Zborówek – St Giles’ Church


   The first mention of the parish in Zborówek comes from 1326. The settlement was called Beszowo Biskupia, the name of the Zborówek was not established until the middle of the 15th century. The present temple was erected in 1459 by parson Peter, as indicated by the inscription on the arch. The church was re-consecrated after reconstruction in 1654. Around 1870 was renovated, then had two porches from north and west. Unfortunately in 1906-1908 a brick, neo-roman nave was added to the wooden church.


   The church was erected on a hill overlooking the countryside. It was originally a wooden, orientated, single-nave gothic church with a rectangular nave and a triple-ended presbytery. A small, rectangular sacristy is attached to it from the north.
   The church was erected in a log frame construction, on a stone foundation. This structure in the 15th-century churches in the Małopolska region was shaped in a characteristic way, slightly narrowing towards the top of individual frames, which resulted in visible slope of the external face towards the interior of the building. The method of connecting frames in the corners was varied, but regardless of how the logs were joined at the corners, the connections were always accompanied by so-called covered peg, i.e. the element stiffening the bond itself. This was the basic factor distinguishing the early medieval, primitive construction from that used by professional carpenters from the period of late Gothic.
   The nave and chancel were covered with a homogeneous gable roof, and the church’s façades were covered with formwork made of vertically arranged boards. The foundation was protected by a drip, and the wall was crowned with a under-eaves cornice. The roof truss in the church was created in the king post truss system, common in the 15th century with empty and full truss alternately, also longitudinal stiffening of the truss was used. However, it did not play a decisive role in the construction of the church, but the so-called the “zaskrznieniowy” (chest) system. In the medieval Małopolska church, the spacing of individual logs of truss was adapted to the width of the chancel, and bottom beams of the truss were supported in the chancel on the last frame of wall. In this situation, the lateral, wider parts of the nave did not support the truss, so two structural operations were carried out: extending the upper parts of the chancel walls to the nave, up to the west wall of the church and the lowering height of the side walls of the nave. In this way, on the beams of the presbytery walls extended on the nave, the truss was supported above the nave, and over its side walls was a suitable slope, enabling covering of the wider parts with extended gable roof or separate mono-pitched roof. Inside the church, the lateral, wider than the presbytery, parts of the nave gave the impression as if they were covered with a lowered ceiling (looking like a suspended chest).

Current state

   The church of St. George is one of the oldest wooden temples in Poland. The monument is generally accessible from the outside, while inside after consultation with the parish priest. Inside is a late gothic timber crucifix from the second half of the 15th century and two wings of a late gothic triptych, made in 1481. In the northern part of the nave there is the late gothic triptych of Marczina Czarne from the first half of the 16th century.

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Brykowski R., Drewniana architektura kościelna w Małopolsce XV wieku, Warszawa 1981.

Website zabytek.pl, Kościół par. pw. św. Idziego Opata Zborówek.