Wierzbna – church of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

History

   The church was built around 1230 but was mentioned only in 1283, when “rector ecclesiae de Wirbno Johannes” was mentionedIn 1315, the monastery in Kamieniec took patronage over the church “in Wirbna prope Swidniz”. Church was partially renovated in the late Middle Ages, in the second half of the 15th century a romanesque nave was vaulted. It was rebuilt in the 18th century by the addition of a new, ugly and no matching building from the north. The church was repaired several times: in the second half of the 19th century and in the years 1960 and 1968.

Architecture

   The church was built of carefully worked granite, as a structure with a single, rectangular nave 11.3 meters long and 9.1 meters wide, with a four-sided chancel measuring 6.8 x 5.3 meters, closed with a semicircular apse and a two-tower facade from the west. Originally there was also a sacristy on the north side.
   In the Romanesque period, the church was illuminated by small, semicircular windows, splayed on both sides. Two-light openings with columns embedded in the outer face were also used in the top of the nave’s gable and in the upper floors of the towers. The main entrance was on the west side, between the towers, in a simple portal with a lintel placed on brackets. The individual storeys of the towers were accessible by stairs embedded in the wall thickness.
   The nave of the church received two bays and the presbytery one. The nave was originally covered with a timber ceiling, but in the late Gothic period it received a stellar vault. The chancel had a cross vault on intersecting arches with simple geometric corbels and a conch-like vault in the apse.

Current state

    The church has retained its Romanesque form to this day, but in the 18th century part of the nave’s northern wall was demolished, some windows were enlarged, and some (on the northern side) were bricked up. The west façade was distorted with a 19th-century small apse, while only traces in the wall are visible of the former sacristy. The original vaults of the chancel and Romanesque apse, as well as its original openings have survived. The biforas in the towers and the opening between the towers are also primary. In the northern wall of the nave one original window has been preserved, currently bricked up and visible only from the inside. The rood wall, the Romanesque inter-tower passage, the western portal, visible only from the inside, and the relics of the southern portal are also original.

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bibliography:
Jarzewicz J., Kościoły romańskie w Polsce, Kraków 2014.
Kozaczewski T., Wiejskie kościoły parafialne XIII wieku na Śląsku (miejscowości S-Ż) i na Łużycach, Wrocław 1994.
Świechowski Z., Architektura na Śląsku do połowy XIII wieku, Warszawa 1955.
Świechowski Z., Sztuka romańska w Polsce, Warszawa 1990.