Ciechanów – church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

History

   The church was built in the first quarter of the 16th century. A little earlier, at the end of the 15th century, a presbytery and sacristy could have been created from the foundations of the Mazovian Dukes. The building was consecrated in 1551. It suffered damages during the Swedish wars in 1657 and at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1807 the church was occupied by the Napoleonic army and transformed into a bakery. The whole interior furnishing was then burned. Renovation of the church was carried out in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when stellar vault was founded inside, the south chapel was rebuilt, a turret containing a staircase and a new sacristy and a porch were added.

Architecture

   The church was founded as late-gothic, orientated, made of bricks, a three-nave and pseudobasilica building. The five-bay nave was extended to the west of the four-bay aisles. The chancel was erected lower than the nave, ended straight to the east. A chapel was attached to it in the south (maybe a former treasury), and in the north a sacristy with a treasury (originally two-story). Chapels forming the transepts adjoin the nave at the eastern bay, while the rectangular porch was added to the west side. The western facade and the presbytery were crowned with triangular, richly decorated brick, gothic gables.

Current state


   The church is a great example of late gothic architecture of Mazovia. Despite repeated damages and transformations, much of the historic substance survived, and the destroyed parts (i.e. the eastern gable) were restored. Two granite stoups from the 16th century and a late-gothic gravestone of Stanisław Szczurzyński with a bas-relief figure of a knight in armor, are preserved from the original equipment.

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bibliography:
Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko i M. Arszyński, Warszawa 1995.
Grzybkowski A., Gotycka architektura murowana w Polsce, Warszawa 2016.
Kunkel R.M., Architektura gotycka na Mazowszu, Warszawa 2005.

Żabicki J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Mazowsza i Podlasia, Warszawa 2010.