Starogard Gdański – St Matthew’s church

History

   Construction of the parish church of St. Mateusz started after settling knights of the Teutonic Order on the left bank of the Wierzyca in 1305. They immediately began to fortify the settlement and erect within it a gothic temple. These works probably lasted from 1309 to about 1350. Throughout history, the church was harassed by fires, which suffered the greatest damages in 1461, 1484 and 1655, most likely then losing the brick vault of the chancel and nave.
  
The church originally carried the call of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but during the Reformation it was taken over by the Protestants, holding it until 1599 and changing the call to St. Matthew. In the 17th century two side chapels were added to the church. After the regothisation of the temple at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the addition of the neo-gothic west porch, its shape has remained to this day without further changes. During the Second World War, the chancel walls and roof were damaged and the southern chapel was destroyed.

Architecture

   The church is orientated, located in the north-west corner of the market, adjacent to the ramparts, on a high river bank. It is a gothic, basilic, three-nave, four-spaned temple with a rectangular, simply ended chancel. North of the chancel is a sacristy, and in the southwest corner a small staircase. From the west is a small porch built between the buttress and the west staircase. To the nave are added: St. Barbara chapel, little porch from the north, the chapel of the Transfiguration and the south porch.
  
The aisles are covered with buttresses. The western gable, the gable of the porch and the halfgables of the aisles are decorated with pairs of double blendes and profiled lesenes passing through the pinnacles. The eastern gable is a little more humble, stepped, with pinnacles.
  
In the central nave, the chancel and the northern chapel there is a wooden ceiling, in the aisles, the south porch and the southern chapel is the stellar vault. Noteworthy is the wall painting from the mid-15th century in the naves arch.

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bibliography:
Grzyb A., Strzeliński K., Najstarsze kościoły Kociewia, Starogard Gdański, 2008.

Website zabytek.pl, Kościół par. pw. św. Mateusza, Starogard Gdański.