Gościeszowice – St Catherine’s Church

History

   The church of St. Catherine was erected in the second half of the thirteenth century, closer to the end of that century. Originally it was created nave and chancel, in the late Middle Ages the tower was also added. In the 16th century, the interior and furnishings of the temple were enriched. In 1505, an altar of an unknown artist was inserted, from this work called the Master of the Altar from Gościszowice, and in 1592 a music choir was made from the foundation of the von Kittlitz family. During the expansion carried out in the seventeenth century, the sacristy was added, the vault in the presbytery was replaced with a polychrome ceiling, and the windows were rebuilt and the original entrance in the southern wall of the presbytery was walled up. It was probably at that time that the façades were plastered. In the second half of the 17th century, the tombstone of the von Kittlitz family was added. After the Second World War, the church was renovated several times, among others, the shingle roof was replaced with sheet metal and later with tiles, the façades were cleaned of plaster and the interiors were renovated.

Architecture

   The church was built of erratic stones, bricks and turf ore as a one-nave temple orientated towards the sides of the world. Originally it consisted of a rectangular nave with dimensions of 17.1 x 10.5 meters and a narrower chancel, also on a rectangular plan, with dimensions of 10 x 7.1 meters, which was typical for small parish churches of the 13th-century Silesia. The nave and the lower chancel were covered with gable roofs. In the late Middle Ages, a massive four-sided tower was added to the nave from the south.
   At first, the nave was covered with a timber ceiling, and the presbytery was probably covered by a wooden barrel vault. The inside of the building was illuminated by narrow and high pointed windows, of which the eastern one in the presbytery reached high to the gable. A small opening in the western wall may have illuminated a staircase in the thickness of the wall. Entrances to the interior of the church led through two ogival portals: the first in the west facade, the second in the south wall, first in the nave, then also in the tower. An additional portal led straight to the presbytery.

Current state

   To this day, the original spatial arrangement has been preserved, the ogival chancel arch (slightly distorted), two stepped portals in the nave (west and south) and the portal in the southern wall of the presbytery, currently walled up. Some windows retained the pattern of the original pointed arch, while slit windows have been preserved in the tower walls and in the west wall of the nave. Inside the church there is a late-Gothic altar from 1505, built in the workshop of the Master from Gościeszowice.

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bibliography:
Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku (miejscowości B-G), Wrocław 1990.

Webpage zabytek.pl, Kościół fil. pw. św. Katarzyny Gościeszowice.