Racławice Olkuskie – church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary


   The church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Racławice Olkuskie was built according to the latest dendrochronological research in 1515 or 1516, and timber from trees felled in 1513 was also used. In the lower parts of the western tower there are also beams dating back to the beginning of the 15th century, although the current tower was added in the 17th century. The church was erected on the site of an earlier temple from the 14th century. Its patron was the king of Poland, which results from the royal property of the village, but it is not known whether he was also its founder. In the 18th century, porches were added to the church.


   It is a late gothic church with a log construction, made up of a rectangular nave and a narrower, three-side ended chancel. The nave has dimensions 9.9 to 10.8 meters. Sacristy adjoining to the chancel from the north, while to the nave from the south adjoining a porch and tower from the west. Tower was erected in a pole construction. The nave and the chancel are covered with a joint gable roof, and the roof hood is supported on the corbels, which is a hallmark of the Racławice building. The interior is covered with flat, timber ceilings. The chancel arch is pointed, and portals have lintels cuts in the ogee arch.

Current state

   The church is one of the best preserved and most interesting late gothic timber monuments in the Małopolska region. It still has sacral functions, but it is open to visitors. Due to the fact that it is less known than the timber monuments of Małopolska added on the UNESCO list, it is not so crowded with tourists. Also noteworthy is the very positive and friendly attitude towards tourists, of the person caring for the monument at a time when there are no masses.
   Today the inner walls and ceiling of the nave and the presbytery are decorated with renaissance polychromies from the 17th century. The most valuable monument is a late-gothic group of the Crucifixion from the beginning of the 16th century set on a chancel arch.

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Brykowski R., Kornecki M., Drewniane kościoły w Małopolsce południowej, Wrocław 1984.
Cisowski B., Duda M., Szlak architektury drewnianej. Małopolska, Kraków 2005.

Krasnowolski B., Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013.