The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Krzeszów

Identifier
DZIELO/12377
Amount
1
Catalogue note author
Maria Działo

History of work

The church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was built in the place of several previous temples. The parish in Krzeszów has been already mentioned in 1355 - the first temple must have existed there at that time. The following temple that is mentioned in the sources in 1598 was dedicated to St. Catherine. The next one mentioned is a wooden temple, also under the invocation of St. Catherine, erected in the years 1613-1615, from the foundation of Piotr Komorowski. Preparations for the construction of a new temple dates back to 1880, when the parish in Krzeszów was re-established (from 1635 the parish of Krzeszów was incorporated into the parish of Sucha). Nevertheless, the construction of a brick church was started not until 31 July 1901 and finished in 1903. The moment when the works began was noted in the parish chronicle by the parish priest Michał Bochenek: "In May and June there was a hearing concerning the construction of a new church took place. After numerous debates, it became clear that the Church must be built immediately, as the old one was in danger of collapsing. Indeed, on 30 July 1901 the works began. The builder Korn from Bielsko concluded a contract and the construction started. On 2 August, I held a service for God to bless the work that had begun. On 8 September 1901, on the occasion of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Maraceli Klimkiewicz with my assistance (...) blessed the foundation stone of the new church."

The temple was designed by Karol Korn from Bielsko. In 1902, the church was covered with a roof, the tower was completed, copings were established and windows were glazed. It is probable that stained glass widows had been inserted into three of them already. The building was consecrated by father Marcelin Narcyz Klimkiewicz, dean of Sucha, on 21 June 1903. Undoubtedly, two neo-gothic altars had been placed in the church already (high and side altars). They had been ordered in one of Tyrolean workshops of Ferdinand Stuflesser. Also a new organ was ordered in the manufacturing company owned by the Rieger brothers. The following year, the Stations of the Cross were ordered also in the workshop of Ferdinand Stuflesser and Antoni Ćwiąkala got a commission for a choir-stall to a chancel. On 1 September 1906, the church was consecrated by the auxiliary bishop Anatol Nowak, the Cracovian suffragan. In 1909, three new bells were made, which were lost during World War I. New bells were made in 1925, but these also disappeared during World War II. Eventually, after the wars and fire of 1949, when two old bells fell and crashed, the church did not have any for several years. The new ones were purchased not until 1952.

The wall paintings covering the interior of the church were made in 1928 by Paweł Palka from Łuków in Podlasie, who in the vicinity of Krzeszów was known mainly for painting churches. Seventeen years later, new wall paintings were created, designed by Marian Konarski from Krzeszowice. The church was equipped with new stained glass windows in 1969 in the windows of the first span of the body and probably also in the clearances of side windows and chancel. The general conservation works and renovation of the temple began in the 1970s (altars, organ and the Stations of the Cross were renovated). Then, on the occasion of the centenary of the church's construction and consecration, since 1999 many works have been carried out, including replacing the roof (1999-2002), making a new wall painting decoration (2005-2006) and ordering a set of four stained glass windows for the body (2005-2006).

The aforementioned altars, maintained in a uniform, neo-gothic style, created around 1903 in the workshop of a Tyrolean sculptor, Ferdinand Stuflesser. Some of the paintings and sculptures were moved to the old temple. Many Baroque paintings from the second half of the 17th century have survived, i.e. "The Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine", "The Martyrdom of St. Stephen", "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" and also "Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception" (XVIII century), baroque sculptures depicting Saint Stanislaus the Bishop and Saint Adalbert. Moreover, the following works can be found in the church: baroque stone baptismal front, confessional from 18th century and three baroque procession floats. The new furnishings of the temple include two new altars: Merciful Jesus and Saint John Paul II. The temple is also decorated with stained glass windows in the chancel: with the figures of angels and Virgin Mary and St. Joseph; in the naves, from the southern side: St. John Paul II, St. Brother Albert and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, from the northern side: Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska, St. Maximilian Kolbe and Our Lady of Sorrows.

Abstract

The Church was built in 1901-1903 according to the design by Karol Korn in Neo-Gothic style. Karol Korn (1852-1906) was an architect and builder of Jewish origin who worked mainly in Bielsko. The church in Krzeszów is of vertical nature, the impression of "climbing up" is even stronger due to three tier tower that is standing in the facade of the building. A great role was fulfilled by rectangular windows closed by pointed arch of white, stone lining, filled with stained glass. Also the arcades between the naves inside the temple have ogival closure. The repertoire of gothic forms, apart from neo-gothic architectural details, are supplemented by fault buttresses that surround the building. Neo-Gothic style of the church in Krzeszów is presented not only by its architecture, but also in the furnishings that come from a workshop of Tyrolean sculptor – Ferdinand Stuflesser – constituting a unified whole. Some of the paintings and sculptures were moved to the old temple. Many baroque paintings from the second half of the 17th century were preserved. "Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine", "Martydom of Saint Stephen", "Saint Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and also Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (XVIII century), a baroque sculptures depicting Saint Stanislaus the Bishop and Saint Adalbert. Moreover, the following works can be found in the church: baroque stone baptismal front, confessional from 18th century and three baroque procession floats. The new furnishings of the temple include two new altars: Merciful Jesus and Saint John Paul II. The church is also decorated with glass windows in the chancel: with the figures of angels and Virgin Mary and St. Joseph; in the naves, from the southern side: St. John Paul II, St. Albert Chmielowski and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, from the northern side: Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska, St. Maximilian Kolbe and Our Lady of Sorrows.

Persons related to work

How to cite?

Maria Działo, "The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Krzeszów", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2021, source:  https://sdm.upjp2.edu.pl/en/works/the-church-of-our-lady-of-perpetual-help-in-krzeszow

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