Nowe Miasto Lubawskie – St Thomas Basilica

History

   The church in Nowe Miasto Lubawskie was built with the foundation of the city and the erection of the parish around 1325. It was erected by the Teutonic Order, which had the right of patronage and financed the construction. In 1330, the construction of the chancel was completed, and in the middle of the 14th century the nave and the lower part of the tower were erected. In the second half of the fourteenth century, the main nave was increased by the introduction of a basilica layout. After 1400, the chancel was extended to include a three-sided, buttressed span. In the vicinity of 1460, the nave was covered with a four-armed stellar vault, and the tower was raised. At the beginning of the 17th century, the funerary chapel of the Działyński family was added in the corner between the southern nave and the chancel.

Architecture

   The building finally at the beginning of the fourteenth century received the form of a three-nave basilica. The height of the nave was 17.7 meters, and the side naves 7.7 meters. The church is 54 meters long and 19 meters wide. The entrance to the church was placed in a 40-meter high tower, located from the west and embedded in the extreme bay. On its northern side a stair tower was placed next to the facade. The chancel was originally closed on the eastern side by a straight wall, but at the beginning of the 15th century it was extended by one bay with a three-sided closing.
   The layout of the church has a clear relationship with the church of St. James in Toruń. The sizes of the two buildings constructed on the plan of the elongated rectangle are similar, the same scheme of division into bays is visible (similar to the square in the central nave and rectangular in the aisles) and the composition of the western part with a massive tower located in the western bay of the nave is similar. These convergences suggest that the basilica of St. Thomas was designed by the same construction workshop that carried out works in Toruń. The construction itself was probably entrusted to another, local workshop, as evidenced by octagonal pillars and completely unrelated profiling of arcades (similar to the churches of St. Catherine in Brodnica and St. Nicholas in Grudziądz).

Current state
 
   The interior features wall paintings from the Middle Ages and the baroque period. Noteworthy are the paintings on the walls of the chancel, in the nave and under the music choir. The building still has liturgical functions.
 

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bibliography:
Mroczko T., Architektura gotycka na ziemi chełmińskiej, Warszawa 1980.

Website leksykonkultury.ceik.eu, Bazylika Mniejsza św. Tomasza Apostoła w Nowym Mieście Lubawskim.