Lębork – St James church

History

  The founder of the church was the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order Dietrich von Altenburg. The exact date of starting the construction of the church can not be determined, it is only known that in 1341 the parish priest was appointed and his income was determined. Presumably, construction started in this year, and was completed around 1345. After the defeat of the Teutonic Order at Grunwald in 1410, the Polish army also won Lębork. Undoubtedly, the recently built church of St. James had to submit of complete destruction then. Only the lower part of the presbytery walls remained.
   
Under the peace agreement concluded in Toruń in 1411, all of Pomerania and Lębork were again in the possession of the Order, and the Teutonic Knights quickly rebuilt and strengthened Lębork for fear of the prince of Słupsk. The church of St. James was also rebuilt in the defensive form.
 
In 1658, the town was set on fire by the Swedes, as a result of which the church lost the roof and vault of the main corpus. Before the reconstruction was completed, another fire in 1682 completely destroyed the temple and a significant part of the town. The reconstruction was carried out only in the middle of the 18th century. The tower was lowered by 1-2 meters, the nave and aisles received a new wooden ceilings, and the roof was covered with tiles. Subsequent repairs were carried out in the 19th and early 20th centuries. New vaults were built, reconstructions of window divisions were carried out and the hip roof of the tower was replaced with a gable roof with side gables.

Architecture

   The church of St. James is built of brick in the gothic style, orientated, hall. The nave was erected on a rectangular plan, with the lower chancel added to it from the east. The middle part of the block is higher and has numerous arrowslits. Just below the roof around the side aisles, there was a gallery with narrow arrowslits. From the west side there is a tower built on a square plan. The side walls are supported by buttresses and are characterized by large pointed windows. The octagonal pillars in the interior divide it into three aisles. The interior is covered with a stellar vault. In the sacristy there is an original diamond vault. Six entrances led to the church, of which the main entrance with a large vestibule being located under the tower.

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bibliography:
Website lebork.franciszkanie.pl, Pismo przedstawiające historię kościoła p.w. Św. Jakuba Apostoła w Lęborku.
Website wikipedia.org, Kościół św. Jakuba Apostoła w Lębork.