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Former Reformed Franciscans monastery complex - Zabytek.pl

Zaręby Kościelne

woj. mazowieckie, pow. ostrowski, gm. Zaręby Kościelne-gmina wiejska

The feature is an example of the Late Baroque monastery complex in Mazovia, expanded in the 19th century by a bell tower and a burial chapel.


A post-Reformers monastery complex in Zaręby Kościelne. The church and the monastery were built in the years 1765-1774 owing to the funding of Szymon Zaręba, a castellan and land judge of Sieradz. The Reformers occupied the monastery until the disbanding of the order in 1866. After the abolition of the order, the church became a seat of the parish. In 1872 a northern nave, an eastern utility wing and buttresses on the south-western corner of the monastery were added to the design of Maurycy Kalicki, a builder from Ostrołęka. In 1904 the church was restored, a side nave was added and the roof was altered. In 1925 a roof truss over the church was replaced with a new one. In 1928 the church was renovated. In the years 1964 and 1978-1983 the entire monastery complex underwent full-scale renovation. Henryk Damurat, a painter from Poznań, participated in renovation works in 1964.


The monastery complex is located on a flat area in the south-western part of Zaręby Kościelne, at a street leading to the market square. The monastery is linked with the church through a northern wall. In front of the church there is a quadrilateral churchyard surrounded by a wall. The churchyard includes a Tuscan column erected in 1805, a figure of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Mother completed in 1862 and a morgue erected in 1961. The monastery church is made of brick and its walls are plastered. A compact, two-partite, two-storey body comprises a main nave, chancel and sacristy and a lower side nave. The main nave is wide, rectangular, five-bay and oblique on corners. The northern side nave is a five-bay one and twice as narrow as the main nave. A two-bay chancel with a sacristy in the rear bay is narrower than the nave. A choir gallery is located above the sacristy. Crypts with barrel vaults or barrel vaults with lunettes are found below the church. The main nave is covered with a gable roof, while the side nave is topped with a flat roof. A steeple on a quadrilateral plan is located over the presbytery. The roofs are covered with copper sheet. Sail vaults partitioned by arches are found in the nave. The chancel features barrel vaults with lunettes, the nave features cross-barrel vaults resting atop supporting arches, while the sacristy has cross-barrel vaults. The choir gallery is made of brick and rests on three pier arcades. The front façade of the church is a two-storey, five-axis structure, partitioned by Tuscan pilasters. Storeys of the front façade are crowned with a bent, roofed entablature. In the ground floor, along the axis, there is a segment-headed main entrance with a frame of profiled cornice; above, there is a window terminating in a semi-circle and the next storey has segmented windows in profiled surrounds. The fields between pilasters on the main and side façades include hemispherically terminating niches. The gable is accentuated by volutes and crowned with a semi-circular tympanum. There is an oculus along the gable axis and a round panel, both accentuated by a pilaster surround. The north facade is decorated at the bottom with a plinth with two rows of windows, between which there are flat lesenes giving way to entablature series under the crowning cornice. The east façade is a simple, five-axis one, articulated by four lesenes. Windows along the axis have chambranle surrounds. The facade is crowned with a triangular gable with an oculus. The interior is of a basilica type. The chancel is equal in height to the main nave. The nave walls are partitioned by pairs of composite pilasters resting atop common plinths that support the entablature with a bent cornice that runs around the interior. The central bay of the main nave, in the southern wall, there is an altar niche; opposite, an archway is pierced in the niche by an opening towards the northern nave. In the south of the chancel there is an arcaded passage to the monastery, opposite the archway leading to the side nave. The upper storeys of chancel walls include wall-thick boxes, illuminated through semi-circular windows. The monastery building was built of brick on a floor plan which approximates the shape of a square. It abuts on the southern façade of the church and has a quadrangular garth in the middle. Between the wings and the corpus of the church there is a narrow yard; a newer rectangular utility building is located in the extension of the eastern wing, towards the south. A two-storey building rests on basements with barrel vaults and barrel vaults with lunettes. Inside, there is one suite of rooms running along the cloisters. Cross-barrel vaults in rooms and cloisters; barrel vaults and ceilings in some rooms. A rectangular refectory with a barrel vault and a rectangular panel with cut corners, adorned with stuccowork battens in the south-western corner. Next to it, in the southern wing, there is a square kitchen with a four-field groin vault resting on a pillar. A massive buttress is positioned outside, in the south-western corner. Monastery storeys are partitioned by a string course. Rectangular windows with semicircular arches and a slope, in chambranle surrounds made of thick profiled cornice with a wavy line. Gable roofs clad with roof tiles. The yard in front of the church is a quadrangular one, surrounded by a wall from the second half of the 18th century, made of brick, plastered, partitioned on the inside by segment-headed and valley niches. A segment-headed gateway along the western axis. A rectangular wicket gate and a niche on the sides.

The structure is open to visitors throughout the year.

Compiled by Katarzyna Kosior, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, 13-11-2014.


  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Tom X Województwo Warszawskie, zeszyt 12 powiat ostrowsko - mazowiecki, Instytut Sztuki PAN, Warszawa 1974 r.
  • J. Żabicki, Leksykon zabytków architektury Mazowsza i Podlasia, Arkady, Warszawa 2010 r.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury i budownictwa tzw Karta Biała, W. Boruch, wrzesień 1986 r.

Category: monastery

Protection: Register of monuments

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_14_ZE.54726