Wrocław – St Vincent and St James Church


    The church together with the monastery was founded by Henryk Pious for the Franciscans brought from Prague around 1240. Still in the process of building his crypt became the burial site of the founder, who in 1241 died in the battle with the Mongols at Legnica. In this church, mentioned in 1254 as completed, was announced in 1261 the privilege of locating the New Town on Magdeburg law, allowing for the further development of Wrocław. The church was a three-nave hall and had one or two-bay chancel. In the 14th and 15th centuries it underwent a major redevelopment and expansion, which for lack of funds has drawn on very long time. At that time, the main nave of the church was built in the gothic style.
At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Franciscans were either largely Protestant or left Wrocław. The church was abandoned by the Franciscans and was taken over by the Norbert monks from Ołbin. They dedicated it to their patron, Saint Vincent. In the years 1662-1674 the church received rich baroque equipment, and in 1673 monastery was rebuilt in the baroque style. After the secularization of the Order in 1810, the church was converted into a parish, and the monastery buildings were designated for the seat of the court. In the last days of World War II, the church suffered heavy damage. The tower collapsed, and with it a part of the side wall and vaults. Preserved in good condition the stalls were transferred to the choir of the cathedral. The restored church was handed over in 1997 to the Eastern Orthodox Church.


    Initially, the church from the 13th century was a three-nave hall with a narrower, two-bay chancel. After the reconstruction from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the temple consisted of a three-nave, five-bay basilic corpus, which two western bays are somewhat shorter and of a six-bay chancel, five-side ended. In the southern corner of the chancel and nave rises a square tower, passing in the octagon above the ridge of the roof and topped with a high needle helmet. Outside the church is covered with buttresses, which in the closure of the presbytery topped with pinnacles. The choir and the central nave are covered with gable roofs and the aisles roofs are sloping. The windows in the chancel and in the aisles are large, pointed, three-light with tracery, the windows in the central nave are closed with sectional arch. Inside the church is covered with rib vaults supported on octagonal pillars.

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Kozaczewska H., Średniowieczne kościoły halowe na Śląsku, “Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki”, 1-4, Warszawa 2013.
Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.
Website  wikipedia.org, Katedra greckokatolicka pw. św. Wincentego i św. Jakuba we Wrocławiu.