Filial church of St Lawrence, Zacharzowice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Filial church of St Lawrence

Zacharzowice

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The church in Zacharzowice is one of the oldest wooden churches in the region, erected in the third quarter of the 16th century and preserved almost completely intact, with very few changes being made to its appearance from the moment it was built. Despite its Evangelical roots, it retains the form and floor plan typical of the traditional Roman Catholic churches which have been built in Silesia for centuries.

History

The parish church in Zacharzowice was first mentioned in written records dating back to 1447. The existing structure was erected in the late 1560s and early 1570s by the members of the local Evangelical community, to whom the Myszkowski noble family, the erstwhile owners of Zacharzowice, entrusted the management of the building. The conclusions as to the age of the church are confirmed by the results of dendrochronological analysis of the wooden structure. In 1629, the church in Zacharzowice as well as its counterpart in the nearby village of Sieroty were entrusted to the Catholics, who later formed a single parish encompassing both churches. During the centuries that followed, the church has managed to avoid any major alterations, with the works performed being limited to the necessary maintenance operations. Somewhere around the year 1675, the upper section of the tower was either replaced or redesigned, although details remain sketchy. In 1793 and 1804 as well as in the years 1824-1827, the roof truss and cladding were restored, while renovation works of other kinds were being conducted, among others, in 1843, in the years 1896-1898, 1909 and 1936.

Description

The church, oriented towards the east, is situated in the centre of Zacharzowice, surrounded by a small cemetery - still in active use today - circumscribed by a modern picket fence. It was designed as a wooden log structure with a post-and-beam tower, its walls covered with wood shingles. The floor plan consists of a nave designed on a square plan, a narrower chancel with a semi-hexagonal termination, adjoined by a rectangular sacristy, and a tower designed on a square plan, adjoining the western (front) façade of the nave. The compact structure is distinctly divided into the nave part and the chancel part, covered with separate gable roofs, with the roof ridges positioned at different heights. The dominant feature is the quasi-detached, massive tower with slightly tapering walls, topped with a pyramid hipped roof. The nave and the chancel are surrounded by cloister-like walkways covered with mono-pitched roofs supported by projecting rafter tails. The individual roofs, the tower as well as the upper sections of the walls are all clad with wood shingles, while the walls below the skirt roof of the walkway feature exposed log structure. A number of nearly identical windows topped with semi-circular arches can be seen above the cloister-like walkway. The interior features flat ceilings adorned with stencilled decorations executed in the 1960s. A wooden organ gallery is situated in the western part of the nave, supported by a pair of profiled posts and featuring a projecting, rectangular section in the middle, its parapet made of wooden boards designed to resemble turned balusters. Notable surviving fixtures and fittings include the Baroque Revival altarpiece from 1897 incorporating the painting of St Lawrence, the Late Baroque side altarpiece on the left side of the chancel, crafted before 1720 and adorned with the sculptures of St Stanislaus Kostka, St Stanislaus, Barbara and St Catherine as well as with the paintings of St Simon, St Judas Thaddeus and St Christopher, the Late Gothic triptych casing from 1510 as well as the Baroque pulpit from 1687.

The historic monument is accessible to visitors. The church is open to visitors directly before and after church service.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 20-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Architectural monument record sheet. Kościół filialny pod wezwaniem Świętego Wawrzyńca [w Zacharzowicach] (filial church of St Lawrence in Zacharzowice), prepared by E. Caban, 1997, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VI, woj. katowickie, issue 5: Powiat gliwicki, I. Rejduch-Samkowa, J. Samek (eds.), Warsaw 1974, p. 111.
  • Kloss E., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Tost-Gleiwitz, Breslau 1943, pp. 155-158.
  • Konieczny A., Sprawozdanie z badań dendrochronologicznych zabytkowych kościołów w województwie śląskim przeprowadzonych w 2008 roku, [in:] Wiadomości konserwatorskie województwa śląskiego 1: Odkrycia Badania Konserwacje, G. Bożek (ed.), Katowice 2009, pp. 119-121.
  • Matuszczak J., Kościoły drewniane na Śląsku, Wrocław 1975.
  • Zacharzowice. Kościół pw. św. Wawrzyńca, compiled by B. Kubit, Gliwice Museum (brochure X GDDK 2012).
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen (eds.), Warsaw 2006, p. 1067.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: ok. 1570 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wiejska 10, Zacharzowice
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district gliwicki, commune Wielowieś
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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