Elbląg – Dominican St Mary’s Church

History

   The construction of the church was started by the Dominicans in 1246 after obtaining permission from the Land Master of the Teutonic Order, Hermann Balk. First, the presbytery was erected, and the sacristy and two small annexes adjacent to the sacristy from the west. At the end of the thirteenth century, the nave was built. In the 14th century, a southern aisle was erected, as well as a cloister, adjacent to the church building on the north side. In 1504, the temple burnt down and was rebuilt ten years later. At that time, both naves were covered with one roof, and net vaults of the nave were created. At the same time, the roof of the chancel was lowered and the reconstruction of both gables was made.
   
Soon after, the expansion of the Elbląg Reformation led to the fall of the Dominican monastery. In 1542, both the monastery and the church were taken over by the city council. From then until 1945, the church served as the main Protestant temple in the city. During the war, the building was seriously damaged. After being rebuilt in the 1980’s, it now houses an art center.

Architecture

  The church was created on the plan of an irregular rectangle, initially as a single-nave structure with a four-span corpus. Since the fourteenth century, the temple had two naves. A separate chancel, sacristy and two annexes adjacent to it from the west were also erected. Originally, the naves had a separate roof, only from the beginning of the sixteenth century they were covered with a common roof, thanks to which the building gained the shape of a two-nave hall. The monastery cloister adjoined the church from the north. The interior was topped with a net vault.

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