Catholic parish church of Our Lady of Consolation, Zalesie
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Catholic parish church of Our Lady of Consolation

Zalesie

photo

The building is one of the few surviving examples of a masonry ecclesiastical structure from the early 17th century, representing the Renaissance style of the Northern European type with some Early Baroque influences, the latter being notable for being of the local, rather austere variety characteristic of the Podlasie region and the territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The church has a substantial artistic and historical value, the latter being related to its benefactor and the owner of the surrounding manor - Hieronim Wołłowicz, a man whose importance for the development of the Podlaskie region cannot be overstated.

History

The church was erected in years 1603-1623, with the funds for its construction being provided by Hieronim Wołłowicz (died 1643) - Vice-Chancellor of Lithuania, General Alderman (Starosta) of Samogitia and one of the wealthiest magnates of the erstwhile Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. From 1596 onwards, Hieronim Wołłowicz has been making available large parts of his lands - including the Kryńska, Odelska, Molawicka and Kuźnicka Forests - available to various tenants; he was also conducting various schemes in these areas aimed at creating new settlements there. It was due to his colonisation efforts that the villages of Zalesie, Sokolany, Sokółka and Korycin first came into being, as did the local churches and parishes. It was also at his initiative that Sokółka attained the status of a town, with the relevant charter being issued in 1609. The church itself has managed to survive in its original form, with the exception of the tower cupolas which were lost to the blaze towards the end of the 19th century and were then reconstructed in an altered form.

Description

The church is situated on a hill, on the eastern side of the road and the village square. It is surrounded by a stone wall. The church itself is a brick structure, while its foundations are made of split stone bound using mortar. The walls of the church are covered with plaster both on the inside and on the outside. Both the roof and the tower cupolas are clad with sheet metal. The church was erected on a Latin Cross floor plan. It is oriented towards the east and features a pair of towers. The end sections of the side arms of the cruciform structure - both designed to accommodate chapels - feature truncated corners, as does the chancel. The sacristy, positioned right behind the chancel and terminating with an apse, is lower than the side chapels. The towers are four-storey structures, with the two lowermost storeys designed on a quadrangular floor plan, while the upper ones are octagonal in shape. The façades of both the main body of the church and of its towers are topped with a narrow, profiled crowning cornice. The nave, combined with the chancel, follows a three-bay layout, its vaulted ceiling flowing onto the supports below, shaped like pilaster capitals. The chapels were designed on a roughly square plan, with truncated corners; they are both single-bay structures, lower than the nave and adorned with Tuscan pilasters on the nave side. The pipe organ gallery is supported by three semi-circular arches accentuated with pilasters and topped with a brick parapet divided into decorative panels. The most valuable fixtures and fittings include three wooden altarpiece designed in the Baroque Revival style which were most likely installed during the first half of the 20th century as well as a pulpit from the 2nd half of the 19th century and a sandstone baptismal font from the 1st half of the 17th century, adorned with the Bogoria coat of arms and the initials “H.W.” - a reference to Hieronim Wołłowicz, the benefactor of the church.

The historical building is open to visitors.

compiled by Grzegorz Ryżewski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 10-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kułak A., Ryżewski G., Zalesie - dzieje wsi i kościoła parafialnego, [in:] Małe Miasta. Zabytki, M. Zemło, R. Dobrowolski (eds.), Lublin-Supraśl 2009, pp. 51-119.
  • M. Pawluczuk, R. Sylwanowicz, Zalesie. Kościół parafialny p.w. Matki Bożej Pocieszenia (BEATE MARIE VIRGINIS CONSOLATIONIS), Architectural monument record sheet, 2000.

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1603-1623
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zalesie
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district sokólski, commune Sidra
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

Licence:

report issue with this site

Geoportal Map

Google Map

See also in this area