The gothic church of St. John the Baptist was built in the fifteenth century, probably on the site of a former castle’s chapel, demolished along with the castle during the rebellion of the burghers in 1454. Some researchers, however, claim that the temple was built along with the first location of the city in the years 1326 -1332, as a parish church, and when the town was translocated to the right bank of the river, it became an chapel of ease and hospital building. After 1466, it was restored after the destructions caused by the Thirteen Years’ War. Since the Reformation period, the church served as an Evangelical temple, in which sermons were delivered in Polish. Catholics adopted it again in 1946.
The church was erected outside the medieval town fortifications, on the left bank of the Łyna River. It received the form of an aisleless building on a rectangular plan with a porch from the south and a sacristy from the north (the tower at the west facade is a 19th-century addition, but was built on the site of an earlier, timber tower). The church has been orientated, which means that its presbytery (which was not separated from the outside from the nave) with the altar was facing east. Gothic stepped gables decorated the shorter sides of the nave as well as the sacristy and porch. The whole building was reinforced with buttresses, between which pointed windows were placed. The interior of the nave was covered with a timber flat ceiling.
Rzempołuch A., Przewodnik po zabytkach sztuki dawnych Prus Wschodnich, Olsztyn 1992.
Webpage Leksykon kultury Warmii i Mazur, Kościół pw. św. Jana Chrzciciela w Bartoszycach.