Toruń – church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


    Church of the Assumption was built as a monastery church of the Franciscan Order. They arrived in Toruń in 1239. In 1243 a synod with the papal legate William of Modena took place, so perhaps some of the buildings had been built until then. During the 13th and 14th centuries the church and the monastery were expanded. The temple was the first in Pomerania, of a form of not fragmented hall with so much height and momentum. Many architectural features, the concept of block and interiors, were innovative models for the construction of other temples, including the one hundred years later the St. Mary’s church in Gdańsk.
Since the beginning of the 16th century the number of new monks has decreased as a result of the Reformation. In the middle of the 16th century, the monastery became the property of the town, and in 1565 a evangelical school was built, which in 1568 was transformed into a gymnasium. As a result of the so-called Toruń Tumult from 1724 the church, which until then was the main protestant temple of the city, was taken away from the lutherans and passed to the Bernardines. In 1798 against the threat of a construction disaster, the gothic richly decorated gables over the aisles and the triple roofs were dismantled, and the present one gable roof over the whole body and new gables were built. In 1821, the Bernardine convent was dissoluted, and a year later most monastery buildings were dismantled. At the end of the nineteenth century, necessary repairs were carried out at the church.


    The first church from the middle of the 13th century was a rectangular building about 20 meters long, about 9 meters wide and 12 meters high. On the north, today’s sacristy was attached to it, in its original form one-storeyed and ended straight from the east. In the second church, the eastern straight wall was replaced with a polygon. Similarly, the eastern wall of the sacristy was made. The walls were also raised to a height of about 18 meters.
    In the 14th century a third church was built, the shape of which is impossible to determine.
During its construction probably chancel has been extended to today’s width.
The present fourth church is a three-nave, towerless hall with the matroneum in the northern aisle of the third and fourth quarters of the fourteenth century. The chancel is elongated, rectangular, its eastern elevation is crowned with three octagonal turrets, the middle of which is higher than the others. The space between them is filled with gables composed of pinnacles. The corpus of church is rectangular, compact solid, originally covered with a triple roof roof. The windows in all facades are narrow and slender, with pointed ends. The side walls of the chancel and the northern wall of nave are covered with buttresses running through almost the entire height of the facade. The buttresses in the southern wall of the corpus are pulled inward, so that the outer facade is smooth and only the windows are visible. The top of the façade runs through a ceramic frieze with a four-leaf motif. The interior of 26.75 meters is covered with stellar vault. Pulling the southern aisle into the interior caused the formation of deep niches of the nature of the side chapels. At the bottom of the northern aisle there is an matroneum, part of the former monastery cloister incorporated into the church. In the interior of the church are preserved 14th century polychrome and intricately carved oak stalls from the 15th century.
On the south side, on the extension of the outer wall of the corpus, on Panny Marii street, rises the wall with battlements and two arched gates. The buildings of the former Franciscan convent were built in a complex north of the church. Only a small fragment of the western wing, adjacent to the church, has survived.

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Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko i M. Arszyński, Warszawa 1995.
Website, Kościół Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Marii Panny w Toruniu.