Bytów – St Catherine’s Church

History

The church of St. Catherine in Bytów was probably created before the Teutonic city was founded in 1346, because from that period first mentions of the Bytów parish appear. At that time, the church still wore the call of St. Margaret. Until the beginning of the second half of the sixteenth century, the temple served Catholics. In 1557, it was handed over by the Pomeranian duke Barnim IX to Protestants. Around 1640, when the Bytów land was incorporated under the reign of the Polish rulers, the temple was again handed over to Catholics. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly destroyed by fires and plundered. After the fire of 1700, only the walls of the nave and the tower remained. The reconstruction was carried out on the foundations of the old church, leaving only the original tower. Once again, almost total destruction brought 1945, when as a result of warfare, it was almost completely destroyed. Nave’s burnt walls were pulled down in the 1960s.

Architecture

Originally, the church was a two-nave building on a rectangular plan with a chancel finished with a polygonal apse on the eastern side and a four-sided tower with a defensive character on the western side. At the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, the temple was extended by the southern aisle.

Current state

Only a gothic tower has survived to the present day, in which archaeological monuments from excavations carried out in Pomerania and Bytów, are currently presented.

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