The church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Bukowo Morskie (originally probably under a different call) was founded on the initiative of the Cistercian Order probably in the first half of the fourteenth century, presumably as part of a now-defunct monastery complex. In 1248, the Pomeranian prince Świętopełk offered villages of Boryszewo and Przystawa to the Cistercians from Dargun in Mecklenburg, and in 1252 he extended the donation by new villages, including Bukowo. It is known that the first Cistercians stayed in Bukowo already in 1262. Although the monastery was endowed with extensive goods, it was not possible immediately to start erecting permanent buildings, because these properties were mostly settlements that required development. The abbey in Bukowo existed until 1535, when it was dissolved due to the ongoing Reformation. Since then, the church served as a parish temple.
The church was erected as a modest (as for monastic temples) building, however not devoid of higher artistic aspirations. It was a three-aisle structure, in a hall layout, with a four-bay nave and a five-sided, aisleless chancel. At the end of the fifteenth century, a tower was placed on the western side of the temple and a small sacristy on the north side.
In the central nave, bays close to the square were used, and in slightly narrower aisles, rectangular, while the western bays are clearly longer than the others. Outside, the church was reinforced with buttresses and covered with gable roofs, which were separated by a triangular gable with pinnacles. The tower received three floors with a porch in the grund floor. Originally, the ground floor was open with arcades forming a passage on the north-south axis. Tower is covered with a pyramidal helmet.
Three Gothic portals led to the interior of the church: from the west, north and south, the latter is decorated with a moulded fitting. The walls inside the church are pierced by arcades. The presbytery and central nave were topped with stellar vaults in the fifteenth century, while in the aisles there was a cross-ribbed vault (in the western bay enriched with a transverse rib), based on square pillars with rounded corners. The presbytery received a strongly separated space, twice as wide as the width of the nave and the chancel arch.
Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko i M. Arszyński, Warszawa 1995.
Jarzewicz J., Architektura średniowieczna Pomorza Zachodniego, Poznań 2019.
Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.
Webpage zabytkowekoscioly.net, Bukowo Morskie, kościół Panny Marii, dawny cystersów.