Braniewo – St Catherine’s Church


   The construction of the church of St. Catherine in Braniewo began in 1343. It was erected in the same place where a wooden church had existed since about 1280. In 1381, the construction of the choir and the nave of the church was completed, which was supposed to be roofed at that time and had glass windows. It was in full use from 1399, although many years had to pass until the completion of the works. After 1420, the construction of a massive tower was started at the base of which two chapels were built, and around 1442 the nave was vaulted, although due to the fire of 1480 the vaults had to be rebuilt before the end of the 15th century.
   In 1500, Bishop Łukasz Watzenrode founded a brick music gallery on the eastern side of the northern aisle, covered with a stellar vault, while in 1536 master Nicholas of Orneta raised the tower.
In the 17th century, the church received extensive equipment, including the main altar, wooden priestly stalls and benches for city councilors.
The church has suffered many damage over the years. In 1480, as a result of a lightning strike, in 1520 during the Prussian War and the worst during the Second World War, when only the south side, the half of the north side and the eastern choir, were preserved. One stump remained from the tower, but 9 of the 10 massive pillars of the central nave survived. The restoration and restoration took place in 1979.


   Church of St. Catherine in Braniewo was built in the form of a three-aisle hall, 41 meters long and 25 meters wide. From the east, each aisle had a polygonal end, while the central nave was extended with a buttressed apse. The west façade was created in the form of a large, massive, four-sided tower, enclosed from the north and south with two chapels. The façades of the tower were decorated with numerous blendes and pierced with regularly arranged windows. The three-aisle interior of the church formed ten octagonal, massive pillars arranged in two rows, which were covered with a stellar vault.

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Kościoły i kaplice archidiecezji warmińskiej, tom 1, red. B.Magdziarz, Olsztyn 1999.
Rzempołuch A., Kościoły na Warmii, Mazurach i Powiślu, Olsztyn 1991.
Rzempołuch A., Przewodnik po zabytkach sztuki dawnych Prus Wschodnich, Olsztyn 1992.