Tarczek – St Giles’ Church


   Church of St. Giles was founded in the first half of the 13th century by the foundation of the bishop of Kraków, Iwo Odrowąż, allegedly on the site of the church from the 11th century. In 1591 the building was refurbished. The western facade was then rebuilt and the western matroneum was dismantled. In the 17th or 18th centuries new openings in the western façade were added and a porch was erected. In 1738, the roof and vaults condition of the temple was described as very bad. In 1803, church was restaurated and among others, buttress and windows were built. In 1887 the interior of the nave was whitewashed and covered with a wooden ceiling. In the years 1945-1946 a new vault in chancel was erected, fragments of the romanesque stonework and early modern polychrome were unveiled. In the years 1952-1954 another renovation was made. In 2010-2012, restoration and construction works were carried out at the church. The roof has been replaced, aesthetics of the façades were improved and the romanesque window was restored.


   The church was built as an orientated structure, erected of sandstone ashlar. Originally, it consisted of an aisleless rectangular nave with a narrower and lower, square chancel. It was illuminated by small Romanesque windows with semicircular finials and widely spalyed from the outside. The entrance led from the south to the nave, where a new portal was inserted in the late Gothic period. Inside, in the western part of the nave, there was originally a gallery, but no traces of vaults were found, which suggests the existence of wooden ceilings. The matroneum was a gallery supported by two columns supported by three arcades and a low parapet. The interior of the presbytery received a cross vault over a single bay.

Current state

   The church in the early modern era, unfortunately, did not avoid many interventions with the original medieval walls, the largest of which was the complete rebuilding of the west facade, adding the sacristy and southern porch, and piercing new and transforming the original windows. Among the original architectural details, a fragment of a braided frieze is visible in the southern wall of the chancel, and a late-Gothic portal in the southern porch. In the nave and presbytery, one can see the remains of Romanesque window openings and stonework. Among the former furnishings, the church now features a Gothic bas-relief from the 16th century, a Renaissance triptych from around 1540 and a Romanesque baptismal font.

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Sztuka polska przedromańska i romańska do schyłku XIII wieku, red. M. Walicki, Warszawa 1971.
Świechowski Z., Katalog architektury romańskiej w Polsce, Warszawa 2009.
Tomaszewski A., Romańskie kościoły z emporami zachodnimi na obszarze Polski, Czech i Węgier, Wrocław 1974.

Website zabytek.pl, Kościół par. pw. św. Idziego Opata Tarczek.