Beszowa – Pauline Monastery

History

    The construction of the church of Saints Peter and Paul in Beszowa was started with the foundation of bishop Wojciech Jastrzębiec in 1407, and completed in 1423. It was intended together with the adjacent monastery for the hermit’s order of Saint Paul of Thebes (Pauline Fathers). It served the monastic functions until the dissolution of the order in the nineteenth century. Earlier, around 1690, the funerary chapel of the Jagniątkowscy family was added to the church. Large damages hit the church during military operations in 1945. At that time, the monastery buildings and the roof of the temple were destroyed, and the windows and equipment elements were also damaged.

Architecture

   It is a brick church made of stone and red brick in the gothic style, three-nave with a square chancel. The outer walls of the church are clasped with buttresses. The west façade is crowned with gothic stepped gables, while the chancel is dominated by a late renaissance top. The most interesting element of the church’s architecture is its western, gothic, stepped portal. The original gothic rib vaults cover only the side aisles and one span of the former oratory has survived with stellar vault.
   
From the south, the sacristy and the monastery chapter house adjoined the church, over which the monks living quarters were located on the first floor. A arcade was added to the south-west corner of the range, carrying a gallery that was a passage to the west range of the monastery. Arcade currently does not exist and the chapter house is a ruin. However, the western range of the monastery with two stellar vaulted rooms on the ground floor has survived: the refectory and the abbot’s room.
   
At the church stands a timber belfry, whose exact date of construction is unknown. It probably comes from the seventeenth century, although it can be much older. This building is on a square plan, a pole-log construction with a second storey overhang, covered with a steep roof, topped with a pinnacle with a cross.

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bibliography:
Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko i M. Arszyński, Warszawa 1995.
Grzybkowski A., Gotycka architektura murowana w Polsce, Warszawa 2016.