Rzyszczewo – Church of the Immaculate Conception


   The church in Rzyszczewo (Ristow) was probably built in the 14th century, and rebuilt in the late Gothic style in the 15th century. In the 16th century, like most religious buildings in Western Pomerania, it became an Evangelical temple. Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it had to undergo renovation works, and during one of the repairs, the windows were transformed. In 1956, the building returned to Catholics under the new dedication of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


   The church was situated in the northern part of the settlement, at the junction of the village road and its branch leading to the farm. It was built of bricks combined in the monk bond and erratic stones, as a structure orientated towards the cardinal sides of the world, consisting of a single nave on a rectangular plan, closed from the east with a small, pentagonal apse, and a squat tower on the west side on a square plan. The tower was covered with a hip roof, while the nave was covered with a gable roof.
   In the corners and between the windows the nave walls were supported by double-step buttresses, while those in the corners were placed quite archaically, not at an angle, but perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the church. The external façades of the nave were decorated with circular blendes and a plastered band under the eaves of the roof. A slightly lower band was also placed on the eastern apse. The roof of the latter mostly covered the eastern gable of the nave, but the free fragment was used to create twin semi-circular blendes, topped with circular panels. Inside, the nave was covered with a timber ceiling, and the chancel in the apse was distinguished by a six-section vault. Both these parts were connected by a pointed arcade.
   The massive, squat body of the tower was separated on the west side in the ground floor with a pointed portal, moulded with steps. Above, the crude facade was decorated with only two circular recesses and a row of millstones embedded in the wall. The southern wall obtained a more decorative form, probably because it faced the village. It was divided with a row of lancet blendes and decorated with a rhombic pattern of burnt to black zendrówka bricks. The northern elevation was divided with a row of similar blendes, but without a zendrówka decoration.

Current state

   The church has retained the spatial layout obtained in the Middle Ages. In the early modern period, most of the windows were transformed, a new entrance to the nave was pierced in the southern wall, and the interior was changed in decor and furnishings (including a sacristy in the ground floor of the tower). However, numerous decorations on the external facades of all parts of the building, as well as the apse’s vault inside, have survived.

show this monument on map

return to alphabetical index

Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungs-Bezirks Köslin, Die Kreise Köslin, Kolberg-Körlin, Belgard und Schlawe, Kreis Schlawe, red. L.Böttger, Stettin 1892.