Pogwizdów – church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

History

   The church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross dates back to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. It was recorded for the first time indirectly in 1318, when its parish priest was mentioned. In the fifteenth century, it was rebuilt in the Gothic style, the sacristy was erected and the chancel enlarged. In the mid-16th century it was taken over by Protestants, and returned to Catholics in 1654. In the late 1990s, wall paintings were discovered inside.

Architecture

   The church was built of rubble and sandstone ashlar in the corners and architectural details. It received the form of a single-nave structure with a slender four-sided tower in the western part embedded in the nave, and a four-sided chancel on the eastern side. The nave was 9.3 x 7.1 meters (13 meters long with annexes), and the chancel was 5.5 x 4.3 meters. In the Gothic period, the body of the church was enlarged by a sacristy on the northern side of the chancel. The chancel was also rebuilt and enlarged, extended to the east by a polygonal apse reinforced from the outside with buttresses.
   Two early Gothic portals from the end of the 13th century led to the church: one to the nave located in the southern wall, the other probably to the chancel from the south. The main portal in the nave had a pointed, stepped form, with two pairs of columns. The jambs of the steps were moulded, and the columns were equipped with cup-shaped capitals and bases on octagonal pedestals. A similar appearance was given to the chancel portal, but smaller in size. The third, very modest portal led from the chancel to the sacristy.
   The interior was originally illuminated by rather narrow, pointed and splayed windows, pierced between the buttresses in the chancel. Thanks to the latter, inside the chancel, a rib vault was established, supported on geometric corbels and equipped with a boss decorated with a rosette. The nave was originally covered with a wooden ceiling. In its western part, there were three rooms covered with a barrel and semi-barrel vaults, and a gallery. The tower above the latter was pierced with two-light openings set in circular recesses. The interior of the sacristy was covered with a barrel vault.

Current state

   To this day, the church has retained its original early Gothic shape (only distorted by a Baroque chapel on the south side) and many medieval architectural details, including three portals (one of them was reset to the early modern chapel), some windows, and a rib vault in the presbytery. The early modern changes led to the replacement of the southern windows in the nave and the establishment of a barrel vault in it. The church does not currently perform sacral functions.

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bibliography:
Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku (miejscowości P-S), Wrocław 1994.

Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.