Szczepanów – church of St Mary Magdalene

History

   The church is one of a number of buildings founded by the chronicler and canon of Jan Długosz. Participation in the church foundation could also have cardinal Zbigniew Oleśnicki, whom Długosz was a trusted associate, and whose coat of arms “Dębno” was placed on the erection board, adorning the southern porch, next to the “Leliwa” coat of arms of the Melsztyński family and “Wieniawa” of Długosz. This allows to assume that the work on the construction of this church was carried out by Długosz, possibly at the request of Oleśnicki, then ordinary of the Diocese of Kraków, and financially also supported by the local owners of the village, Melsztyńscy. The temple was built in 1470.
   In the years 1911-1913 next to the medieval church a neo-gothic body of the new temple was erected. To connect the two buildings, the northern wall of the nave of the old church was demolished. In this mindless way in addition to making the medieval monument ugly, it was also partially destroyed.

Architecture

   The churches built by Jan Długosz were built according to the same plan and using the same building material, namely the stone foundation and brick, which was also a decorative element. The church in Szczepanowo, like other temples, is aisleless and towerless. It is distinguished by a chancel ending with a polygonal choir. It is covered by a rib vault on stone supports with the coat of arms Wieniawa, Dębno, Leliwa and the royal eagle. The windows of the church are high, lancet-shaped, once with stone frames.
   The old music choir does not exist today, because it was not reconstructed after the fire in 1914. Only survived stairs inside the wall in the southern part of the nave that once led to this choir. There is also no sacristy, originally located at the northern wall of the presbytery. The oldest preserved mentions indicate that the ceiling in the nave of the church was painted, and the walls were whitewashed with lime.

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bibliography:
Website bazylikaszczepanow.pl, Długoszowy kościół p.w. św. Marii Magdaleny w średniowieczu.