Inowrocław – church of the Blessed Virgin Mary


   The Romanesque church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Inowrocław is one of the oldest temples in Kujawy region, because its beginnings date back to the end of the 12th century. Due to the large width of the body, it was probably planned as a three-nave design, but this was not implemented. In the fifteenth century, the chancel was extended towards the east, and the semicircular apse was replaced by a polygon closure, fastened with buttresses.
At the end of the 18th century, a partially collapsed south tower was rebuilt and the chancel reconstructed again, closing it with a straight wall. Destroyed in the fire of 1834, church was in ruin until the beginning of the 20th century, when it underwent reconstruction according to the design of Juliusz Kothe. In addition to removing the effects of fire and Baroque accretions, a Romanesque semicircular apse and the northern tower were reconstructed. They tried to adapt the bonding method and new stone blocks to the old ones. It was done so perfectly that it is difficult to distinguish old and new parties today.


   The church was located on a small hill, outside the town, probably on the site of the market settlement. It is a aisleless construction, orientated, built of granite cubes arranged in regular layers. In the upper parts of the western massif, which goes into two rectangular towers, a brick was used. On the eastern side, the church is ended by a short rectangular chancel finished with a semicircular apse. A considerable width of the nave of over 12 meters allows to suppose that it was originally planned as a three-nave structure.
   The nave is covered with a flat timber ceiling. In the south porch, in the ground of the tower, the original groin vault made of stone has been preserved. In the upper part of the western massif there is an gallery (matroneum), open to the interior.
   On the walls of the church, mysterious representations of masks and animals and crosses have been preserved. This is a unique example of sculpture in Poland in a very hard material. Their content, at least in part, is connected with securing the temple against evil.

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Dzieje budownictwa w Polsce według Oskara Sosnowskiego, t. 1, Świechowski Z., Zachwatowicz J., Warszawa 1964.
Jarzewicz J., Kościoły romańskie w Polsce, Kraków 2014.
Tomaszewski A., Romańskie kościoły z emporami zachodnimi na obszarze Polski, Czech i Węgier, Wrocław 1974.
Świechowski Z., Sztuka romańska w Polsce, Warszawa 1990.

Webpage, Kościół Imienia Najświętszej Maryi Panny w Inowrocławiu.