Stare Bielsko – St Stanislaus’ Church


   Gothic church of St. Stanislaus was erected around 1380, most likely in the place of an older timber temple, and according to tradition, in the place of an even older oak tree, worshiped in pagan times. Initially, it was a parish church for both the village of Stare Bielsko and the town of Bielsko, located a few kilometers to the south-east. In 1447, the parish of St. Nicholas and a new church was built there, from then on the church of St. Stanislaus became a chapel of ease of the Bielsko parish.
In the first half of the fifteenth century, the tower was added to the nave, and in 1555 the temple was decorated with Renaissance polychrome. In 1560, due to the recognition of Lutheranism as the official religion of the Cieszyn Duchy, the church passed into the hands of Evangelicals. The Catholics returned to the church during the Counter-Reformation in 1654. At that time, it was renovated and adorned with a folk-Baroque polychrome, probably made by local guild painters.
In the years 1830-1833 the then parish priest of St. Nicholas, carried out a general renovation of the church. One storey was also added to the tower and its top was changed. A new chapel of the deceased was also created, at the same time demolishing the old one at the sacristy. In the years 1929-1930 the first conservation works were carried out, the next ones took place in the years 1960, 1979-1981 and 1985.


   The church was built as an orientated, aisleless building, erected of stones and bricks. It consists of a four-sided nave and a narrower chancel with a three-sides end to the east. On the north side a sacristy was added to it. The entire structure was reinforced with numerous buttresses, between which there are Gothic, pointed-arch, narrow windows with traceries.
In the first half of the fifteenth century, from the west side, a four-sided tower was added to the nave. Its current height is 25 meters. Inside, the presbytery was topped with a cross-rib vault in a rectangular bay and a hexagonal vault in a polygonal closure. The ribs and bosses were covered with decorations, including the Piast eagle.

Current state

   The church in Stare Bielsko is one of the few examples of a medieval building that has retained both its original shape and many original architectural details. Part of the Gothic polychrome from the fourth quarter of the 14th century, probably painted by Silesian artists from Nysa, influenced by the style of Czech painting, has also been preserved. Noteworthy is a Gothic tabernacle in the shape of an ogival recess with a door from around 1380, a door to the sacristy from around 1500 and a late Gothic altar triptych from the beginning of the 16th century.

show this monument on map

return to alphabetical index

Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Górnego Śląska, Warszawa 2008.
Website, Kościół św. Stanisława w Bielsku-Białej.