in 1734 and were subsequently thoroughly restored in 1902.
The church is located in the middle of the village; perched atop the hill, it instantly defines the surrounding landscape. West of the church lies the palace which has served as the place of residence of the abbot of the Cistercians from Krzeszów until the year 1810; today, the palace is no longer in use, although it has been secured against further damage. Next to the palace lie the ruins of the old monastery. The site is surrounded with a stone wall with an access gate, marking the area where the gardens had once been.
The church may be viewed from the outside. It is possible to look at the interior through the openwork partition and during church service.
compiled by Krzysztof Czartoryski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 27-10-2014.
- Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 925-926.
- Gromadzki J., Architektura przeoratu cystersów krzeszowskich w Wierzbnej, [in:] Krzeszów uświęcony Łaską, H. Dziurla and K. Bobowski (eds.), Wrocław 1997, pp. 337-359.
- Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku (miejscowości A-G), Wrocław 1994, pp. 13-14, 105-108.
- Świechowski Z., Katalog architektury romańskiej w Polsce, Warsaw 2009, pp. 608-612.
Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records
Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_02_BK.81964, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_02_BK.112160