Krobia – St Giles Church

History

   Romanesque cemetery chapel of St. Giles was erected probably at the beginning of the 12th century or, possibly, judging by the St. Giles dedication, at the end of the eleventh century, when the cult of this saint gained popularity. According to tradition, its foundation is attributed to Prince Władysław Herman and his wife Judyta, while the second legend mentions Piotr Dunin as the founder. In Krobia is also known a legend about a hermit living in a cave near the forest, which was to outsmart death, and in the place of his cave was to stand later St. Giles church.
   The church was to be renovated in 1440 by the Poznań bishop Andrzej of Bnin, but it is probably an error resulting from the incorrect reading of the date 1140 engraved on the stone, which was, however, made already in the early modern period. The renovation and reconstruction of the church was certainly carried out in 1605. In 1791 the church was destroyed by fire and for several years it became unprotected. It was not rebuilt until 1802, when a brick apse was added in place of the older presbytery, and the western facade of the church was crowned with a pseudo-baroque gable. The first restoration works took place at the temple in 1929.

Architecture

   The church is an east-west orientated structure, an aisleless building with a nave measuring 9.3 x 5.5 meters and an apse of equal height. It was built of granite cubes with the use of sandstone in the corners. In the southern facade there are traces of three romanesque windows, and a gothic ogival window, recessed on both sides, probably from around the mid-15th century. An additional romanesque window was located in the northern facade of the nave. The eastern part of the church was originally a stone apse preceded by a short presbytery bay. It could also have been a straight closure, then the Krobia chapel would be the oldest building of this arrangement in Greater Poland area.
   Inside the nave in the Middle Ages there was an gallery, vaulted with three square cross bays, supported on two columns and corbels in the side walls. The gallery floor could be covered with analogous cross vaults. It would then be the only church in Poland with such a richly built gallery, with small internal dimensions of the nave (about 5.5 meters wide and about 1.5 meters deep of the gallery space). The entrance to the first floor could be provided by timber stairs leading directly from the nave.

Current state

   The northern and southern walls of the nave and a short section of the chancel walls are preserved from the original, medieval building. The church still serves as a cemetery chapel. Inside, the romanesque granite font deserves attention.

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bibliography:
Różański A., Jednoprzestrzenne kościoły romańskie z terenu Wielkopolski, Poznań 2010.

Website krobia.archpoznan.pl, Kościół św. Idziego.