Goleniów – St Catherine’s Church

History

   The Gothic church of St. Catherine’s was built in the 15th century on the foundations of an older late-Romanesque church, probably erected soon after the town’s foundation in 1268. Historical sources confirm the existence of the church here as early as in 1271, when the Pomeranian prince Barnim I gave the temple under the patronage of the monks from Ückermunde. According to the document from 1368, the patronage over the church at that time had the monastery of the Knights Hospitallers  in Banie.
   The Gothic church was built in stages from the first quarter of the fifteenth century to around the second quarter of the sixteenth century. After 1534, it was taken over by Evangelicals who in 1589 built up the tower.
In the following centuries, the medieval church was partially transformed as a result of fires and destruction in the wars of the early modern period. The first serious destruction is associated with the great fires of the town in 1621 and 1686. Another, catastrophic, destruction occurred during the war in 1945. The medieval form of the church was reconstructed at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s.

Architecture

   During the first construction phase, the nave was created in the form of a three-aisle, three-bay hall and a two-bay chancel. From the west, a square tower was added, and a sacristy on the north wall of the chancel. In the eastern corner of the northern aisle, a communications turret was built, later enclosed with chapels. In the interior, the perimeter walls were composed in a two-storey system with arcaded niches in the plinth part. The nave was divided into aisles by three pairs of octagonal pillars.
  
In the second half of fifteenth century the church was enlarged. At that time, a series of chapels at the northern aisle was built, and at the southern aisle, the porch and the chapel. Also one floor was added to the sacristy. On the north and south side of the tower, two-bay chapels were added, constituting an extension of the aisles and communicating with the ground floor of the tower. The interior was coverd with a cross-rib vault, and stellar vaults were installed in the side chapels of tower and in the porch.

Current state

   Church dedicated to Saint Catherine is a valuable example of a local variation of the hall, town church, an original type in the late Gothic architecture of the Baltic region.

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bibliography:
Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.
Website encyklopedia.szczecin.pl, Kościół św. Katarzyny (Goleniów).