Wrocław – St Adalbert’s Church


   The first, Romanesque church on this place was founded at the beginning of the 12th century and was consecrated in 1112 to St. Adalbert’s by Bishop Żyrosław I. It was the first church on the left bank of the Odra river that was built in the days before the town. By the order of Pope Eugene III of 1148, St. Adalbert was handed over to the Augustinians from Sobótka, while serving as a parish church. From 1226 it belonged to the Dominicans brought from Cracow. At that time, it was expanded from the east by the late Romanesque chancel.
During the Mongol invasion in 1241, the church itself, founded by the Czeslaw Odrowaz monastery, and probably the whole left-bank town, were destroyed. Around 1250 the church was rebuilt in Gothic style. In 1270 the nave was completed and in 1359 the tower. In the beginning of the fourteenth century a new polygonal chancel was built, and before 1487 the church was enlarged, extending the nave by one bay from the west and raising the walls by almost seven meters. The western façade was decorated with a prominent ceramic gable, which has become a model for similar forms in the church of St. Dorothy and the church of Corpus Christi. In the years 1715-1730 a Baroque chapel of Blessed Czeslaw was created.
After the secularization of the Order in 1810 the church was transformed into a parish, and the monastery buildings, used as storage, were demolished in 1900, leaving only a refectory, which was a separate building. It was re-connected to the church with a new building completed in 2008. During World War II the church was severely destroyed. The first stage of reconstruction took place between 1953 and 1955. In the years 1981-1982, stained glass windows were added and the reconstruction completed with a helmet in the gothic-inspired forms.


   The church is a Gothic building erected of bricks. Its length is 72 meters and the width is almost 34 meters. It consists of a one nave, four-bay transept and a five-bay chancel closed with a five-sided ending. To the chancel adjoins: an extended annex from the north and from the south a sacristy and a tower at the corner of the southern arm of the transept. It is in the lower part of the quadrangular, passing in the upper stories in octagonal and covered with a pyramid-shaped helmet. At the nave from the north is a one-aisle, four-bay chapel of St. Joseph. The west facade has a pointed portal moved from the previous church and a large window on the axis. It is crowned with a gable, separated by a blendes and finished with pinnacles.
The vaults of the nave, the chancel, the annex and the sacristy are ribbed, and stellar in the transept. In the chancel there are two stone Gothic portals leading to the annex and sacristy, with moulded archivolts and tracery. In the nave three Gothic portals lead from the south to the aisle and two from the nave to the chapel of St. Joseph. The windows are decorated with tracery.

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Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.
Website wikipedia.org, Kościół św. Wojciecha we Wrocławiu.