Cemetery Church of St. Nicholas, Włodzienin
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Cemetery Church of St. Nicholas

Włodzienin

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Built in the late 15th century, in addition to religious functions, the church served as a cemetery in the late 15th century and in the 16th century and became a burial site for subsequent members of the Bytowski family from Włodzienin. The tombstones with the images of knights and their spouses, which were in the church until recently, are one of the examples of the relationship between Renaissance Silesian sepulchral art and Czech sculpture.

History

The earliest mentions of the Church of Nicholas date from 1476.

In the 15th century, when the parish church was occupied by Hussites, the Church of St. Nicholas served as a parish church. It was also a burial site for the nobility of Włodzienin. It featured graves of Barbara of Włodzienin (1496), Jadwiga Czepl of Bełk (1528), Wacław Bytowski senior (1553), Wacław Bytowski junior (after 1575), Anna Bytowski (1578), Jan Jerzy Bytowski of Fulstein (1586), Jan Bytowski (1588) and Katarzyna Sedlnitzky von Choltitz (1596).

In 1840, the church was extended and the altars, pulpit and floor inside of it were renovated. In 1880, the tower of the church and the roof clad with wood shingles were damaged by a lightning strike.

During the war in 1945, both churches in Włodzienin were damaged.

In 2011, after cleaning and repair work, a historical park was founded on the hill, where the church is located, and the tower of the Church of St. Nicholas serves as a viewpoint.

Description

The church is located on a hill south of the village, surrounded by a small cemetery fenced with a stone wall. To the west, at the entrance gate, there are two Baroque statues of St. Florian and St. John of Nepomuk.

The church is oriented towards the east, made of stone and brick, with a chancel terminating in a straight end section and a sacristy on the southern side. The three-bay nave of the church is slightly wider than the chancel. On its both sides, there are pointed-arched window openings splayed on both sides. Both the chancel and the nave are buttressed.

To the west of the church, there is a four-storey tower erected on a rectangular floor plan. It is divided by berms on the four storeys; the lower storeys feature embrasures, while the upper storey is illuminated by windows topped with round arches. The ground floor of the tower features a preserved stone pointed-arched portal and cross-rib vault, but the Renaissance cupola at the top of the tower, which can be seen in the pre-war photographs, has not survived. Currently, the tower is topped with a viewing terrace, and the ruins of the church serve as an observation tower in the historical park established on the hill.

Originally, under the floor of the chancel, there was a burial crypt containing three tombs. Today, the tombstones are located in the lapidarium of the Museum of the Silesian Piasts in Brzeg, and the interior of the church is devoid of fixtures and fittings.

The monument is open to visitors. The observation tower is open during the summer.

compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 23-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. VII: Województwo opolskie, issue 2: Powiat głubczycki, prepared by T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warsaw 1960, pp. 84-85.
  • Hofrichter R., Heimatkunde des Kreises Leobschütz, Leobschütz 1914.
  • Maler K., Zamki, pałace i dwory na ziemi głubczyckiej i ich właściciele [in:] Kalendarz Głubczycki 2000, Głubczyce 1999, pp. 83-99.
  • Lutsch H., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, vol. 4: Die Kunstdenkmäler des Reg. Bezirks Oppeln, Breslau 1892, pp. 162-163.
  • Architectural monument record sheet: Cemetery Church of St. Nicholas - ruins and surroundings, prepared by J. Kowalewski, 2006, Archives of the Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Opole.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Włodzienin
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district głubczycki, commune Branice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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