Dzierżoniów – church of the Immaculate Conception

History

   The church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dzierżoniów (originally St. Mark the Evangelist) was built at the end of the first half of the fourteenth century, as a monastery temple of the Augustinian order. Its founder was the Wrocław bishop John, who brought monks from Nysa. The chancel was built in the first half of the fourteenth century, while the nave was added in the second half of the fourteenth century.
   In 1525, Augustians, leaving the town due to the progressive Reformation, sold the church and monastery. The buyer was a townsman, a certain Wolfgang, to whom the brothers stipulated in the contract that the services would unhindered continue in the church. Two years later, Wolfgang sold the plot to the city council, which fragmented the plots with buildings and gave them to various buyers. From then on, the monastery buildings housed a warehouse, a malt house, craft workshops, a firehouse and a garrison coach house. The church was used by Protestants, but over time it began to empty, until services were no longer held. They were resumed only in 1713.

Architecture

   The church was built of unworked stones and bricks in the Gothic style. Originally it consisted of an orientated towards the sides of the world, rectangular nave and an elongated chancel with a three-sided closure on the eastern side. The chancel  was strengthened with buttresses and covered with a gable roof, and in the facades numerous ogival windows with deep niches were pierced. A two-part sacristy was added to the chancel from the south in the 16th century.

Current state

   The church retained its basic, Gothic form, but early modern rebuildings deprived it of harmony, among others by bricking up some of the windows, leaving only half of the openings. The tracery were also destroyed, recognizable in some windows in their rudimentary form. The monastery buildings located on the north side of the church, unfortunately lost completely the original style features.

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bibliography:
Krzywańska A., Dzierżoniów, Warszawa 1984.

Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.