Chojnów – St Peter and Paul Church

History

   The construction of the church of St. Peter and Paul in Chojnów, also called the “Big Church”, began at the end of the 14th century. The mention of the existence of a southern chapel funded by clothiers’ guild dates back to 1469. In the 16th century, the sacristy was added and the attic on the tower was made. In 1543, the Bożywoj family funded a northern funerary chapel, called the Chapel of Bożywojs. Until 1525, the church was a Catholic temple, which along with the conversion to Lutheranism of the Duke of Legnica, Frederick II, passed into the hands of Protestants. After the Second World War, it again fell into the hands of the Roman Catholic church.

Architecture

   The church has the form of a three-aisle, six-bay basilica, without the chancel distinguished externally from building, which was only closed pentagonal on the extension of the central nave from the east. In the north-west corner there is a massive, square tower, supported by corner buttresses. High buttresses also embrace the side elevations of the church, pierced with pointed windows filled with geometric, openwork decorations – traceries. The late Gothic stepped gable of the facade is filled with decoration in the form of window trusses. In the 16th century, a sacristy, a chapel of the Bożywoj family from the mid-16th century and a high porch were attached to the nave. The chapel of clothiers dedicated to St. Andrew and St. Catherine from 1469 was added to the southern aisle.
   
In 1468, the interior of the church was covered with stellar vaults. Likewise, the chapel of Bożywoj was vaulted in the middle of the 16th century, while in the northern porch a three-support vault, also called the Piast vault, was used. Brackets and bosses received a bas-relief decorations, and in the walls of the porch there are recesses with three-leaf arches. The temple also has a main altar from 1400 and a bell from 1405.

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bibliography:
Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.
Website fara-chojnow.pl, Historia chojnowskiej fary.