Gryfice – St George’s Chapel

History

The St. George’s chapel was built on the site of a former stone, small chapel, which was erected in the 14th century and where the hospital for the lepers, then for the poor, old and sick was functioning from 1337. So that the patients and hospital staff could participate in the services, they started in the first half of the fifteenth century building of the chapel. According to the resolution of the town council of 1598, the hospital should maintain 25 residents, providing them a dwelling in the so-called chambers or huts. Patronage over the hospital belonged to the town, while supervision over the operation of the facility was entrusted to the two inspectors, in the period after the Reformation. One of them represented the town, the other was a priest from the St. Mariu church in Gryfice. At the chapel and hospital since the Middle Ages, there was also a cemetery where the deceased residents of the hospital and the poor inhabitants of Gryfice were buried.
   
Around 1534, the chapel was taken over by the Protestants, but it still served the residents of the hospital. In the 1860s, devotions for the residents were celebrated every six weeks. In the second half of the nineteenth or early twentieth century, the chapel was renovated, and a morgue was built in its basement. After 1945 the chapel was not used, and the elements of its equipment were dispersed or destroyed. In the 1960s, it was renovated for a cemetery chapel. The inner galleries and the underground morgue, accessible from the northern portal, were then demolished, and the portal was then walled up.

Architecture

   The building is built of brick in the gothic style, on the plan of an irregular octagon with dimensions of 12.3 x 7.8 meters. It was planned in an aisleless layout, with a separate pentagonal chancel. The façade was topped with a simple gable and decorated with two pinnacles. They are an extension of the corner buttresses. Together with them, it forms a uniform field divided vertically by seven high pointed blendes. On two blendes, in the middle part there are narrow semicircular windows and on one, in the upper part, rectangular. In the longitudinal walls from the south there are five niches ended semicircularly, one of which on the left is larger than the others. Among them, two pointed windows were placed. On the north side there is an identical window and four niches, three of which are situated above the walled portal with rounded archivolts. The apse was reinforced with four buttresses. The interior is simple, covered with a timber ceiling, once with two side, wooden galleries. The rooms have segmented niches. Window openings have profiled recesses.

Current state

   To this day, the building functions as a sacred place, where the last prayers and exequies are carried out before the burial of the deceased. After revitalization a lapidary was also created in the chapel.

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bibliography:
Webpage zabytek.pl, Kaplica cmentarna pw. św. Jerzego Gryfice.
Webpage wikipedia.org, Kaplica św. Jerzego w Gryficach.