Parish church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, Witoszów Dolny
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Parish church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary

Witoszów Dolny

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A fortified Gothic church surrounded by an old cemetery.

History

  • 1268 - first written record of the church
  • third quarter of the 13th c. - construction of the church
  • 2nd quarter of the 16th century - redesign in the Renaissance style
  • 1846 - modernisation
  • 1962-63 - renovation
  • 1976 — renovation
  • 2014 — renovation
Description

The church was erected in the third quarter of the 13th century. Originally a Gothic edifice, it was later redesigned in the Renaissance style during the 16th century. In 1846, the church was modernised once again. It was subsequently restored in years 1962-63, 1976 and 2014.

The church is located in the central part of the village, on an elevation which slopes steeply towards the south.

The church follows a single-nave layout, its walls reinforced with buttresses; it features a three-bay main body with a stellar vault and a rectangular chancel to the east, the latter featuring a two-bay cross-ribbed vault resting on polygonal supports. The western side of the nave is adjoined by a tower designed on a rectangular floor plan, with a barrel vault on the ground floor level. The tower is crowned with a Renaissance roof parapet and a spire topped with a wind vane. A two-storey annex adjoins the northern side of the chancel; the annex contains the sacristy with a barrel vault on the ground floor level and an additional upstairs room with a cross-ribbed vault. The southern side of the nave is adjoined by a Baroque porch, its gable adorned with a volute-shaped coping. The gable roofs of the church are clad with ceramic roof tiles. A row of wedge-shape embrasures can be seen on the attic level of the church.

The nave and the chancel are separated by a pointed rood arch. The southern portal, leading into the nave, dates back to the second half of the 13th century; the stone portal is topped with a pointed arch and features stepped reveals as well as a tympanum adorned with a trefoil motif. The southern portal, leading into the chancel, is likewise made of stone and follows a pointed-arch outline. The portal features chamfered edges.

The fixtures and fittings of the church include Baroque altarpieces, a Late Renaissance pulpit and a Late Baroque baptismal font.

The church is surrounded by a cemetery (no longer in active use), circumscribed by a wall; the western and southern sections of the wall are made of stone and supported by buttresses added at a later date; the rest of the wall is made of brick and constitutes a later addition to the complex. The individual parts of the wall are believed to have been erected in the early 16th century and the 19th century respectively. A simple cemetery chapel - made of brick and incorporating parts of an earlier stone structure - stands alongside the southern part of the wall, inside the churchyard. A modern catechetical hall is located in the south-eastern corner of the site.

Below the church, on the southern slope of the elevation, there are two shrines dating back to the 18th century, housing the figures of the Virgin Mary and St John of Nepomuk.

The church is usually closed; it may be viewed from the outside without limitations.

compiled by Krzysztof Czartoryski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 22-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006
  • Studium środowiska kulturowego gm. Świdnica, collective work by the ROSiOŚK (National Heritage Board of Poland - Regional Branch) in Wrocław, 1999, file no. 2111, archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland - Regional Office in Wrocław
  • Słownik geografii turystycznej Sudetów, vol. 20, M. Staffa (ed.), Wrocław 2005

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 3 ćw. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Witoszów Dolny
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district świdnicki, commune Świdnica
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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