Racibórz – Holy Spirit church

History

   The church of the Holy Spirit is a temple of the Dominican convent founded in 1306 by the prince of Racibórz, Przemysł. The monastery consisted in its early stage of wooden buildings and probably a small chapel. It was only in 1317 that the sisters started building a new church. Initially, the obstacles were crop failures and epidemics that slowed down construction. The church was erected only in 1334, when it was consecrated by Wrocław bishop Nanker. The monastery chapel became a royal necropolis. Rested in it prince Przemysł and his daughter Ofka, Dominican nun. The Dominican monastery was very rich in the prince’s allowance and the property of the nuns who took over after their death.
  
Church of Holy Spirit and the monastery were closed during the secularization in 1810. The altars, relics and equipment went to several other churches. In the Napoleonic wars there was a hospital for wounded soldiers, and in 1821 the Prussian king Frederick William III passed it on to the evangelicals. In 1911 evangelicals moved to a new temple, and the old church was to be dismantled. Fortunately in 1926 the museum was established in it.

Architecture

   The original church was modeled on the solutions of the oldest Dominican churches and subordinated to the strict, 13th-century orders regulations. Therefore, it consisted of a single nave covered with a timber ceiling and elongated and rectangular chancel. The initial lack of a tower was also characteristic.
   At the end of the Middle Ages, the building consists of rectangular nave and a narrow, double-span, closed chancel, built on the east side.
Before 1359, on the north side, a chapel of St. Dominic was added to the church. At the same time comes a tower adjacent to the south-west corner of the church. To the north of the church is a row of annexes, remnants of a former monastery now adapted to a staircase and a museum room.
   The interior of the chancel is covered with a rib vault, and the nave has a flat, beam ceiling. In the upper part of the east wall of the presbytery there is a three-sided window enclosed by pointed arch with original stone tracery.

Current state

    Currently, the western facade of the church is partially invisible due to the tenement house, added at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. While, the interior of the church is significantly transformed as a result of adaptation to the exhibition rooms and divided into two floors. The building houses today a town museum. It has four main sections: Archeology, Ethnography, History, of Art and Artistic Crafts, and auxiliary departments: Educational and Administrative, as well as photographic and technical studios.

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bibliography:
Pilch J, Leksykon zabytków architektury Górnego Śląska, Warszawa 2008.
Website goraciborz.pl, Kościół Św. Ducha (obecnie Muzeum).
Website zabytek.pl, Kościół dominikanek pw. Św. Ducha, ob. Muzeum.