Szczecin – St Peter and St Paul’s Church


   The first timber church was built on the site of todays temple in 1124, when Otto of Bamberg came to Szczecin with the Christian mission. It was the oldest sacral building in Szczecin, but was burnt during the Danish invasion in 1189. Between 1223 and 1237 a new brick church was erected on its site.
In 1425 the construction of a new church nave in the spirit of the Pomeranian school of Gothic architecture of Heinrich Brunsberg began. In 1460 the church was extended to the west by one bay, much wider than the others and topped with a tower.
In 1534 the building was converted into a Protestant temple. In 1556 the tower was dismantled, western facade rebuilt, and in 1602 the church was crowned with the ridge turret. During the artillery fire in 1677 the church was greatly damaged. Reconstruction lasted for 24 years,
and as a result, inter-nave divisions were eliminated, transforming the church into an aisleless one. In 1702 Hans Kamerling made the so-called pseudovault, that is a wooden ceiling, shaped like brick vaults. In 1817, all baroque elements were removed, and in 1901 the western façade of the temple was regothisated. Conservation works combined with architectural research were carried out in the years 1960 – 1961.


   The church was built to the north of the town, near the prince’s castle. It is a brick hall structure, originally three-aisle, pentagonal ended from the east, and from the west originally crowned with a tower. From the north there are rooms of a two-bay chapel and sacristy. The most representative is the west elevation, constituting the remains of the church tower. A large portal has been placed in it, which moulded jambs extend almost to the cornice forming the base of the gable.
   All the facades were rhythmized with pilaster strips of moulded bricks, rising from the plinth to the cornice. Halfway up, they were pierced by niches with plaster-coated backgrounds, provided with ceramic corbels in the shape of heads of medieval inhabitants of Szczecin of various sexes and ages. Probably once these corbels were the basis for the sculptures displayed on them. Between the lesenes almost the entire width of the bays was filled with large ogival windows, set on high sills, which constitute the basic horizontal division of elevations. In the north wall there is also a well-preserved alms niche from the first half of the 15th century with a slot for donations.
   The interior now has a wooden ceiling, and the buttresses pulled into the interior form a wreath of shallow chapels in which the cross-rib vaults have been preserved. In the side walls of the buttresses ogival niches were placed, while niches with semicircular arches were used in the walls below the windows. Originally, the interior of the church was separated by pillars on three aisles and had vaults.

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Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko i M. Arszyński, Warszawa 1995.
Jarzewicz J., Architektura średniowieczna Pomorza Zachodniego, Poznań 2019.

Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012