Paczków – St John’s church

History

   The construction of the temple began in 1350. It lasted about 30 years, and its founder was the bishop of Wrocław, Przecław from Pogorzela. In the fifteenth century a two-span chapel of the Virgin Mary was added to the presbytery from the south. The tower was partially demolished in 1429, it was rebuilt in 1462. At that time, its upper storey was also created. In the sixteenth century, in fear of Turkish invasion, the church was rebuilt and fortified, giving it defensive functions. The roofs were transformed and the walls finished with attic. A round stone well was erected in the southern nave, in case of a long siege. The said construction works were carried out by the Italian architect Jakub Parr on the initiative of the then bishop of Wrocław, Jakub von Salza. In the 18th century, the rococo chapel of St. Roch was added to the north.

Architecture

   The church has a three-nave, two-span, hall structure, built on a square plan and a two-span presbytery closed seven-sided. At the presbytery from the south, there is a gothic St. Mary’s chapel and a sacristy with a high tower above it. Outside, the walls of the church have buttresses, between which there are pointed windows, with traceries of fish-blistery and four-leaf motifs. To the interior from the west leads a pointed gothic portal with archivolt, topped with a ogee arch with crockets and pinnacles.
   The interior is divided with pointed arcades supported by octagonal pillars and a chancel arch separating the presbytery from the nave. The main nave is covered by stellar vault, the aisles have three-support, rib vaults, and in the presbytery and St. Mary chapel there are net vaults, rarely found in Silesia.

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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 Górnego Śląska, Warszawa 2008.