The construction of the church along with the Norbertine monastery began at the end of the twelfth century, the first mention of it comes from 1193. The founder of the church was the castellan of Kruszwica, Piotr Wszeborowic, immortalized by the inscription on the tympanum, and his sons Kalkon and Krystyn, and possibly the daughter-in-law of Zmysława. In 1216 a solemn consecration of the temple took place. At that time, the chancel and transept were completed, and work on the nave was to end around the mid-13th century. At the end of the 15th century the chapel was rebuilt at the south of the chancel and the ceilings were replaced by the stellar vaults. Another remodeling of the 18th century unfortunately made the church facade, the southern chapels and the interior of the church Baroque. At that time Romanesque columns between the aisles were walled up, and remained hidden until 1946.
The church was erected in the lower parts and the eastern part from granite blocks, while in the western part and upper parts was mainly made of brick. This is not the effect of the Gothic reconstruction, but the continuation of the same project in the changed technique. The church was a three-aisle basilica with a three-bay nave with a transept and a rectangular chancel ended with apse. Only side portals led to the interior, the temple did not have an entrance in the west façade. The sides were flanked by elongated chapels. South of them was enlarged in the 15th century and vaulted. The cylindrical tower adjacent to the corner of the transept was liquidated than. The western façade was crowned with two massive Romanesque towers.
Inside, between the towers of the facade and a wide, high-located arcade (set on preserved pilasters), there was a gallery. Its lighting was a round window in the western facade. It is not known whether matroneum was vaulted or supported on a beamed ceiling. Originally, the church had flat wooden ceilings. In the Gothic period, the corpus was covered with Gothic stellar vaults above the central nave and cross vaults above the aisles.
The most valuable and most famous monuments in the basilica are seven Romanesque columns. Covered with figurative bas-relief, they belong to the unique Romanesque monuments in Europe. Each of the columns is represented by 18 static figures, in three storeys separated by a plant ornament. Each of these sculptures is different and has its own attribute, by which the viewer can recognize its symbolic meaning. There are 36 personifications, 18 virtues and 18 vices.
Jarzewicz J., Kościoły romańskie w Polsce, Kraków 2014.
Tomaszewski A., Romańskie kościoły z emporami zachodnimi na obszarze Polski, Czech i Węgier, Wrocław 1974.
Świechowski Z., Sztuka romańska w Polsce, Warszawa 1990.
Website zabytkowekoscioly.net, Strzelno kościół św. Trójcy, dawny norbertanek.