Bobowa – St Sophia’s Church


   Church of St. Sophia in Bobowa was built in the third quarter of the 15th century, according to the chronicler Jan Długosz, on the site of an older, timber temple. It was first recorded in documents in 1475. During the Reformation, the building was occupied by the Arians, but returned to the hands of the Catholics in 1646. In the early modern period, it was damaged several times as a result of fires. A thorough renovation began at the beginning of the 19th century, renovation works were also carried out in the 20th and 21th century.


   The church was erected as an aisleless building on a rectangular plan, with a narrower and slightly lower chancel, closed on three sides in the east. From the outside, the walls were supported in the corners by stepped buttresses, one was also placed asymmetrically at the western wall of the nave. The facades of the church were pierced with ogival windows, splayed on both sides. An entrance portal was inserted in the western façade with a pointed passage and stepped framing, decorated above the plinth with shafts interpenetrating in the corners. The second, less decorative entrance portal was placed in the southern wall of the nave. It obtained a two-arm form with a chamfered jamb. The interior of the chancel in the Middle Ages was probably vaulted, and it was certainly covered with wall paintings in the fifteenth century. The nave and the chancel were connected by a pointed arcade, and the chancel with the sacristy were connected by a poined, chamfered portal.

Current state

   Today, the church is a well-preserved, small, late-Gothic building with a picturesque shingle roof. Three original portals and medieval windows have been preserved. Also a late-Gothic stoup decorated with tracery motifs from the fourth quarter of the 15th century (originally serving as a baptismal font) was embedded in one of the buttresses. Inside, you can see fragments of polychromes and a painting of St. Sophia from the fifteenth century.

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Krasnowolski B., Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013.