Wrocław – St Stanislaus, Dorothy and Wenceslas church

History

    The church was founded to commemorate the agreement of the rights to Silesia concluded between Kazimierz the Great and Karol IV. Patrons of the church: St. Wenceslas, St. Stanislaus and St. Dorothy symbolized the Czech, Poland and German settlers. The Polish, Czech and Silesian arms on the eastern façade of the church are also related to this meeting. The church was built in 1351 as a three-nave, high hall. The chancel was completed in 1381. In 1401 in the main nave was made stellar vault. From the south side, monastery houses were adjacent to the church.
   
By 1530, the church belonged to the Augustinian eremites, and was taken over by the Franciscans from the church of St. James, but the number of monks in the face of the Reformation melted rapidly and already in 1534 they left the buildings and gave them to the city council. It was only in 1561 that emperor Ferdinand I finally allowed the townspeople to desecrate the buildings and temporary storage facilities in them. Later plans to bring back the Jesuits were not successful, but in 1613 the Emperor Matthias returned buildings to the Friars Minor, who in 1615 moved into the buildings. In 1686 a rich baroque interior was built, and the monastery buildings were thoroughly rebuilt in this style. After the dissolution of the Order in 1810 the monastery buildings housed from 1817 as prison, and after its transfer in 1852 were abandoned. At the end of the nineteenth century it was decided to demolish them, and the plots were sold. A new entrance with a neo-gothic portal was erected in the western side of the church and a small Franciscan Square was laid before it. During World War II the church suffered only minor damage and is one of the best preserved medieval buildings in Wrocław.

Architecture

    The church is a gothic, orientated, reinforced with buttresses structure, with a three-nave, hall corpus, without a transept and a narrower, elongated, polygonally ended chancel and sacristy adjoining to the south. In the north, at the crossing of the nave and the chancel, a low tower, reinforced with buttresses, was added, with a pyramid-shaped helmet, on which there was a polygonal staircase. The chancel and the church corpus are covered with gable roofs. The nave has an elaborate, stepped western gable and decorated with blendes the eastern gable. Buttresses on the polygonal closure of the chancel are crowned with pinnacles. The lower parts of window’s blendes in the chancel were decorated with eightteen sandstone shields. Three of them were sculpted: the eagles of the Roman king, the lion of the kingdom of Bohemia and the eagles of the Wrocław Piasts. The primary entrance to the church was in the last span of the nave.
   
In the chancel and sacristy and in the western span of the nave are rib vaults, in the main nave there are stellar vaults. The relic of the gothic decor of the church is only a stone sacramentarium from about 1335.

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bibliography:
Pilch J, Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.
Website wikipedia.org, Kościół św. Stanisława, św. Doroty i św. Wacława we Wrocławiu.