Strońsko – St Ursula church

History

   The church was probably founded at the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth century or a little later. Its foundation may be connected with the activity of the nobleman Mściwoj, who was twice a voivode of Łęczyca. He belonged to the then ruling elite, died in 1250.
   In 1458, church was rebuilt by the local heir of Strońsko, the coat of arms Doliwa, and in 1600 a timber chapel was added. In 1726, the castellan Kazimierz Walewski enlarged the church by building a nave, a brick sacristy, a chapel and a porch. Unfortunately, the western wall of the church was dismantled along with the inner gallery and towers. The last transformation of the church passed in the early twentieth century, when the half-timbered porch was demolished and a new, larger one was built in its place, and a tower and northern chapel was built.

Architecture

   The church was built of brick in the monk bond. Originally, it was an almost square one-nave building with a small chancel ended with an apse, decorated with a frieze of intermingling arcades. The western side was probably ended with two towers. The portal led to the church, with the carved tympanum, preserved to this day. It presents a dragon in a frame of a plaited ornament. The decoration probably has a Tyrolean or Scandinavian origin and is unique in the Polish lands. The lighting of the interior of the nave was limited to six small window openings in the southern and northern walls. In the apse, on its axis, there was one window.
   
Inside, the church on the west side was a gallery (matroneum), communicated with the nave by a staircase, which relic is the preserved niche in the western part of the northern wall of the nave. The inner face of the romanesque walls was not plastered. On the other hand, the presence of medieval polychromes, located directly on the surface of the unplastered wall, was found. The church had probably an open roof truss.

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bibliography:
Filipowicz P., Kajzer L., Lechowicz Z., Późnoromański, ceglany kościół w Strońsku nad Wartą w świetle najnowszych badań [w:] Architektura romańska w Polsce, Gniezno 2009.