Wysocice – St Nicholas’ Church


   The church was built at the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, presumably from the knight’s foundation of Odrowąż, which ruled since the middle of the twelfth century, the towns located in the valley of Dłubni. The first mention of the existence of the parish in Wysocice dates back to 1325. About 1565, the land bought Jan Płaza from Mstyczowa and turned the church into a Protestant church, depriving it of Catholic equipment. The restored church returned to the Catholics after 1613, after the purchase of Wysocice by Elisabeth Wołłowicz. In subsequent years, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, only minor architectural changes were made to the building’s block. By the south, at the main entrance a brick porch was added, and from the north the sacristy. The vault in the chancel was rebuilt and the roofs changed, adding in the 18th century a Baroque helmet on the tower and a ridge turret.


   Wysocice parish church stands on a flat hill, on the west bank of the Dłubnia. It was built in the Romanesque style, made of limestone blocks, with details made of sandstone. The church was orientated towards the sides of the world, so that a single nave was on the west side, and a narrower, very short, four-sided chancel ended with a semicircular apse on the eastern side. Additionally, a four-sided tower was placed on the axis of the west facade.
   Inside, the arcade separating the presbytery part from the nave, received a semicircular arch and support on Romanesque consoles with leafy motifs. Originally, the interior of the building was illuminated by semicircular, small windows, and the entrance led through a southern portal with a tympanum from the beginning of the 13th century with a poorly outlined trefoil crown.

The massive church tower was divided into five storeys, with a room in the ground floor and a matroneumn (gallery) on the floor. The gallery bends semicircularly to the nave and opens with three windows on its interior. In its ground floor there is a square, cross-vaulted chamber, lit by shooting holes. Originally this room opened onto the nave with an arcade, above which on the north side a small semicircular portal was placed. At the threshold, two sockets on the beams were exposed, on which a timber porch rested (at a height of 2.8 meters), connected by a staircase or a ladder with the interior of the nave. On the other hand, the portal runs trough narrow stairs, located in the northern wall, specially thickened for this purpose, to the gallery in the tower. Its interior was covered with a cross vault and illuminated with a western window, and from the east connected with a semi-circular small apse, covered with a half-dome. There are three semi-circular openings in it, providing good visibility to the nave. In the upper, defensive storey of the tower there are windows in the form of arrowslits  or observation windows. The highest storey have a bifora, separated by columns with cube capital. The upper floors of the tower had no connection with the gallery and it is not known how they were accessible from the nave.

Current state

    The church in Wysocice is one of the best preserved Romanesque buildings in Poland. Only some window openings in the nave and presbytery from the south were widened, an early modern porch and sacristy were added. As a result of renovation, the gables were slightly reduced, and the upper layers of the blocks were supplemented with brick. The apse vault was rebuilt, the original one was preserved in the presbytery and partly in the lower floor of the tower, where the two-light windows and stairs leading to the gallery have survived. On the eastern wall of the presbytery, above the apse, there is a thirteenth-century statue of Madonna carved in sandstone. The oldest element of the church’s furnishings is the late-gothic pulpit from around 1500.

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Jarzewicz J., Kościoły romańskie w Polsce, Kraków 2014.
Sztuka polska przedromańska i romańska do schyłku XIII wieku, red. M. Walicki, Warszawa 1971.
Tomaszewski A., Romańskie kościoły z emporami zachodnimi na obszarze Polski, Czech i Węgier, Wrocław 1974.
Świechowski Z., Sztuka romańska w Polsce, Warszawa 1990.

Website zabytek.pl, Kościół par. pw. św. Mikołaja Wysocice.