Solniki – St Anna’s Church

History

   St Anna’s church dates back to the early 13th century, making it one of the oldest churches in the region. It originally had the call of St. Martin and it was recorded for the first time between 1220 and 1232 (ecclesia sancti Martini apud Czolnik). In the 15th century it was rebuilt in gothic style. A chapel was added to the north façade and a massive tower was added to the west. The next reconstruction took place in the 16th century, when the presbytery was vaulted and the church was surrounded by a stone wall. The porch was added to the main entrance in the 18th century.

Architecture

   The church was situated on a hill, some distance from the village. Originally, this late-Romanesque building, erected of erratic stones and bricks (jambs of the portals), consisted only of a rectangular nave with dimensions of 16.3 x 10 meters and a chancel, also erected on a rectangular plan, of dimensions 9.4 x 7.1 subway. Both parts were not built simultaneously, most likely the chancel was a bit older, although the nave had to be added also in the 13th century.
   The entrance to the church led from the south through two pointed portals: one in the presbytery and the other in the nave. The interior of the chancel was probably covered with a wooden barrel vault, while the nave was covered with a flat ceiling. They were lit by late-Romanesque small windows with semicircular closures.
   In the 15th and 16th centuries, the chapel of St. Anna, and the sacristy at the chancel were built and from the west, a tower reinforced with buttresses was added. The chancel, chapel and nave received than net vaults, and the sacristy received a barrel vault. Due to their construction, new window openings were also pierced, and the old ones were bricked up.

Current state

   The church in Solniki is today considered one of the oldest churches in the region. It has preserved the late-Romanesque walls of the nave and the chancel with visible bricked-up original windows in both walls of the nave, as well as the Gothic tower, sacristy and chapel. Early modern transformations resulted in the addition of the southern porch, transformation of the Gothic windows and plastering the church. The vaults had to be partially rebuilt in the nineteenth century, then the gables were also rebuilt and a new roof truss was installed.

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bibliography:
Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku (miejscowości P-S), Wrocław 1994.

Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.