Świdwin – church of Our Lady


   The church was built around the middle of the fifteenth century. In 1475 the side chapels were erected, where the sacristy was located and the upper part of the tower was built 30 years later. In 1538 the church was renamed to Protestant. In 1644 a lightning struck the church tower, which destroyed it. Another tragedy came in 1689 when, during a huge fire, the temple burned down, leaving only walls. Thanks to the sacrifice of the inhabitants, the church was rebuilt in just three years, and again in 1692 the service was held there. In 1776 the tower burned again. In 1881 the church was repaired and in such condition it survived until the end of World War II when it was seriously damaged during the liberation of Świdwin. After the war, the church was taken over by Catholics, and the Church Reconstruction Committee set up, which began work in 1947.


   The church was erected in the north – east block of buildings at the market, of bricks in the Flemish bond on a pedestal with granite quares. It received the form of a three-nave basilica with a presbytery surrounded by an ambulatory and a square tower adjacent to the corpus from the west. The tower in the ground floor has a porch and two chapels on the sides. A two-bay chapel and sacristy were added to the chancel from the north. The whole church has a fairly short and compact shape with clearly separated parts in terms of height: a massive tower covered with hip roof, central nave with a choir covered by a gable roof and side aisles forming together with the chapels and an ambulatory a joint sequence surrounding the tower and the presbytery, covered by a mono-pitched roofs.
   The elevations of the church were fragmented with buttresses and large ogival windows. A cornice was installed on the walls of the aisles at the height of window sills. Below the windows on the walls of the ambulatory there are triads of bipartite recesses in each bay. The portals have a stepped, profiled and decorated with glazed bricks jambs. The facade of the tower was also ornamented with great decoration. Its storeys were fragmented with a series of blendes: three or four in bipartite form at the bottom, four in tripartite form in the middle and seven, small, ogival in the upper part. An important accent of the north elevation was the stepped gable of the chapel with bipartite blendes topped with oculuses and wimpergas.
   Inside, low octagonal pillars carry elevated arches, separating the central nave, which flows smoothly into the presbytery. Likewise, side aisles go into an ambulatory. The walls of the central nave are divided into two parts: arcaded one and area with windows, separated by a distinctive offset. In the upper zone, a series of wall arches creates niches, framing a strongly receding wall in which the windows were placed. On the wall pillars, brackets were placed on which the ribs of the vaults flow down. There is a similar system in the aisles and ambulatory as in the upper part of the central nave, but the wall arches have been reduced to flat lesenes. The central nave, side aisles, ambulatory and the northern chapel are covered with stellar vaults, and the porch under a tower, the adjoining chapels and the sacristy with cross-rib vaults.

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Jarzewicz J., Architektura średniowieczna Pomorza Zachodniego, Poznań 2019.
Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012

Website wikipedia.org, Kościół Matki Boskiej Nieustającej Pomocy w Świdwinie.