Legnica – St Mary’s Church

History

   The beginnings of the construction of St. Mary church in Legnica date back to the second half of XII century when prince Bolesław the High built a aisleless, wooden church. In 1192, a stone church was built on the site of the previous one, which was destroyed in 1338 as a result of a fire.
  
In the years 1362-1386 the church was rebuilt and transformed into a three-nave, hall structure. The newly built church in terms of area was about four times larger than the previous one. Around 1417, a double chapel founded by clothiers guilds was built. In the years 1450-1468, the parish priest and canon Martin Cromer expanded the church’s structure by adding a choir and increasing the central nave. As a result, the church became a basilica building. During the reign of Fryderyk I Legnicki, the southern tower was raised, to which an octagonal crown was added with a balustrade and a helmet. From that time, the church had two towers of different height and shape.
  
In 1822, the church was burned down by a lightning strike, but was quickly rebuilt. On the occasion, the nave was
extended, transforming the temple into a hall building again, and two new towers of the same height were built in the west elevation. In 1905, the next reconstruction of the temple began. A three-span sacristy was built, walls were extended, and a prince’s lodge and an organ gallery were erected inside. During the renovation works internal side galleries were removed and new stained glass windows were made. The interior of the church was painted in a bright color, and the pillars in geometric patterns. Extensive works also included towers, roofs and southern chapels.

Architecture

   The church is a hall, three-nave structure, erected on the plan of an elongated rectangle with two towers from the west. From the east side, above the street, there is an arcaded vault above which there is a square chancel that used to be in contact with the clergy house. The church is built of brick, and its plinth and reinforcements of the quoins of the rooms, housing the former sacristy and the Clothers Chapel of sandstone. The interior of the nave is covered with a rib vault.

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bibliography:
Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.
Website wikipedia.org, Kościół Marii Panny w Legnicy.