Strzelno – St Prokop’s Rotunda


   Church of St. Prokop was founded in XII or at the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It was probably the founder’s chapel within the monastery under its patronage. At the turn of the 15th and 16th century the upper part of the tower was rebuilt, adding a brick buttress to the west. Later, the church was enclosed by the monastery’s wing, acting as the monastery’s gate and refectory. Until 1779 it was functioning  with dedication of Holy Cross.
In 1812 the interior was transformed into a warehouse. At that time two northern apsees were demolished and the tower was raised of a four-sided floor. In 1892 the monastery wing was demolished and restoration work of the church began, reconstructing two previously demolished apsees. During World War II the object was re-transformed into a warehouse. In 1945, the church was damaged by an explosion of German explosives. The domed vault and the upper parts of the tower were destroyed. Conservation work was carried out in 1948-1952, restoring the original romanesque character of the church.


   The original church consisted of a rotund nave with an adjoining chancel on the square plan, the opposite tower, and two apsees from the north. It was made of granite blocks with sandstone construction and decoration elements. Elements from the gothic reconstruction, namely the eastern gable, the crown of the walls and the higher parts of the tower, are bricks. The nave was covered with an interesting vault – a dome on four intersecting arch bands with an intersection not falling in the geometric center.
   The interior of the tower has been divided into storeys with beam ceilings, with steep stairs between them. In the ground floor, the nave connects to the tower with a vaulted corridor, almost 3 meters long. This considerable distance results from the fact that the tower and nave are two separate standing buildings. Probably the first floor of the tower did not have a connection with the nave, probably there was also no gallery, although a niche in the thickness of the tower walls at the level of the floor can suggest the existence of a chapel-matroneum there. In the upper storey of the tower, the door portal attracts attention at a height of 9 meters.

Current state

   From the original equipment has survived only a few elements, among others, stone font of the twelfth century. The original tympanum above the main portal to the nave was destroyed in 1945, in its place there is now a copy made on the basis of the preserved cast from the original. It was a foundation tympanum with Christ and a man presenting the model of the church. Bifora on the matroneum and the gallery itself are also a reconstruction.

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Jarzewicz J., Kościoły romańskie w Polsce, Kraków 2014.
Sztuka polska przedromańska i romańska do schyłku XIII wieku, red. M. Walicki, Warszawa 1971.
Świechowski Z., Sztuka romańska w Polsce, Warszawa 1990.

Tomaszewski A., Romańskie kościoły z emporami zachodnimi na obszarze Polski, Czech i Węgier, Wrocław 1974.