Gorzów Wielkopolski – church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

History

   St. Mary’s church in Gorzów was built in the second half of the 13th century as a municipal parish church. Originally planned as a romanesque basilica, it was finally given the form of a gothic pseudo-basilica. The patronage over it was initially performed by the city, from 1299 the collegiate chapter in Myślibórz, and then the Teutonic Order and Brandenburg electors. From the end of the sixteenth century it was a Lutheran temple, and therefore its interior has undergone significant transformation. The external shape of the church has not changed significantly. Only in the fifteenth century was added a chancel, and in the seventeenth century a helmet on the south tower in the baroque style.

Architecture

   The Gorzów cathedral is a gothic building, built of brick, hall, having three naves, a chancel, a tower at the west elevation, and a sacristy in the shape of a rectangle at the north elevation. On the south side to the church was added in the Middle Ages, the St. Mary’s chapel and the chapel of St. Urban. The chancel is outside surrounded by buttresses and the facades of the naves are covered with pilaster strips. There are three ogival portals leading to the church, main from the west and sideways from the north and south. Inside the presbytery, it is covered with a stellar vault, while the naves  are covered with a rib vaults supported by octagonal columns and pillars by the walls. The side aisles are open to the central nave with ogival arcades, and the interior of the building is illuminated by two-light, ogival windows.
  
The church tower originally had five floors, currently has seven. It was erected on a rectangular plan with dimensions of 10 x 19 meters. It has a defensive character, it could serve as a place of refuge and defense, if the enemy defeats the city’s external fortifications. It could also serve as a place of power for margraves during their numerous visits to the city. This is evidenced by its architectural interior, which is particularly noticeable on the first floor, where there was a matroneum on which the margrave and the court were present during the celebration of the mass. The tower of the Gorzów church was a type popular in the Brandenburg area and has its roots in the Carolingian westwork.
  
On the south side of the outer wall of the cathedral you can see hundreds of holes drilled in the wall. In the opinion of archaeologists, during the Catholic holidays from this side, the fire required for the liturgy was fired with special drills. From the equipment of Middle Ages, only the figures on the beam in the chancel arch, between the nave and the chancel, and the head of St. John the Baptist on a bowl, have survived.

Current state

   Currently, the church in addition to liturgical functions, is also available for sightseeing. It is possible from April to September, every day at 12.00, see the church tower with a guide. In other hours and dates only after a telephone call.

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bibliography:
Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko i M. Arszyński, Warszawa 1995.
Pilch.J, Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.

Webpage katedragorzowska.pl, Historia wieży.
Webpage zabytkowekoscioly.net, Gorzów Wielkopolski, katedra Wniebowzięcia NMP.