Wschowa – St Stanislaus Church

History

   The first mention of the existence of the parish in Wschowa comes from a document from 1326, in which the local priest Jordan was a witness. The church itself probably already existed before. In 1345, two years after the incorporation of the Wschowa into the Polish kingdom by Casimir the Great, the ruler gave the village of Przyczyna and its church to the Wschowa, and twenty years later he took a silent marriage in the parish church with Jadwiga, the princess of Żagań, who became his fourth wife.
   The church was repeatedly destroyed during numerous fires of Wschowa, among others in the years 1435 and 1529. During the Reformation, for several years, the temple was used by Protestants who returned it over to the Catholic community in 1604. Once again the church burned down in 1685. Eventually, the temple was rebuilt in 1720-1726 according to the Italian architect Pompeo Ferrari. In this state the church has survived to this day.

Architecture

   The Wschowa parish church was located in the north-west part of the medieval town, very close to the city defensive walls, one block of buildings away from the market square. Originally, it was probably a Gothic building with three aisles in the nave (visitation files mention pillars) with a lofty four-sided tower from the west and a narrower chancel on the eastern side with three bays, closed with a straight wall in the east. The sacristy was attached to the presbytery from the north. Church was probably similar to the oldest phase of the parish building in Kościan.
   During the reconstruction after the fire of 1527, the presbytery was enclosed with aisles of equal height and topped with a net vault, while the old sacristy was pulled into the interior of the new aisle, which became much taller than it. Thus, above the sacristy, a room appeared completely open to the neighboring nave of the choir, which could be used as a chapel or gallery.

Current state

   Currently, the medieval character have been preserved only in the west tower and the choir with the 16th-century net vault in the central nave. The nave was rebuilt so thoroughly in the eighteenth century that it is difficult to guess its original appearance. Only its corners in the attic of the choir are visible.

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bibliography:
Kowalski Z., Gotyk wielkopolski. Architektura sakralna XIII-XVI wieku, Poznań 2010.
Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.

Website wikipedia.org, Kościół św. Stanisława Biskupa i Męczennika we Wschowie.