Kościelniki Średnie – church of the Blessed Virgin Mary


   The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kościelniki Średnie (Mittel Steinkirche) was probably built in the first half of the 13th century, at the earliest in the second quarter of that century, or around the middle of it at the latest. It was recorded in documents for the first time in 1335 as “ecclesia lapidea” – a stone church. It was rebuilt in 1454 and in the late-Gothic style. In the 1520s, the church fell into the hands of the Protestants, and in 1654 it was returned to the hands of the Catholics. Early modern repair and modernization works were carried out in the mid-18th century, when the windows were enlarged and an organ choir was inserted. Initially, the church functioned as a parish building, but then it was changed into a branch of the parish in Uniegoszcz, and in 1861 it was subordinated to the parish in Leśna. In the 19th century, a sacristy and a porch were added to it. Damaged in 1945 and unused, it fell into disrepair. The security works were carried out only in 2001.


   The church was erected in the center of the settlement, in the valley of the Kwisa River meandering on the western side, at the intersection of two routes that used to run through the village: a north-south road from Lubań to Leśna and a side road leading east to Grodnica. The church was located on an oval plot surrounded by a wall, which enclosed the church cemetery and protected it from animals.
   The church was orientated towards the cardinal sides of the world, built of erratic stones and slightly worked sandstone (used in windows jambs). Initially, it consisted of a rectangular nave measuring 12.2 x 10.5 meters, a four-sided, almost square chancel measuring 5.2 x 5 meters and a semicircular apse adjacent to it from the east. From the west, probably in the 15th century, a slender, four-sided tower was added, located on the axis.
   Inside, both the nave and the chancel were originally covered with a wooden ceiling. Around 1454, the chancel was crowned with a stellar vault. The window jambs of the apse would indicate that the church originally had careful decorative stonework. Late Romanesque windows were small, splayed on both sides and semicircle, with the eastern window of the apse distinguished by knobs placed around the jambs. Presumably in the 15th century, some of the windows were replaced with larger pointed windows, in order to increase the amount of sunlight, especially in the nave.

Current state

   The church is considered one of the region’s most valuable monuments, but is still in a state of uncovered ruin. The original, intact spatial layout has been preserved, with the northern annexes and the tower being later additions. All window and door openings have been transformed, except for one apse window. Of the original architectural details, cornices at the base of the chancel arch between the nave and the presbytery have been preserved.

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Krawiec I., Rustecka M., Włochyński L., Romański kościół pw. NMP w Kościelnikach Średnich. Badania i rozważania na temat kierunków ewentualnych ingerencji konserwatorskich [w:] Dziedzictwo architektoniczne Badania oraz adaptacje budowli sakralnych i obronnych, red. E.Łużyniecka, Wrocław 2019.
Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku, t. 2, Wrocław 1994.

Świechowski Z., Architektura na Śląsku do połowy XIII wieku, Warszawa 1955.
Świechowski Z., Architektura romańska w Polsce, Warszawa 2000.