Gdańsk – St Elizabeth’s Church

History

   St. Elisabeth’s church was built in 1417 on the site of a chapel existing at the shelter for the poor and the sick. In 1557, the church was taken by Protestants, and in 1618, the ruined medieval hospital buildings were replaced with new ones. In 1884, the building was handed over to the Prussian army and from then on it served as a garrison church. At that time, the neo-Gothic presbytery was erected. At the end of the Second World War in 1945, the church was seriously damaged, among others the vaults then collapsed. Reconstruction lasted from 1947-1949.

Architecture

   The church was erected as a brick Gothic building. Originally it consisted of a four-bay, aisleless nave with a porch and a tower embedded in the nave. The nave on the outside was clasped with buttresses and covered with a gable roof, and its eastern gable was filled with slender blendes. The western porch reached the crown of the nave walls and was opened from the west with a high pointed arcade. Above it, on two stone consoles, an octagonal, slender tower, originally covered with a high spire, was placed. The overhanging tower was a unique element in the sacral architecture of Gdańsk, but found in secular buildings (the Main Town Hall, St. George’s Court). The interior of the church was covered with four bays of stellar vaults.

Current state

   The present church is enlarged by a neo-Gothic chancel and one side chapel. The chancel is closed with a straight wall, with a large pointed-arched window framed by blendes and topped with a stepped gable, so it refers quite well to the original, medieval building. The interior of the nave is decorated with preserved stellar vault from the 15th century.

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bibliography:
Friedrich J., Gdańskie zabytki architektury do końca XVIII wieku, Gdańsk 1997.