Strzegom – basilica of St Peter and Paul

History

   In 1180 Knights Hospitaller received the Strzegom and in the 13th century they built a small church. At the beginning of the 14th century, the Order decided to build a new large temple. To its raising, both the dukes of Świdnica and the townspeople contributed, financing the construction. The work lasted for a long time, the core of the temple was built up to 1390, and the construction was completed only in the early 16th century.
   Around 1540 the church was taken over by Evangelicals, and at the beginning of the seventeenth century the Hospitaller commandry underwent secularization. During the Thirty Years War Catholics regained the church, but in 1632 the Evangelicals took over the temple again. Since then, it has been used together. In the 18th century the church touched the fire and burnt rich interior decor. Renovated, after 1810 it served as an urban parish church. Already in the nineteenth century there were some major renovations of the church, including the regothisation.

Architecture

   The church is a three-nave basilica with a transept and a polygonaly ended chancel. The chancel is three-bay, while the nave body forms five bays. The aisles on the east side are three-side ended. The west facade was supposed to be two-tower, but both towers were not completed. The higher northern tower, reaches the top of the roof above the central nave, the lower tower south reaches only the roof over the aisle. Outside, the walls of aisles supports stone flying buttresses. The transept and western façades are brick, decorated with blendes from the early 16th century. Gothic architecture of Silesia is characteristic of the west gable decoration, it is made up of blendes in the shape of blind, rectangular windows. The richly carved three portals with tympanums are a collection of rare  in Poland medieval iconographic types.
  
The interior of the basilica is covered with stellar vaults in the chapels and at the intersection of the naves, rib vaults in the aisles, and net vaults in the central nave. The vaults ribs fall on the supports, some of which have figural forms. The vault of the Strzegom basilica repeats the forms of chancel covering of the cathedtal in Prague, founded by an outstanding and influential architect of the second half of the 14th century – Peter Parler. Of the oldest equipment the stone sedilia, the tabernacle in the shape of a tower, made by Wolfgang of Vienna in the first half of the fifteenth century, and a stone late gothic baptismal font from the 16th century, have survived.

Current state

   Strzegom basilica is one of the greatest achievements of the silesian gothic. Its outstanding architectural and sculptural features, its spatial and stylistic uniformity and its impressive size make it a work of special importance for the cultural heritage of Silesia and Poland.

show this monument on map

return to alphabetical index

bibliography:
Pilch J, Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.
Walczak M., Kościoły gotyckie w Polsce, Kraków 2015.

Website wikipedia.org, Bazylika Świętych Apostołów Piotra i Pawła w Strzegomiu.