Poznań – St Mary Magdalene Collegiate


   The exact date of the foundation of the church of St. Mary Magdalene is not known, but it is assumed that it was a few years after the town location, which took place in 1253. It hadn’t so popular in many medieval towns calling of the Blessed Virgin Mary, because that calling had already a collegiate church on Ostrów Tumski. The prince was the primal founder and patron of the church, but since 1282 it has been the Dominican sisters. In the second half of the 14th century there was a major reconstruction of some parts of the temple.
In 1447, during the great fire of Poznań, the church was destroyed. At that time the care of the parish was personally taken over by king Kazimierz Jagiellończyk, who at the same time took away the church from Dominicans. The restored church was reopened in 1470. A year later it was given the dignity of the collegiate. In 1555 king Sigismund Augustus donated patronage of the church to the municipality of Poznań.
In 1657 the Swedish army set fire to the church, which caused the burning of the whole interior. After a refit of 1661, the gothic corpus of the temple survived in almost unchanged state until June 3, 1773, when a thunderbolt caused a fire which nearly devastated the collegiate. Then in 1777, while trying to rebuild, one of the walls collapsed. What remained was burned by another fire in 1780. At that time the parish took over the church after the Jesuits, and abandon the renovation of the ruined collegiate church. The remains of the church were demolished in 1802.


   Iconography presents a collegiate church as a three-nave, seven-span basilica, without transept and with a four-sided, tall tower adjoining the church from the west, referring to 14th-century gothic sacral architecture in Silesia. The three-side ended chancel from the east, was not separated, and the aisles from the east ended with a straight wall. The three-sided closure of the chancel and the preceding porch were covered by a common vault. The chapels was adjacent to each span of the aisles, together they were finally 14. Together with the aisles, they were covered by mono-pitched roofs, which also covered the flying arches of the buttresses. The dimensions of the collegiate church were about 70 meters long and about 42 meters wide. The height of the central nave was about 30 meters. A tower about 100 meters high was crowned with a helmet with a spire.

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Website wikipedia.org, Kolegiata św. Marii Magdaleny w Poznaniu.