St. Nicholas' Church in Biały Kościół

Parish
Biały Kościół
Identifier
DZIELO/10902
Amount
1
Catalogue note author
Maria Działo

History of work

The beginnings of the first temple in Biały Kościół date back to the 15th century. St. Nicholas was mentioned for the first time as a patron of the parish in the episcopal visitation records from the end of the 16th century. However, the church might have had a double invocation, because in the patrocinium listed by Długosz, St. Mary Magdalene was mentioned, who, next to St. Nicholas, appears as a patroness in the visitation records from 1783 as well. The first temple in the Biały Kościół was made of brick. According to old inventories, the date "1411" was supposed to be inscribed on the door. The church had a vaulted chancel and a wooden ceiling in the nave. Similarly, the floor was partly stone and partly wooden. There were two entrances to the temple, one from the south and the other from the west, leading through the main door. Above the middle of the church there was a ridge turret with a bell. According to visitation records from the 17th-century, main furnishings of the church included a high altar with a painting depicting the Virgin Mary and two paintings depicting St. Michael the Archangel, the St. Nicholas' altar, the altar of Christ Crucified, a baptismal font, a pulpit with a statue of St. Michael the Archangel, and a confessional. The windows in the temple, which was typical of medieval architecture, were located only in the south. During a subsequent visitation in 1783, the temple already had four altars dedicated to: the Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas, the Lord Jesus, St. Mary Magdalene, which were "old and rotten." The temple was demolished in 1876 when father Wincenty Kozłowski was a parish priest. Therefore, the descriptions of the non-preserved building are extremely valuable. One of them (from 1862) is located in the parish archive: "In the centre of Biały Kościół village there is a parish church under the invocation of St. Nicholas the Bishop, but the date of its construction and its author are unknown, because there is no such tradition. The church was built of limestone, vaulted only above the chancel, while the rest – a wooden ceiling with a soffit. In the middle of the church there is a cupola with a ridge turret. The sacristy is also vaulted and made of brick, with a wooden floor. The southern side of the porch is made of brick, with a wooden ceiling and a floor. With regard to the walls, the entire church is in good condition, except for the roof, which is completely poor, and the cupola with the ridge turret need to be renovated as soon as possible. From the west, there is a porch, added by the late father Naporski, with a wooden ceiling and a floor (now rotten), and with a double door leading to the cemetery. [...] The cemetery nearby the church has ¾ of its wall on the southern side, while on the western, northern and eastern sides it is only surrounded by low pickets inserted in balks, the condition of which is medium. There is no bell tower; only one bell on a tree and another one hung on two posts without any covering."

In 1877, on the initiative of the parish priest Wincenty Kozlowski, the construction of a new temple began. The carpentry work was performed by Franciszek Szostek, while the bricklaying – by Franciszek Guzikowski. The church was consecrated by Teofil Kuliński on June 20, 1884. In 1924, parish priest Tomasz Czaplicki organised the renovation of the temple. Painting and gliding works were done by Karol Grzywacz, a painter from Olkusz. In 1951, seven new stained glass windows were installed, which were made by the "Dębski" company from Cracow. Confessionals and pews are the work of Edward Sałęga from around 1980. In 1979, the carpenter made also panelling in the church. In 1978, a new sacristy was added between the old one and the porch. One of the most valuable works in the temple is the painting of Our Lady of the Snows, which, according to the inscription on it, was painted in Cracow in 1698. The image is placed in the high altar by Paweł Turbas, built in the fourth quarter of the 19th century. This artist is also the author of the remaining furnishings of the temple: the altars and the architectural form of the baptismal font.

Abstract

The St. Nicholas' Church in Biały Kościół was built in 1877 and is characterised by an eclectic style with little prevalence of neo-gothic features. The temple is a building with simple architectural forms, only the so-called old sacristy originates from the previous temple. Neo-gothic features are superficially marked on the traditional body and structure of the church. The temple was built by local artisans: Franciszek Szostek and Franciszek Guzowski. Unfortunately, archival sources do not reveal the author of the project. The church was consecrated by Teofil Kuliński on June 20, 1884. In 1951, seven new stained glass windows were installed, which were made by the "Dębski" company from Cracow. Confessionals and pews are the work of Edward Sałęga from around 1980. In 1979, the carpenter made also panelling in the church. One of the most valuable works in the temple is the painting of Our Lady of the Snows, which, according to the inscription on it, was painted in Cracow in 1698. The image is placed in the high altar by Paweł Turbas, built in the fourth quarter of the 19th century. This artist is also the author of the remaining furnishings of the temple: the altars and the architectural form of the baptismal font.

How to cite?

Maria Działo, "St. Nicholas' Church in Biały Kościół", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2021, source:  https://sdm.upjp2.edu.pl/en/works/st-nicholas-church-in-bialy-kosciol

Privacy policy