Chęciny – Franciscan monastery

History

The Franciscan monastery in Chęciny was founded in the second half of the 14th century on the initiative of king Casimir the Great. In 1465, the monastery church was destroyed as a result of a fire. In the years 1581-1603 the temple, being in the hands of the dissenters, was seriously devastated. After the reconstruction by the starost Stanisław Branicki, the monastery was again destroyed by the soldiers of Francis Rakoczi. In the nineteenth century, the monastery was assigned to a prison, then a school, a slaughterhouse and a hotel. The Franciscans returned to it only in 1991.

Architecture

Gothic monastic church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is orientated, built of limestone. It consists of a two-span nave and a narrower, three-span, polygonal ended chancel. The vaults in the temple are barrel and groin with decorative ribs. In 1947, fragments of polychromy were discovered from the second half of the fifteenth century with the signature of brother Angel of Sącz. The walls of the monastery’s wings form an internal, almost square, courtyard. The facades of the walls are modest and supported by the buttresses. External façades are plastered, originally they were stony.

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