Sobótka – St Anna’s Church

History

   The church was erected in the mid-14th century, as a cemetery temple located outside the town walls. In the years 1498-1546, it was significantly expanded. In the Middle Ages it was famous from the figure of Saint Anna, according to tradition brought in the twelfth century from Kiev by Ruthenian princess Maria, wife of Pieter Włast. The current figure, however, comes from the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. After the destructions of the Thirty Years’ War, the church was renovated in 1661, and around 1725 it was re-renovated, making some modifications. Subsequent restorations were carried out after the destructions of the Second World War.

Architecture

   The church is a building orientated towards the sides of the world, a three-nave, hall with four bays with a small tower from the south-west side. It has a narrower and elongated, three side ended chancel, covered with a barrel vault. Aisles, instead, cover a flat, timber ceiling. The chancel is the oldest part of the church from the 14th century, to which the naves were added a hundred years later. The walled up arch, which is visible today over the proper chancel arch, suggests that perhaps it was planned to demolish the older choir and build a new, much higher one. These works, however, were never carried out for unknown reasons, just as planned vaults in the naves. The whole church was reinforced with numerous buttresses, between which large windows were placed. The west elevation was topped with a triangular gable, decorated with two rows of rectangular blendes.
   
A stone, probably early medieval sculpture called “mushroom” was placed in the church area, as well as a r
omanesque lion sculpture from the second quarter of the 12th century. Inside the church, there is a late gothic granite baptismal font from the beginning of the 16th century and a late gothic sacramentary crowned with an ogee arch.

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bibliography:
Kozaczewska H., Średniowieczne kościoły halowe na Śląsku, “Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki”, 1-4, Warszawa 2013.
Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.