Szprotawa – St Andrew’s Church


   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 recorded 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.


   The church was built of bricks, currently hidden under plaster, and sandstone in which the entrance portal was created. Its characteristic element were Romanesque, thick walls measuring from 1.1 meters in the apse to 1.3 meters in the nave. The building was built as an aisleless and orientated, on the eastern side ended with a four-sided chancel with internal dimensions of 3.7 x 5 meters with a semicircular apse. The nave was 12 meters long and seven meters wide, but in the 15th century it was extended to the west.
   The interior of both the nave and the chancel was initially covered with a wooden ceiling, while the apse was probably covered with a conch. They were illuminated by small windows with semicircular finials, spalyed on both sides. A sophisticated, stepped portal in the southern wall of the nave was also semicircular, with the corners of the external step formed in a concave form with bumps at the ends, while the corners of the internal step were given the form of a shaft. The portal’s archivolt was originally based on capitals resembling inverted bases.

Current state

    The main block of the church has survived in the state of 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 medieval ceilings over the nave and the chancel did not survive. A sandstone Romanesque portal, unfortunately with heavily damaged jambs, still leads to the church. The three windows in the apse and the bricked up northern window in the presbytery are also primary. Inside, the Romanesque baptismal font and the late Gothic altar deserve attention.

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Świechowski Z., Architektura romańska w Polsce, Warszawa 2000.