Chotków – church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

History

   The Gothic parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Chotków was built in the last quarter of the 13th century. It was repeatedly expanded and rebuilt. In the 15th century the chancel was enlarged, and in the 16th century a tower was built. The last, early modern extension took place in the Baroque period, when the sacristy was created and the window openings were given a new form.

Architecture

   The church was built on the edge of the village, in its northeastern part. For its construction, erratic stones were used with the use of sandstone in the portal and bricks in the window frames. Originally it was a simple, typical of the 13th century Silesia, single-nave building consisting of a rectangular nave with dimensions of 16.2 x 9.7 meters and also a rectangular but narrower chancel with dimensions of 11.1 x 7.1 meters. Entrance to it led from the south through an ogival portal with profiled stepps embedded in the nave with columns in the corners. Its entrance opening was crowned with a trefoil, the bases of the columns rested on octagonal pedestals. The interior was initially lit by narrow lancet windows, wide splayed both from the outside and the inside.
   In the fifteenth century, the chancel was expanded, which was enlarged on the north and south sides, leaving the former eastern wall, thanks to which the choir equaled the width with the nave. Most likely, during the same reconstruction, the interior of the presbytery was covered with a vault with two rectangular bays crowned with cross – ribs. At the beginning of the 16th century a tower was added, atypically situated on the south side, between the nave and the choir. Perhaps also at that time the nave was covered with a stellar vault.

Current state

   Unfortunately, at present, due to the poor technical condition of the church and the risk of collapse, it is not possible to visit its interior. Work is underway to save this valuable monument. Inside, there is an altar made in the 16th century by the Master from Gościeszowice, a stone baptismal font from the end of the 16th century, as well as tombstones from the Gothic and Renaissance periods. Of the original architectural elements, the 13th-century portal in the southern wall of the nave is particularly valuable.

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bibliography:
Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku (miejscowości B-G), Wrocław 1990.

Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, 2012.