Szprotawa – St Andrew’s Church

History

   The church was erected in romanesque style around 1230. It is located in Iława, the oldest district of Szprotawa, and originally a separate settlement. There was a border hillfort, which already in Mieszko I times, had a very important strategic role. Here, in 1000, Bolesław Chrobry welcomed the German emperor Otto III, who went to the tomb of St. Adalbert in Gniezno.
   The church was first mentioned in written sources in 1295, when the local parson of Gyslerus de Ylavia was mentioned. In 1460 the bishop of Wrocław, incorporated the church into the monastery of the nuns of Magdalenka. The property was owned by them until 1810, when the order was dissoluted. In the 19th century a vestry was added to the church from the north and a south porch.

Architecture

   The church was built of erratic stone, currently hidden under plaster and sandstone in which the entrance portal was created. Its characteristic element are romanesque, thick walls measuring from 1.1 meters in the apse to 1.3 meters in the nave. The building is single-nave and orientated, on the eastern side it is finished with a four-sided chancel (4.95 x 3.75 meters inside) with an apse. The main change that was made to it was the extension of the nave, which was made in the gothic style in the fifteenth century. A portal made of sandstone in the southern wall, topped with a circular arch, leads to the church. Original are also three windows in the apse. Inside, the presbytery was probably originally crowned with a rib vault.

Current state

    The main body of the church has survived in the state from the Middle Ages, the only change is the sacristy added from the north and the southern porch. Unfortunately, most of the window openings were widened, and the chancel vault did not survive. A romanesque baptismal font and a late gothic altar inside the church deserve attention.

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bibliography:
Świechowski Z., Architektura na Śląsku do połowy XIII wieku, Warszawa 1955.

Website wikipedia.org, Kościół św. Andrzeja w Szprotawie.