Zalewo – St John’s Church

History

   The first timber church in the Zalewo was probably erected soon after it was granted charter privilege in 1305. The construction of a brick church began in 1320. Until 1325, the chancel was built, while in the years 1335-1350 the nave was erected. The new building dedicated to Saint John the Apostle was consecrated in 1351. In 1407 a bell tower was built. It was reduced by two meters and received its present shape in 1723, after a fire caused by a lightning strike. In 1560 a separate temple was erected along the northern wall of the church, in which Polish-language services were held. This extension, already ruined, was demolished in 1820. In 1815, the sacristy was erected. For several centuries, the church has been refurbished several times.

Architecture

   The church in Zalewo was erected as a Gothic, orientated building, with one nave on a rectangular plan, built of bricks on a stone pedestal. On the eastern side, a slightly narrower and lower chancel was placed, closed with a straight wall. On the west side there is a four-sided tower with a masonry height of 30 meters. It was divided into three storeys by ogival blendes. On the highest storey, the blendes were closed with a semicircular arch and framed. The walls of the nave and the chancel were reinforced with buttresses and divided with windows with pointed arches, originally filled with Gothic traceries. The eastern wall of the chancel was decorated with two rectangular panels, between which a pointed blende was placed, and a pinnacle gable with blendes with pointed arches. The interiors of the nave and chancel were covered with flat ceilings.

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bibliography:
Rzempołuch A., Przewodnik po zabytkach sztuki dawnych Prus Wschodnich, Olsztyn 1992.

Website leksykonkultury.ceik.eu, Kościół pw. św. Jana Ewangelisty w Zalewie.
Website wikipedia.org, Kościół Świętego Jana Apostoła w Zalewie.