Gdańsk – St Peter and Paul Church

History

   The construction of the church of St. Peter and Paul began in 1393-1395. Already 29 years later, during the fire of Old Suburbs, it burnt out. After rebuilding, in 1454 it became a parish church. In the years 1486-1487 a characteristic tower with adjacent chapels was built from the west, the nave was raised, the sacristy was enlarged, and the eastern gable of the presbytery was rebuilt. Inside the church, the town guilds of weavers, carpenters and butchers founded chapels. In the period 1514-1516 on the initiative of Gdańsk parish priests, the work on the stellar vault in the central nave and the diamond vault in the aisles, was completed. The construction of the the southern aisle of presbytery was interrupted by the Reformation.
  
In 1557 the church passed into lutheran hands, which involved losing elements of its equipment. The temple suffered further losses in the 19th century during the siege of Gdańsk, firstly by the French, then the Russians and the Prussians. Temporarily, it even served as a warehouse for hay and straw. It suffered the most damages in 1945, when during the assault of the Red Army soldiers, the church was bombed and later set on fire.

Architecture

   The Gothic church of Peter and Paul is distinguished by a massive front and a low tower with a gable roof, reminiscent of defensive architecture. The building is founded on a rectangular plan, with a three-aisle, hall-layout nave and a chancel ended with a straight wall. On the southern side adjoins the porch and turret of the staircase. The nave was covered with three parallel, gable roofs. The chancel, narrower and lower than the nave, is also covered with a gable roof. Octagonal pillars support stellar vaults in the central nave and diamond ones in the aisles.

Current state

   Due to the numerous fires and the building management by Protestants, almost nothing of the medieval furnishings has survived. Only at the end of the northern aisle you can find a Gothic baptismal font from the 15th century.

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