Parish Church of St Catherine the Virgin and Martyr, Wronki
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Parish Church of St Catherine the Virgin and Martyr

Wronki

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The Gothic parish church in Wronki is an example of a church from the turn of the 15th and 16th century, originally a hall church, with side naves lowered in the 17th century. The church, distorted by subsequent modifications, preserved notable, in many construction elements: a Gothic brick-and-stone pattern of walls, Gothic traceries, pointed-arch windows, buttressed walls, cross-rib vaulting. The church fittings are diversified and date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

History

Wronki was mentioned as a town in 1279 in connection with the arrival of Dominicans, brought by Przemysł II. A ducal town, later royal, and from the 1515 - the property of the Górka family. From the 17th century, it was the property of Zofia Czarnkowska née Herburt, and later of the Łącki, Dzieduszycki, and Grabowski families. The centre of the urban complex is a quadrangular market square with eight streets entering at the corners. The town buildings date back to the 19th and 20th century. Near the parish church, there is a post-Dominican monastery complex. In the late 19th century, a complex of prison buildings and a railway station complex were built.

- the first church of St Catherine was mentioned in 1298,

- turn of the 15th and 16th century - construction of the present church,

- 16th century - used by Protestants,

- approx. 1641 - destroyed by fire,

- 1600 - reconstructed and consecrated anew; side naves significantly lowered,

- 19th century - church restoration,

- early 20th century - western porch dismantled, an outer door to sacristy was pierced (originally, leading from the nave), the entrance from the main nave to the crypt was removed,

- 1932 - the cemetery land was levelled and raised; in the church interior, altars near pillars were removed, side altars were modified, the church floor made of brick slabs was replaced with sandstone slabs,

- 1954-1955 - reconstruction of the cross-rib vaulting in the chancel; construction of a new main altar.

Description

Wronki - a town situated at the left bank of the Warta river, at the western edge of the Szamotuły district, by the old road from Poznań to Wieleń, Czarnków, and the Szczecin Pomerania. The parish church of St Catherine is situated to the south-west of the market square, behind the market square plots, on the eastern side of Sierakowska street. The church cemetery, bordering Kościelna street on the east and Sierakowska street on the west, was designed on an irregular polygonal plan, narrowing towards the south. The church is surrounded by a procession path. From the side of Sierakowska street, the land was closed with a plastered brick wall with niches, two gates, and wicket gates. To the south of the church, there is a rectory and a catechetical room.

The church is built of bricks arranged in a Polish pattern and stones, on a granite foundation, non-oriented, three-nave, three-bay, with two-bay chancel equal to the width of the main nave, closed with a straight wall, without a tower. The nave body is quite short. A sacristy adjoins the church on the northern side. A porch was added on the south-eastern side. The body of the church features buttresses. The naves and the chancel are topped with a thatched gable roof clad with roof tiles. The window openings are topped with pointed arches, of tracery type in the chancel, and topped with semi-circular arches (western gable) and an arch section in the naves. In 1974, stone window casings were removed. In the western façade, which was distorted in the 19th century and which has no partitions, there is a newer portal, with the main entrance to the church. It is crowned with a triangular gable, separated by a step, with a pointed-arch lesene topped with a stepped part, with three small plastered blind windows. The eastern wall of the chancel has two pointed-arch windows and a tall four-step buttress, also partitioning the gable along the axis, slightly modified, at the bottom of which there are four blind windows with crosswise partitions, topped with an ogee arch.

The main nave of the church opens up towards the side naves with pointed arches resting on octagonal pillars. The eastern nave is visibly wider than the western one. The rood arch is of pointed-arch type. Inside the naves, there are 18th-century ceilings, pseudo-barrel; in the chancel there is a cross-rib vaulting. The interior of the chancel is not plastered. The door to the sacristy is topped with a pointed arch of the gallery, with a full balustrade at the bottom. A crypt was built under the chancel and partially under the first bay of the main nave.

Church fittings - main altar from the 1950s. By the rood beam piers, there is a Late Baroque pulpit and a baptismal font, two analogous side altars from the 19th century, a choir with a full balustrade and a pipe organ casing from the 19th century. The church interior is decorated with Baroque and 19th-century statues. At the rood beam, there is a Crucifixion group with a Renaissance Pieta from the 16th century. The chancel windows are adorned with stained glass from the 20th century.

The site is open to visitors. Viewing of the building is possible by prior arrangement. More information about the parish and the Holy Mass schedule can be found on the website of the Poznań archdiocese at: www.archpoznan.pl.

compiled by Teresa Palacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 7-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kowalski J., Gotyk wielkopolski. architektura sakralna XIII-XVI w., Poznań 2010.
  • Kohte J., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmaeler der Provinz Posen, Bd. III, Berlin 1896.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Ruszczyńska T., Sławska A. (red.), t. 5, z. 23 pow. szamotulski, s. 34-35, Warszawa 1966.
  • Tomala J., Murowana architektura romańska i gotycka w Wielkopolsce, t. 1, s. 454-455.
  • Dubowski A., Zabytkowe kościoły Wielkopolski, Poznań 1956.
  • Gotyckie kościoły w Wielkopolsce, Maluśkiewicz P. (red.), Poznań 2008.
  • Łęcki Wł., Wielkopolska - słownik krajoznawczy, Poznań 2002.
  • Powiat szamotulski na dawnej pocztówce (1897-1945), Szamotuły 2002.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: XV/XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Sierakowska 4, Wronki
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district szamotulski, commune Wronki - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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