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Early churches (built 700-1000 years ago) in Poland?


chimera 1 | 4
3 Oct 2011  #1
In Norway and Sweden, stave churches appear to copy the style of older pagan temples. Does Poland have any churches built 700-1000 years ago? I am interested in Scythian influence in north Europe.
pgtx 29 | 3,159
3 Oct 2011  #2
Here is one.

The Church of St. Adalbert or the Church of St. Wojciech (Polish: Kościół św. Wojciecha), located on the intersection of the Main Market Square and Grodzka Street in Old Town, Kraków, is one of the oldest stone churches in Poland. Its almost 1000-year-old history goes back to the beginning of the Polish Romanesque architecture of the early Middle Ages. Throughout the early history of Kraków the Church of St. Wojciech was a place of worship first visited by merchants travelling from across Europe. It was a place where citizens and nobility used to meet.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St._Adalbert,_Kraków
boletus 30 | 1,366
3 Oct 2011  #3
Gniezno Cathedral, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gniezno_Cathedral
Started in 9th century, burnt, robbed by Teutonic Knights, Swedes an Nazis. Rebuilt many times, last time in 21th c., changing its style all the way down. Famous for its Bronze Doors (1170), en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gniezno_Doors

Polish wikipedia has many more details and - first of all - images.
Bzibzioh
3 Oct 2011  #4
Does Poland have any churches built 700-1000 years ago? I am interested in Scythian influence in north Europe.

There is only one Norwegian stave church in Poland, in Karpacz, but it was moved there from Vang in Norway in the mid-19th century.

Polish medieval architecture was of stone and on a different plan.

You can check en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_medieval_Poland

and also the Rotunda of SS. Felix and Adauctus on Wawel Hill
beckski 12 | 1,617
3 Oct 2011  #5
built 700-1000 years ago?

All I can say is wow. It's sometimes not easy for me to grasp the idea of a building being over 700+ years in age. In the United States, we may consider existing buildings age 200+ years, as being extremely old and rare.
shinga
3 Oct 2011  #6
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zabytki_roma%C5%84skie_w_Polsce
OP chimera 1 | 4
3 Oct 2011  #7
Thank you .The Church of St. Adalbert or Church of St. Wojciech (Polish: Kościół św. Wojciecha) is interesting, as it is square which is a Persian fire-temple shape compared to Roman basilica-shape churches. Scythians had square temples, like some Ukraine / Russian church buildings. Scythians had a snake-woman legend, which may be linked to Russian rusalki, Polish syrenka legend of a river fish-woman. The snake-dragon is seen on Norwegian church roofs. It is possible that the first Church of St Adalbert which was built of wood, had dragons on the roof. Moscow has a dragon of St George, from Georgia in Scythian land.

There is also a Church of St. Adalbert at Ore - a village located in £ódź Province , in the county Wielun , in the municipality of Wielun. It has unusual steps in the end of the roof, the gable, which may be from a tradition of roof dragons and which were removed by Church authority.
boletus 30 | 1,366
3 Oct 2011  #8
Not many people know about this little gem:

Czarnowo - a village in Poland located in Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Toruń district, Zławieś Wielka commune, 26 km from Toruń.
Originally the village was owned by the bishops of Płock. In 1457 it was given to the city of Toruń, to which it belonged until the partitions. At the end of the 16th c., the Mennonites settled here. Today, despite of its administrative affiliation with Toruń, it becomes a suburbia of Bydgoszcz, or rather its satellite city of Fordon, from which it is only about 6 km away.

The origins of St. Martin Parish are not exactly known. Until 1222, Czarnowo remained on the estates of the bishopric and chapter of Płock (£owicz privilege). The parish was founded - as stated by Fr. Stanisław Kujot - by one of the reigning Polish kings or princes - before the arrival of the Teutonic Knights, excluding it from the Świerczynki parish. The parish church, built in the second half of 13th c., has one Gothic nave and is set on a rectangular plan. Vestry was added in the 17th c., wooden bell tower - in the early 18th c.

Inside, there is granite stoup (probably medieval), late baroque altar from the first half of the 18th c., the choir from the 18th c., a patron's pew from 16-17th c., and two Gothic reliefs from 15th c. Two bells are from 1609 and 1755. Churchyard was established in 1873. There is also an early medieval fortified settlement, called "Entrenchments".

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czarnowo_(województwo_kujawsko-pomorskie)


  • St. Martin Church, Czarnowo
gumishu 11 | 5,012
3 Oct 2011  #9
and also the Rotunda of SS. Felix and Adauctus on Wawel Hill

these must be patrons of the infamous 'Siostry SS Felicjanki' female order - I was so amused I found their congregation in Nysa - try imagining a band of sisters in black (or white&grey camoulfage) habits, black boots, stahlhelms and schmeissers in their hands on a SdKfz 250
cms 9 | 1,272
3 Oct 2011  #10
If you have a halfday to spare then good little knot of older Romanesque churches starts at Gniezno then Strzelno (40km further) and Inowroclaw (another 20km).
Bzibzioh
3 Oct 2011  #11
Scythians had square temples

I never studied them closely but from what I can remember the Scythians had no temples, altars, religious images or priests. They were simple nomads living in tents. They used shamans to deal with the world of spirits. Being superstitious people they believed in witchcraft, magic and the power of amulets. You are more likely confusing them with Sarmatians who came after them.

these must be patrons of the infamous 'Siostry SS Felicjanki' female order - I was so amused I found their congregation in Nysa - try imagining a band of sisters in black (or white&grey camoulfage) habits, black boots, stahlhelms and schmeissers in their hands on a SdKfz 250

The patron of Felician sisters is Feliks Porri from Kantalicio (in Italy). Glad to know they are source of your amusement.
OP chimera 1 | 4
3 Oct 2011  #12
Hi Bzibzioh,
Herodotus wrote:
"In the early days, at least, the Scythians made no use of images in their worship of the gods, though animal sacrifices were frequently made to their divinities. . In spite of the frequency of these sacrifices, there was a complete absence of altars and temples except for the peculiar altars erected in honor of the god of war. One of these altars was placed in the center of each district. It consisted merely of a great pile of brushwood with a square platform on top. Three sides of the huge altar were perpendicular, while the fourth was sloping so that persons might walk up it. An iron sword was planted on top these altars and served as the representative of the god of war.

Each year numerous sacrifices of cattle and of horses ..."
_______________
Do you have a quote about Sarmatian temples?
isthatu2 4 | 2,708
3 Oct 2011  #13
Youve got to love early christian buildings.fascinating and gorgeous too.

All I can say is wow. It's sometimes not easy for me to grasp the idea of a building being over 700+ years in age. In the United States, we may consider existing buildings age 200+ years, as being extremely old and rare.

Nwah,thats so sweet :) My local church was completed in the 1090s on foundations of a church that had been there a couple of hundred years already :):)


  • St Nicks
boletus 30 | 1,366
3 Oct 2011  #14
My local church was completed in the 1090s on foundations of a church that had been there a couple of hundred years already

Impressive. Poland has very little stone for such beauties.

The oldest wooden church in Poland

In the middle of the village Tarnowo Pałuckie, near Wągrowiec, Wielkopolska, there is the oldest wooden church in Poland, originally raised in the middle of the thirteenth century by Cistercian monks from the neighbouring £ekno.

Scientists conducting dendrochronological studies during renovation work in the seventeenth century - as it was thought - wooden church in Tarnowo Pałuckie discovered that the wood used to build the temple has been cut in about 1373. The roof of the temple was replaced later in the years 1628-1629.

Before the year 1263 the first wooden church on the stone foundations was built in Tarnowo Pałuckie. Its remains were discovered during archaeological excavations in 1999. It was about 19.5 meters long and about 8 meters wide. That church has probably functioned until the last quarter of the fourteenth century, when the new, current church was built in its place.

Tarnowo Pałuckie church is very charming. The walls and ceiling are covered with rich polychrome, made in the 30s of the eighteenth century. They show scenes from the life of St. Margaret and St. Nicholas and scenes referring to the life of Christ.

The North wall of the nave, with images of two devils, reminds us that this side of the world was once seen as a place where evil comes from.

alewielkopolska.blox.pl/2011/04/NAJSTARSZY-DREWNIANY-KOSCIOL-W-POLSCE.html







OP chimera 1 | 4
4 Oct 2011  #15
boletus,
It is 19.5 meters long and 8 meters wide. Is the middle section a square, 8x8 meters? The other 2 sections appear to be about 11 meters. Is there a door on the opposite side to the door shown here?
pawian 159 | 9,452
4 Oct 2011  #16
Impressive. Poland has very little stone for such beauties.

Come on. Plenty of stone churches in Krakow and around.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
4 Oct 2011  #17
Is there a door on the opposite side to the door shown here?

I very much doubt it - not in a such a small church
boletus 30 | 1,366
4 Oct 2011  #18
It is 19.5 meters long and 8 meters wide. Is the middle section a square, 8x8 meters? The other 2 sections appear to be about 11 meters. Is there a door on the opposite side to the door shown here?

I think I have good news for you, Chimera. The following is a very interesting web site run by "Wągrowieckie Stowarzyszenie Szlaku Cysterskiego", Wągrowiec's Cistersian Trail Association, handling anything related to Cystersians at the vicinity of Wągrowiec, including Tarnowo Pałuckie. Here is their page about the church in question: cystersi.wagrowiec.pl/folder4.htm

If you read Polish than you are on your own - you will find it a treasure trove of professional information. Otherwise I will gladly give you a hand in translation of details of your interest.

Summarizing:
The old church, built before 1263, stood on a stone foundation and had dimensions 19.5 m by 8m. It was actually made of two parts: a nave and a narrower rectangular presbytery at the east side. According to current findings that church has functioned until last quarter of 14th c. The new church was set on its place, whose main block has been preserved to this day.

The web page includes the plan of St. Nikolaus (Św. Mikołaj) Church in Tarnowo Pałuckie:
1 The main altar
2 Side altar of St.. Nicholas
3 Side altar of St.. Margaret
4 Rainbow arc beam;
5 Musical choir (gallery)
6 Sacristy
7 Presbytery
8 Nave
9 Wall with scenes from the life of St. Margaret
10 Wall with scenes from the life of St. Nicholas;
11 Tower
2 IPW monogram of the alleged author of polychromy
13 Old brick porch (now removed and replaced by a wooden one).

As is apparent from dendrochronological studies, the vestry and probably the nave were built in the last quarter of the fourteenth century. The oldest wood used in its construction has been cut in the autumn / winter 1373/1374. Various building and restoration works were conducted on several occasions. For example, in 1628-1629 the roof truss was replaced and about in 1639-1640 the west tower added (the dendrochronological findings are supported by the date 1639 carved on the beam above the entrance from the tower to the church). The church and the tower were restored several times, most recently in the nineteenth century.



boletus 30 | 1,366
4 Oct 2011  #19
Come on. Plenty of stone churches in Krakow and around.

Having been exposed to all that red brick in Great and Northern Poland I forgot:
about that stony Little Poland.. :-)
and about the marble quarries around Śnieżnik Massif..
and also about those quasi marbles around Kielce ..
pawian 159 | 9,452
4 Oct 2011  #20
about that stony Little Poland.. :-)

Yes, you are right.

Kraków:

s

Tropie:

s

Tyniec

d

Wysocice

s

Skalbmierz

s

They all come from 11/12/13 century.
OP chimera 1 | 4
5 Oct 2011  #21
Scythians were also ruling north India and reached Burma. In north Thailand, temples have some similarity to Norwegian and Polish roof design.
Nan Temples | Nan Northern Thailand

This may indicate a Scythian influence:
" Many central and south Asian states and regions end with the element -stan, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Baluchistan, Kurdistan, and Turkistan. This -stan is formed from the Iranian root *stā-, "to stand, stay," and means "place (where one stays), home, country." Iranian peoples have been the principal inhabitants of the geographical region occupied by these states for over a thousand years. The names are compounds of -stan and the name of the people living there. . Interestingly, a word almost identical in form, etymology, and meaning to the Iranian suffix -stan is found in Polish, which has a word stan meaning "state" (in the senses of both polity and condition). It can be found in the Polish name for the "United States of America," Stany Zjednoczone Ameryki (literally "States United of America").
ShAlEyNsTfOh 4 | 161
13 Oct 2011  #22
It would be AMAZING if there was at least one (pre-Christian) Pagan temple left in Poland today.

Maybe there is... somewhere... who knows. :O
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
13 Oct 2011  #23
There are the stone foundations of such a temple, plus several stone circles.
hythorn 3 | 580
13 Oct 2011  #24
there are some stone circles in Northern Poland
however the early Christians liked to build churches on top of old stone circles and temples to show that their
God had effectively crushed the old gods

it had the added benefit that the locals would know how to get to the new church as it was in the same spot
as the old temple

stone circles being far more difficult to get rid of than wooden temples

the Christians managed that by lighting fires against the menhirs, then throwing cold water over them
and hitting them with sledge hammers
boletus 30 | 1,366
13 Oct 2011  #25
There are various archeological expedition on the top and around Mount Ślęża, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ślęża, related to various periods: Neolithic, Early Christianity, Medieval, etc. Some artifacts point out to the Celtic tribe of Boii (sing: Boius). During the restoration of the floor of the existing Medieval church, the foundations and cellars of early castle was discovered. Fragments of some artifacts was found, which suggest a broken sculpture of a dragon or a griffin.


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