Głubczyce – church of the Nativity the Blessed Virgin Mary


    The construction of the church in Głubczyce was begun in the third quarter of the 13th century, and the first mention of it comes from a document from 1259. Construction continued in the fourteenth century, after the takeover of the patronage of the temple by the Knights Hospitaller. They administered the building until 1810, with a break in 1535-1633, when the Głubczyce principality and the parish church were managed by Protestants. In 1579, the southern tower was raised, and in 1826 the nave was covered with one common roof.
   The medieval appearance was changed by the reconstruction from 1903-1907. The two-bay chancel of the church was pulled down, a transverse nave, that is transept, was added to the nave and the previously demolished choir was rebuilt on today’s site, but only with one bay (although original corbels, wall shafts and ribs were used). The tower was also rebuilt than and a new west gable was erected.


    The church was built of bricks on a stone foundation in the north-west part of the town, separated by a block of residential buildings from the market square. Originally it was built as a three-aisle basilica with a nave on a square plan with a side length of 23.5 meters, to which from the east was a two-bay choir, polygonally ended, and from the west a two-tower facade. On the north side there was a three-bay sacristy. Perhaps in the 13th century the temple from the basilica was transformed into a three-aisle hall church with gable roofs above each of the aisles (due to their large width of 6.8 meters in the side aisles and 7.3 meters in the central aisle), although the theory of the basilica phase of the church is sometimes questioned because of the wide aisles (the nave of the basilica should have narrower aisles) and no signs of walling up. In this case, from the very beginning, the church would be a hall building, one of the earliest of its kind in Silesia (next to the parish churches in Racibórz and Złotoryja).
   Three ogival, early Gothic entrance portals led into the interior: on the axis of the west facade and in the central bays of the aisles. The west portal received a projected form (with a rebuilt, neo-Gothic gable) and was fragmented without visible stepps. The west and south portals received a zone of heads with floral and leaf decorations and a zone of bases with disc forms on cylindrical pedestals. The interior of the nave and presbytery was covered with cross-rib vaults, and the pillars were lined with stone capitals with floral decorations from the second quarter of the 14th century. The interiors of the western towers were open to the interior of the nave, however, not very wide arcades did not integrate the space. In the presbytery there were two rectangular bays and eastern one polygonal. Its walls from the outside were strengthened with short buttresses.

Next to the church there is a two-bay chapel of Saint Fabian and Sebastian from the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. It is a small aisleless building with buttresses in the corners and around the chancel. The western side is crowned with a gothic gable decorated with blendes and pinnacles, under which an oculus and an ogival entrance portal are placed.

Current state

   To this day, the nave and the eastern closure of the chancel have survived from the medieval building. The whole wide transept is a modern building, although during its construction architectural details from the original presbytery were used (vaults ribs, corbels). The neo-Gothic form was obtained by the western gable, the culmination of the western portal projection, and the upper floors of the towers. The original roofs were higher and probably gable above each aisle. The windows of the medieval part of the church retained their original form, but unfortunately their traceries were renovated in the nineteenth century.

show church of the Nativity on map

show chapel of St. Fabian and Sebastian on map

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Kozaczewska H., Średniowieczne kościoły halowe na Śląsku, “Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki”, 1-4, Warszawa 2013.
Kozaczewska-Golasz H., Halowe kościoły z XIII wieku na Śląsku, Wrocław 2015.

Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Górnego Śląska, Warszawa 2008.
Webpage parafia.glubczyce.pl, Historia Parafii.