Lubiń – St Leonard’s Church

History

   The church was founded at the beginning of the 13th century from the foundation of the local Benedictine Monastery. In 1358, it was first recorded in a list of witnesses, where Peter, the vicar of the church, was mentioned. In 1397, only the church “prope et ante monastererium” was mentioned, and in 1510 the church was defined as a Lubiń chapel, in which the abbot of Lubiń had the privilege.
  
In the years 1549-56, the church was rebuilt in the gothic style on the initiative of the abbot Paweł Chojnacki. The existing building was raised and a new nave was added from the west. However, already in 1575, as a result of fire, the vaults of the church collapsed, and were never rebuilt. In the seventeenth century, the west gable was rebuilt into mannerist style, and in the eighteenth century a sacristy was erected.
   From the beginning of its existence until 1836, the church was a parish church for Lubiń. Then, after the dissolution of the monastery, the parish was moved to the monastery church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in 1853 the church of St. Leonard was handed over to the evangelicals. After the Second World War, the church was returned to the Benedictines.

Architecture

   The original romanesque church was a single-nave (5.2 x 6 meters) with a separate, narrower than the nave, almost square chancel (3.8 x 3.3 meters), closed with an apse from the east. It was built of granite blocks, with details such as frieze, window frames, portal, chancel and apse arch as well as sedilia frames made of ceramic elements. On the apse axis, under the frieze, a semi-circularly arched window was pierced. This element received richly profiled jambs made of brick elements and sandstone slabs. Additional romanesque windows (later significantly widened) were located in the southern wall of the chancel and the nave and in the northern facade of the nave, where there was also a portal crowned with a semicircular with a simple tympanum slab lined with bricks.
   The original chancel was covered with a cross vault, the apse with a half-dome ceiling, and the nave with a timber ceiling. As a boss in the presbytery vault, a rebuilt late romanesque head with floral motifs and human heads was used. In the side walls of the choir there were twin niches of brick sedilias.
   In the 16th century, the west wall was demolished to connect to a newly built, spacious nave measuring 8.5 x 13.9 meters. At that time, the walls were built over the romanesque part, creating a belfry, and an octagonal tower with a height equal to the walls was added to the north-west corner of the church. The late gothic fragments were built in bricks, with the nave erected in a Flemish bond, with rhombic zendrówka brick decoration, including buttresses. Remains of ribs in the southwestern and northwestern corner of the gothic nave and its strengthening from the outside with buttresses shows that until the fire it was topped with a stellar vault.

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bibliography:
Dzieje budownictwa w Polsce według Oskara Sosnowskiego, t. 1, Świechowski Z., Zachwatowicz J., Warszawa 1964.

Jarzewicz J., Kościoły romańskie w Polsce, Kraków 2014.
Maluśkiewicz P., Gotyckie kościoły w Wielkopolsce, Poznań 2008.
Różański A., Jednoprzestrzenne kościoły romańskie z terenu Wielkopolski, Poznań 2010.