Oleśnica – St George’s church

History

   The temple was created from the connection of two churches. The elder, belonging to the Augustian Order, also playing the role of the parish church, was built around 1307 at St. George’s Hospital. The second one was built in 1380 from the Konrad I foundation for Benedictines brought from the Czech. The church tower was built around 1400. It also fulfilled the defense role, because it stood next to the city wall and the St Mary Gate. In 1505, on the orders of bishop Jan Turzo, the augustian and Benedictine churches were combined.
   After the introduction of Protestantism in Oleśnica in 1538, the augustinian monks left the monastery, which became a city shelter. The church, however, was taken over by the Protestants. In 1609 it was renovated, the shape of the windows was changed, and a new porch was added from the south. The building was significantly damaged in 1945. It was rebuilt for the needs of the orthodox parish.

Architecture

   The older part of the temple is a three-nave hall with a tower built on the west. From the north, a single-nave church of the Virgin Mary was attached to it. Both churches face by side walls, have never had a joint wall.
  
The thickness of the tower walls at the base is 1.4 meters. Its first two floors are vaulted, the third, fourth and fifth have no vaults. On the fifth floor, where twin windows are visible, there was a bell. There is a trace of its suspension on the oak beams. As the tower also played a defensive role, the entrance to its higher levels took place through a round, narrow staircase. In addition, the top floors of the tower were accessible by a ladder, that could be raised. The original height of the tower corresponds to its today’s unplastered part. At the top there was, as it seems, a platform for shooters. The low entrance to the tower was also located in the attic of the church, from where it was enter to the level of the tower’s third floor.

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bibliography:
Kozaczewska H., Średniowieczne kościoły halowe na Śląsku, “Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki”, 1-4, Warszawa 2013.
Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.
Website olesnica.org, Kościół NMP i św. Jerzego.