Bejsce – St Nicholas Church

History

   The church of St. Nicholas in Bejsce was erected in the second half of the 14th century from the foundation of of Ostasz, the then heir of the village. The second phase of construction took place around 1400 after the change of the workshop of the bricklayers. In the 16th century, the Firlejs, then owners of the village, changed church for the Calvinist temple, but at the beginning of the 17th century they turned the building over to the Catholics. At the turn of the 16th and the 17th, the renaissance chapel was added to the church by Tomasz Nikiel from Pińczów, connected with the workshop of Santi Gucci. It was modeled on the Jagiellonian Chapel in Cracow’s Wawel. In the nineteenth century, the church was renovated, among others, the nave was then re-vaulted and some damaged architectural details were replaced.

Architecture

    The gothic church received a single, four-bay nave on a rectangular plan and a lower and narrower chancel, polygonal ended in the east, to which a three-bay sacristy was added to the north, closed on two sides in the east. The façades of the building were pierced with pointed and narrow windows with gothic tracery, placed between the reinforcing buttresses on each side of the building wall. The windows were splayed to the outside, and their jambs were lined with stones. Both in the eastern wall of the chancel and in the western wall of the nave, small oculuses were placed, and at the nave from the north, a four-sided stair tower leading to the attic was added to the buttress. An ogival portal led to the interior of the church, set in the west facade. Another pointed portal led from the presbytery to the sacristy, and the third from the nave to the stairs in the turret. The interiors of the presbytery and sacristy were covered with gothic cross-rib vaults and six and five-section vaults in the eastern bays. The vault’s ribs were fastened with carved bosses and set on corbels with tracery and floral ornamentation.

Current state

   The church has kept its original Gothic layout, only slightly covered in the north by the early modern Firlejs Chapel. At the end of the 19th century, the nave, originally covered only with a wooden ceiling, was vaulted, and some of the dilapidated architectural details were replaced. Inside the church, valuable gothic frescoes from around 1380 on the wall of the chancel and an alabaster baptismal font from the 16th century have been preserved.

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bibliography:
Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko i M. Arszyński, Warszawa 1995.
Webpage zabytkowekoscioly.net, Bejsce, kościół św. Mikołaja.