Chełmża – St Nicholas’ Church


   Church of St. Nicholas in Chełmża is the oldest sacral building in Chełmża. The original timber church could already exist in the 12th century, because in the foundation act of the cathedral it was subordinated to the chapter in 1248 along with the salary. The present church was built in three phases from around 1251 to the the fourteenth century. First, the chancel was built, and soon after the nave was added. Probably in the second quarter of the fourteenth century the facade was rebuilt and a tower was erected.
   In 1422, as a result of the Polish-Lithuanian invasion during the Golub War, the church burned down. Perhaps the vaults in the nave collapsed then, but it is more likely that they were never built. Also, information about the alleged bricking up of the nave windows during reconstruction is incorrect (the wall faces have no traces of any rebuilding). In the nineteenth century, subsequent reconstruction took place: the tower was raised by one storey, a transept was added to the nave, and the eastern gable of the presbytery was rebuilt.


   The church was erected as a pseudo-basilica, three-aisle building with a rectangular, two-bay chancel and a three-storey tower from the west, embedded in the nave at the bottom. The non-existent chapel of St. Laurentius adjoined the presbytery, later St. Hubert. The building was built of bricks in the monk bond, using field stones in the lower parts of the walls. The chancel was covered with a rib vault at the beginning of the 14th century, while the naves are covered with wooden beam ceilings. The circular ancillary columns preserved in the corners of the nave and in the western bays of the aisles prove the originally intended vaulting of the entire church.

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Mroczko T., Architektura gotycka na ziemi chełmińskiej, Warszawa 1980.

Webpage, Kościół św. Mikołaja w Chełmży.