Braniewo – Holy Trinity Chapel

History

   The Gothic church of the Holy Trinity was built in the New Town of Braniewo, seeking to establish its own parish. The works began after 1437, when permission for its construction was issued. Based on the episcopal visitation of the 16th century, it is known that the chapel had its land salary, which after lease constituted an income of three fines. In addition, the municipality of Braniewo collected tithes for the chapel, which together with the income from the land constituted five fines and was paid to priests. Masses were held irregularly, on weekdays, because the Holy Trinity church was not allowed to hold services on Sundays and holidays, in order not to compete with the Old Town parish church.
   In 1455, during the Thirteen Years’ War, the chapel was destroyed by the Teutonic Knights, but it is not known to what extent. If the original building was wooden, it could have been completely burnt. In 1498 Tomasz Werner died, but before his death gave the five fines of the chapel’s legate. It was intended for reconstruction carried out at the beginning of the 16th century, the scale of which is also uncertain. Another mention of the church appeared only in the years 1565-1572 and in 1584 on the occasion of the renovation and consecration. In the years 1681-1686 another renovation was carried out, during which the nave of the building may have been enlarged, a porch was added from the north, and a sacristy from the east. Since 1992, the building has been serving the congregation of the Greek Catholic rite.

Architecture

   The church was built of bricks on foundations of erratic stones, as a five-bay aisleless building, on a rectangular plan with a three-sided closure from the east. Its nave, without the presbytery separated from the external body, was covered with a gable roof. The simple building without buttresses had most decorated the western facade, consisting of two floors: a three-axis ground floor and a five-axis pinnacle gable. In the lower storey there was the main entrance portal, ogival, with cylindrical fittings in the archivolt, flanked by two slightly narrower ogival arcades. Above, a row of four small, splayed, ogival windows was pierced. They connected the lower part of the facade with the gable, situating on the border of its field. The gable was fragmented by pilaster strips, blendes and windows of the upper storey. Pilaster stripes were three sideed and topped with pinnacles.

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bibliography:
Dywicka Ż., Architektura kościoła (obecnie cerkwi grecko-katolickiej) pw. św. Trójcy w Braniewie, BA dissertation done at the Institute of Art History under the supervision of prof. UG, dr hab. Mirosław Kruk, Gdańsk 2017.