Church of Michael the Archangel in Mszana Dolna

Identifier
DZIELO/12547
Catalogue note author
Maria Działo

History of work

The first church in Mszana Dolna under the invocation of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven was mentioned in the episcopal visitation records from 1596 and 1598. In another ones from 1618, the church was under the invocation of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven and St. Michael the Archangel. The three altars, the crucifix on the crossing (between nave an chancel), the baptismal font, the ciborium, the pulpit and other necessary accessories, vessels and liturgical cloths were mentioned during all visitations up until 1655. However, during the next two visitations in 1728 and one in 1748, the titles of the respective paintings in the altars were recorded. In the high altar there was a painting of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven (it was probably brought to Mszana Dolna from the church of St. Anne in Cracow by the parish priest Jan Kazimierz Bełza in 1689). This painting is kept in the temple to this day. There was a painting of St. Joseph in the second altar, and a painting of Madonna of Częstochowa in the third altar. The church in Mszana Dolna burned down in the second half of the 17th century, perhaps during the Swedish Deluge (1655-1660). It was probably funded by the Pieniążek family. It is not known to what extent the temple was destroyed. In 1710, the church was completely rebuilt and then consecrated by bishop Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler on June 29, 1826. The relics of Saint Crescentius and Saint Pontian were placed in the high altar.

On 6 March 1888, the parish committee decided to build a new church in Mszana Dolna. The temple was built in the years 1891-1901. The funders were Maria and Henryk Krasiński. It was designed by architect Wincenty Wdowiszewski from Cracow. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the church was equipped with altars. In 1910, a new baptismal font, confessionals and organs were purchased. At the end of World War I, parish priest Józef Stabrawa commissioned Juliusz Makarewicz to create wall paintings, which were done in the years 1918-1920. Another paintings depicting St. Cecilia and St. Francis, placed on a wall above the matroneum, were created by Erwin Czerwenka in 1921. In 1927 and 1929, Juliusz Makarewicz drew up renovation projects of two side altars: of Our Lady of Good Counsel and of the Holy Trinity. In both of them a new central part in the form of a triptych was added, and in the altar of the Holy Trinity a sculpture of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was additionally placed. Since 1918 the church has been successively decorated with stained glass windows. First of those were placed in the windows of the nave, then in the transept (1919, 1930), the porch (1923) and the chancel (1922, 1929-1930). The authors of stained glass designs were: Juliusz Makarewicz, Erwin Czerwenka and Zdzisław Gedliczka. The main stained glass depicting the patron saint of the temple, St. Michael the Archangel, was made in 1922 according to the design of Juliusz Makarewicz. Another stained glass in the chancel was created in 1929. This exceptional work won the gold medal during the General National Exhibition (PeWuKa) in Poznań. It represents Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The second stained glass in the chancel represents St. Joseph, and was created in 1930. Both works were designed by Zdzisław Giedliczka, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. The church in Mszana Dolna was seriously damaged during the passing of the (war) front in January 1945. Some the stained glass windows and the roof of the temple were destroyed. In the 1950s, conservation works of stained glass windows were performed by Stanisław Gabriel Żeleński's company from Cracow.

In 1956, the fourth neo-Gothic altar in the church, dedicated to St. Joseph, was built. The altar was made by Andrzej Węgrzyn and Stanisław Dobrowolski. In the middle area there is a painting of St. Joseph and the Child, created in a traditional iconographic pattern by the local artist Stanisław Ciężadlik. The artist also made a large crucifix placed above the high altar. The crucifix was installed there by Stanisław Jakubiak, a mason. In the years 1966-1969, stained glass windows were renovated while replacing all the glazings in the windows of the nave. In the following decade, stairs were built beside the sacristies on both sides of the chancel. Then, Maciej Makarewicz, together with his daughter Zofia and Józef Wiatr, carried out the conservation of wall paintings (1972-1974). The artist then created images of "Baptism of Christ" and "Sermon on the Mount" in the niches of the chancel, unveiled when the side altars were moved into the transept in 1971. As a result of these works, one altar was removed. On September 29, 1975, bishop Julian Groblicki consecrated the renovated paintings. In the following decade, brick porches were built in front of the entrances to the arms of the transept (in place of the wooden ones from 1964). In 1984, two new bells, made in Waleria and Janusz Felczyński's workshop in Przemyśl, were consecrated. The last stained glass in the church, with the image of John Paul II, was created in 2006 and put in the tower window. Altars and polychromes were conserved in recent years. At the entrance to the church, it is worth paying attention to a bust of father Józef Stabrawa, a parish priest in Mszana Dolna for many years, who died in the Dachau concentration camp. The bust was made by the local sculptor Stanisław Ciężadlik.

Abstract

Church of Michael the Archangel in Mszana Dolna was built in 1891-1901 in the Neo-Gothic style. The temple was designed by Wincenty Wdowiszewski. In the church, the architect designed high, narrow windows that are divided into columns with pointed arch with closed top. These windows are stained glass ones and deserve special attention. The first of them was commissioned by Franciszek Mączyński (on the advice of then parish priest Józef Stabrawa) and was created by Juliusz Makarewicz in 1917. The stained-glass windows were made in the Stained Glass Workshop S. G. Żeleński in Cracow. The concept of the composition is a holistic project of church decoration, in which the main elements were wall paintings and stained glass windows. Another six stained glass windows were made in 1919 by the same artist group. Makarewicz's last work for the church in Mszana was a stained glass window depicting St. Michael the Archangel on the window of the chancel. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the church was equipped with altars. In 1910, a new baptismal font, confessionals and organs were purchased. Stations of the Cross, made by Józef Zając, hang on the walls of the temple. The oldest furnishings of the church include: a stone stoup from 1668, a painting depicting the Dormition of the Virgin from around 1530 (originates from the St. Anne's Church in Cracow), a painting of St. Michael the Archangel from the 17th century and a painting of St. Augustine and the Child from the 18th century. At the entrance to the church, it is worth paying attention to a bust of father Józef Stabrawa, a parish priest in Mszana Dolna for many years, who died in the Dachau concentration camp. The bust was made by the local sculptor Stanisław Ciężadlik.

Persons related to work

How to cite?

Maria Działo, "Church of Michael the Archangel in Mszana Dolna", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2021, source:  https://sdm.upjp2.edu.pl/en/works/church-of-michael-the-archangel-in-mszana-dolna

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