The unknown hall church from around 1300 at Byczyna in Silesia. About the architecture of an alleged foundation of Henry the Third, Duke of Głogów
Divisions of PAS
The Parish Church of St Nicolaus at Byczyna in Silesia (German Pitschen) presents a most interesting, yet till now unknown example of a hall church from around 1300. It proves that the Silesian founders, as well as builders themselves, sought at the end of the 13th century for an suitable, attractive form of a representative town church. All up-to-date researchers treated the Byczyna church as an integral structure dating back to the end of the 14th century. It is most surprising, as it is more than evi- dent that we deal here with a much older building, which was only much rebuilt to the present shape at the end of the 14 th century. With no doubt, the church in question forms one of the most interesting architectural creations of around 1300 in Silesia. Its builder proved their knowledge of many important buildings in Austria and Moravia, especially of the Cathedral al Olomouc/Olmütz, which was near completion at that time. The short hall nave of the Byczyna church counts to the main trend of the parish churches in Silesia from the 2nd half of the 13th century. In turn, the single west tower was erected prob- ably according to the wish of its alleged founder, Henry the Third, duke of Głogów/Glogau. It reminded of the west tower of the Collegiate Church at Głogów, while the unique mason decoration in the Byczyna choir, which encompassed sculpted baldachins and vaulting shafts, was an allusion to the chancel of the aforementioned church at Głogów. The size and opulent articulation of the eastern part of the analysed building stressed the function of the church as a seat of an archpriest. Unfortu- nately the Byczyna choir, which was a unique structure in the Silesian architecture of around 1300, was later strongly rebuilt and lost its previous shape.