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When describing the Evangelical-Augsburg religious architecture of the 20th and 21st century in the Cieszyn Silesia, it is worth drawing attention to the origins of the boundaries in this historical and geographical region. The Reformation first appeared in Silesia in Wroclaw, where in 1519 Martin Luther’s works were printed, and where in 1545 Prince Waclaw III Adam Pogrobowiec recognized the Augsburg Confession as the official religion of the Duchy of Cieszyn. Unfortunately, when the Habsburgs seized power in the Duchy in the 17th century, a persecution of Lutherans began, which for years afterwards hampered the development of Protestant architecture in the area. The crucial event that fundamentally changed the fate of the local Protestants was the publication in 1781 of the Patent of Tolerance by Joseph II. It contained detailed regulations for the building of Protestant places of worship, which influenced the shape and the aesthetics of local Evangelical churches until the 20th century. The beginning of the last century saw some new projects of a liturgical character. The neo-Gothic chapel of ease in Bogumin, designed by J. Leisching and built in 1901, was one of the first Evangelical-Augsburg churches erected in Cieszyn Silesia. The Evangelical cemetery chapel in Dębowiec was also constructed in the neo-Gothic style, as the latter became non-denominational from the end of the 19th century. The large scale of the building (consecrated in 1912) designed by Karol Majeranowski made it possible for regular Sunday services to take place in the chapel. Another significant architectural addition was the new Evangelical cemetery in Bielsko, designed by H. Mayr. During the interwar period, the well-organized Silesian-Cieszyn Lutheran community built many new chapels and churches. In the 1920s and 1930s, several large cemetery chapels were erected in the Cieszyn diocese. Their scale was well beyond the sepulchral requirements of the times. Worth mentioning are the chapels in Godziszów, Simoradz, and Kozakowice Dolne. Their architecture attests to the fact that the Evangelical-Augsburg community has long been faithful to traditional designs dating back to the 18th century. In the interwar period, new churches of considerable size were erected in Cieszyn Silesia. Most were built in the part of the region situated on the Czechoslovak side. The two most outstanding churches, the German Evangelical church in Rozwoj, and the Silesian Evangelical- -Augsburg church in Niwy, were erected in Český Těšín. Their architecture recalls neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque architecture. Despite the rather conservative tastes of the Silesian-Cieszyn Evangelical-Augsburg diaspora, the architect T. Michejda made a successful synthesis of modernism and “the national style” in the Evangelical church in Istebna (consecrated in 1930). On the other hand, in his Evangelical- -Augsburg church in Trzanowice, Michejd minimised the details of the façade to create a building in the international style of the 1930s. After the Second World War, the Evangelical-Augsburg architecture of the years 1948–1956 in Cieszyn Silesia returned to the artistic language known for decades, which recalled the archetypal designs of patent churches. Examples of this design are in Wieszczęta- Kowale and Olbrachcice. The first positive change in the attitude towards the avant-garde solutions can be seen in the buildings erected by the Evangelicals in the 1960s. The most important churches built or designed in this decade were in Cierlick (by B. Firla) and in Wisla Czarne (by K. Kozieł). The Evangelical-Augsburg church in Wisła Czarne (1970) introduced a series of churches linked to the critical regionalism. The Evangelical-Augsburg church in Cisowinica, consecrated in 1981, is an example of the evolution of this concept. Stanisław Kwaśniewicz and Edward Kisiel were representatives of yet another concept of designing churches in the period of late modernism in Cieszyn Silesia. Kwaśniewicz applied expressionist forms in the Evangelical-Augsburg chapel in Bażanowice, while Kisiel combined expressionism and regional contextualism in the churches in Puków and Cieszyn Marklowice. The Protestant architecture of the Cieszyn Silesia created in the more recent years recalls postmodernist forms yet is still firmly grounded in the local tradition. Some of the newer churches are, however, a warning sign of the dangers of losing moderation typical of Protestant architecture. Only time will tell if this is a durable trend or a momentary “straying” of the Silesian-Cieszyn Evangelicals.
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The Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery was established in 1792 in the village of Wielka Wola near Warsaw on Młynarska Street. It was probably designed by the architect Szymon Bogumił Zug. From the mid-19th century the cemetery aroused much admiration for its appearance. The site was carefully maintained and covered with lush vegetation. It contained many fine tombstones executed by the most outstanding sculptors from Warsaw. Among those was Paweł Maliński, Professor of the Sculpture Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Warsaw and his pupil Jakub Tatarkiewicz. Both studied under Bertel Thorvaldsen in Rome. Another talented sculptor whose works could be found in the cemetery was Konstanty Hegel, a former pupil of the Academy of St. Luke and the French Academy in Rome. The necropolis also contained funeral monuments made by the stone-carving workshops of Warsaw. This article aims to introduce about 30 of the most interesting funeral monuments executed in the first 60 years of the history of the Warsaw cemetery. The oldest tombstones preserved in the churchyard are eclectic works drawing from Baroque art. An interesting tombstone is that of Anna Regina Kilemann (d. 1793), modelled on Johann Augustus Nahl’s funeral monument for Mary Magdalene Langhans, and dated 1753. The cenotaphs in this group show some elements traditionally used in the early modern sepulchral sculpture – the carved figure of the deceased; the shape of the sarcophagus; the motif of the gate; or the obelisk on a pedestal. The fantasy form is often adorned with neoclassical decoration. The types of tombstones widely used in the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw show a mourner (a weeper), a genius angel or an allegorical figure holding an upside-down burning torch. One of the finest is the headstone executed for Krystian Gotthilf Helbing’s grave (d. 1845), decorated with the sculpted personification of Death executed by Paweł Maliński. Konstanty Hegel, on the other hand, displays the sculpted personification of the Evangelical community on the gravestone of Samuel Leopold Neumann (d. 1844), shown there as a Mourner. Whereas Jakub Tatarkiewicz made several sculpted busts for family mausoleums, including that of the lexicographer Samuel Linde (d. 1847), and the physicians Wilhelm Malcz (d. 1852) and Karol Henryk Kühnel (d. 1836). In addition to the classicist gravestones inspired by Greek and Roman antiquity, there are also neo-Gothic monuments and those inspired by ancient Egypt in the cemetery, for instance the pyramid-shaped tomb commemorating Jan Riedel (d. 1808). Moreover, there are many burial chapels (mausoleums) on Młynarska Street, and four of these deserve a special mention. The first one is the monumental Halpert Chapel dated 1834, representing templum in antis in the Doric order of the Roman variety. The second one is the Skwarcov Chapel dated 1851, distinguished by its oriental decoration in the Old Russian-Arabic style. The third one is a cast-iron openwork mausoleum of the Braeunig family (1821), considered one of the most elegant mausoleums in the cemetery, probably from Germany. Another chapel worth mentioning is the Dückert mausoleum (1828), a Polish example of the Greek Revival style. The funeral monuments in the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw commemorate well-known scholars, doctors, military people, merchants, bankers, industrialists, and owners of important real estates. Many of these people were deserving figures not only in the borough, but in the whole of Warsaw. Their place of burial in the Evangelical-Augsburg cemetery can be seen as an important point on the map of the city. It testifies to the multiculturalism of the capital of Poland and the Lutheran inhabitants, and is a gallery of sculpture reflecting all the styles and trends in art.
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In the mid-17th century on the outskirts of the capitals of the hereditary Duchies of Silesia – Glogow, Jawor and Świdnica – Lutheran churches were erected known as the Churches of Peace, now considered the largest Baroque timber-framed ecclesiastical buildings in Europe. Their advent was the result of a particular political and religious situation which existed in Silesia during the early modern era, since it was absorbed into the Habsburg monarchy in 1526. This period of time was also the beginning of the Protestant Reformation which found many supporters among the Silesians. Lutheranism soon became the dominant religion in Silesia. Religious differences between the sovereign and the subjects led to constant tensions that worsened during the Thirty Years’ War. According to the provisions of the Peace of Westphalia (hence the name of the churches), Evangelists could worship in only three new churches in the Duchies, which were to be raised at their own expenses from clay and wood. All the other places of worship were taken away from them. The authorities intended the Churches of Peace to reflect the position of Protestant communities within the existing political realities – simple utilitarian buildings not solid or durable, which in ideological terms should not compete with the monumental Catholic architecture in the towns near which they were erected. These limitations can be seen as the reason the Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica have an interesting décor. The present paper discusses the church in Świdnica, and the historic transformation of its décor and furnishings from the mid-17th to the mid-18th century. The church’s interior included wall and ceiling paintings, woodcarvings of the window sills in the matronea and the loges, liturgical furnishings such as the late Baroque altar (1752–1753), the organ front (1776–1784), the confessional (18th century), the Baroque pulpit (1729), and the Mannerist baptismal font (1661). Furthermore, some epitaphs, heraldic shields, guild emblems, paintings, liturgical utensils, money boxes and other smaller objects associated with the Protestant worship also survived the ravages of time. Numerous seats have also been preserved such as benches, loges and stools. The iconographic programme of the church interior initiated at the end of the 17th century by the ceiling decorations refers to the name of the church, but also evokes the associations with the Temple of Solomon and the dwelling of God among his people. The church’s original architecture which was largely based on practical considerations served as a framework over which with time new “semantic layers” were applied. These were formulated not only in terms of fine arts but also music, including church songs, thanks to the two organ fronts and the word of God preached. They all refer to the same imagery as paintings and sculptures and are deeply embedded in the so-called Baroque Protestant symbolism. What is striking, alongside the unity of its content, is the adhesion to the forms of expression combining text and image in the emblematic tradition. All this makes us see the Church of Peace in Świdnica as a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, although in the past the unity of time in creation was usually observed. In Świdnica the situation is different. As a result of almost three generations of artistic undertakings, the interior has a unique, consistent, and coherently formulated ideological programme, erudi te, even if largely devoid of high artistic quality.
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The origins and development of the old settlement of Konradsgrün (now Jáchymov) were linked to the discovery and exploitation of silver ore in nests and veins. As a result of the dynamic growth of this new centre which was of an urban nature, in 1520 the Czech King Ludwik Jagiello granted it the city rights and the status of a free mining town. In the following years, the centre was granted the Mining Act (Bergordnung) from the noble Šlik family, modelled on the Annaberg Act. It defined the rights of miners and regulated the technical and organizational exploitation of silver. The richness of the land allowed for a dynamic expansion of the mining centre and the establishment of a mint by the Šliks. The rapid growth of the mines was due to the high content of silver in the exploited veins, as well as their ready availability. Affluent immigrant families, which originated from other parts of the Kingdom of Bohemia and from Germany, began to build substantial houses in the new town. These people, often coming from various regions of Germany, continued to maintain close contacts with their families, friends and business partners from outside the Kingdom of Bohemia. Many arrived from the lands of Saxony, where at that time Martin Luther’s Reformation enjoyed considerable popularity. Both the mayors of Jáchymov and the German-speaking gentry/nobility who settled in the Kingdom of Bohemia supported these reforms, with the Šlik, Salhausen, and the von Bünau families at the forefront. These families settled in the north-western part of Bohemia, where as a result the Reformation became widespread, primarily led by Luther’s supporters. This fact is evident in the numerous epitaphs, altarpieces and chapels found in the area (in Loket, Jáchymov, Krupka, Benešov and Ploučnica). In the first half of the 16th century, the churches of St. Jáchym and All Saints Church in Jáchymov saw the creation of such artworks as the painted epitaph of Ruprecht Pullacher, the St. Mary’s altarpiece of Heinrich Könneritz’s and his wife Barbara nee Breitenbach’s foundation, and the (now fragmented) altarpiece showing St. Christopher. Most paintings in the St. Jáchym Church, such as Ruprecht Pullacher’s epitaph, burnt down in the city fire in 1873, are only known from descriptions. The surviving works testify to the great religious freedom enjoyed during the first years of the town’s life. It was only around the middle of the 16th century, that Johannes Mathesius created the ethos of Jáchymov as a Lutheran town right from the beginning. The political situation in the Kingdom of Bohemia in the second half of the century was favourable to the coexistence of the two religions, Catholic and Lutheran, reflected in the religious art of the period. However, on the basis of the preserved epitaphs it is not possible to establish if strictly Catholic works were created in Jáchymov. The discussed epitaphs of Georg Pullacher and the Uthmann-Lerchenfelder family executed in the 1590s reflect Protestant ideas. The image of Christ’s resurrection was both the expression of hope for future resurrection and eternal life, as well as a public confession of faith on the part of the members of the Lerchenfelder and Uthmann families. A profound faith in the resurrection was also echoed in Christ’s deposition featuring on Georg Pullacher’s epitaph. The work referred to the Holy Scriptures and quoted individual passages from the Bible. Inscriptions present on the painted epitaphs provided a synthesis of the main theological principles. They were a public confession of faith of the deceased to their relatives and descendants, as is illustrated by Ruprecht Pullacher’s (Georg’s father) family portrait. Other aspects strictly related to the re-catholicization are revealed by the transformation of St. Mary’s altarpiece into an epitaph altarpiece in the 17th century.
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In 2016 the city of Wroclaw became The European Capital of Culture. On this occasion, the National Museum organized three exhibitions. The magnificent and newly renovated Four Domes Pavilion designed by Hans Poelzig staged the show called Summer Rental. The Marx Collection in Wroclaw, featuring 50 artworks from the Hamburger Banhof Museum in Berlin. The Ethnographic Museum showed the multimedia exhibition Treasures of European Traditional Culture, featuring various phenomena of Intangible Cultural Heritage preserved through documents and protected oral tradition. This cultural programme influenced the reception of the third show in the National Museum, the first monographic exhibition of the Baroque Silesian painter Bartholomeus Strobel (1591–1647). Strobel was a Lutheran artist working for the Catholic Church and the Polish King Władysław IV. He received commissions from both Catholics in the Polish Commonwealth and Protestants in Gdansk, and was painting portraits of lay and church dignitaries as well as religious compositions. The Wroclaw exhibition successfully showcased the work of this talented portraitist and religious painter adept at Counter-Reformation subjects. The second protagonist of the exhibition was Bishop of Wroclaw, Polish Prince Karol Ferdynand Waza (1613–1655). For this reason, the exhibition included many outstanding gold Baroque church objects, on loan from the Treasury of the Cathedral of Wroclaw. Strobel’s largest and most impressive painting, the Feast of Herod with the Beheading of St John the Baptist (2.80 × 9.50 m), from the Prado Museum, Madrid, was probably commissioned by the Dean of the Wrocław Cathedral Chapter, Nikolaus von Troilo, since it features his coat of arms. The focal point in the painting is the severed head of St. John, also found on the coat of arms of Wroclaw and Silesia. The canvas was executed around 1640, in honour of the three fallen heroes of the fight for the political and religious freedom of Silesia: Jan Christian, Prince of Legnica-Brzesko, the poet Martin Opitz, and Nikolaus von Troilo. In the Feast of Herod, the artist contrasted hypocritical and vicious rulers, depicted as caricatures, with a few honourable individuals. The large canvas from the Prado did not travel to Wroclaw for conservation reasons. It was, however, replaced and interpreted by a large video art piece by Lech Majewski, the Polish master of the genre and world-renowned artist. Majewski made the famous film Mill and the Cross (interpreting Brueghel’s The Road to Golgotha from Vienna). In 2010 he also created the video art piece Supermarket Dante based on the Divine Comedy. Majewski is renowned for painting with the new electronic means in films and in video art. In the video art presented in the Wroclaw exhibition the first sequence shows Strobel’s painting from Madrid of richly dressed men celebrating at splendidly set tables. In the centre of the picture Herodias is holding St. John’s head and Herod looks at it in horror. The scene of the saint’s martyrdom is depicted on the margins of the picture; it occupies a narrow right strip of the composition. In the next video sequence the banqueting hall turns into a supermarket – the temple of modern consumerism. Tables are set up in front of checkouts for the supermarket customers. A black-clad praying figure appears thus disturbing the feast, and then is lifted out of the film’s frame. After a while Salome brings St. John’s bloody head on the tray and puts it on the table. Thanks to this travesty, Strobel’s painting which is a great allegory condemning unjust governments and the death and humiliation of the virtuous, is timeless in its content. It shows how relevant artists are as society’s conscience. The exhibition shown in Wroclaw was innovative in the context of the Polish museology, and testifies to great new exhibiting opportunities for the future dialogue between the past and the present.
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After the expulsion of the Czech Brethren from their homeland in 1627, a large group settled in Poland, setting up communities, building churches, and establishing an excellent grammar school in Leszno. The most outstanding personality among them was their leader and superior, Bishop John Amos Comenius (1592–1670), who strove to preserve the religious identity of the Unity of the Brethren and to maintain good relations with the larger Protestant communities. This clergyman also had a thriving literary career, which resulted in as many as 174 works published in print, followed by numerous later editions and translations into various languages. None of his writings, however, were specifically on the subject of religious art, but in some of them he outlined very clearly his views on this issue. Condemning the devastation of Protestant churches in Bohemia and the destruction of their interior decoration in his Historia persecutionum Ecclesiae Bohemicae (1647), Comenius argued (echoing Martin Luther and John Calvin) that although these buildings were not officially consecrated, they were holy places nevertheless, sanctified by the Word of God and the Sacrament of the Altar. When describing a “typical” church in his textbook Orbis sensualium pictus (1658), Comenius singled out the architectural solutions characteristic of the Lutheran and Czech Brethren’s churches erected around 1600. They included a clear separation of the sanctuary and a three-nave body, with matronea in the aisles. The furnishings of such a “typical” church also drew on the tradition of these religious communities, and consisted of an altar, a pulpit suspended near one of the columns in the main body, and a baptismal font located near the entrance. In his work Panorthosia, completed in the 1660s, Comenius proposed a new shape for the church which was to meet the needs of the united Christians, but evidently originated in the Calvinist tradition of church building which Comenius must have seen during your stay in the Netherlands. The leader of the Czech Brethren postulated that a universal sanctuary should be built to a circular or octagonal plan, because this arrangement unifies the liturgical community and makes the celebrant easily heard. In terms of the cult of paintings, Comenius did not follow faithfully the teachings of the Czech Brethren, who were convinced that the second commandment prohibits any images of living things. Like Calvin, however, he opposed the depiction of God in bodily form, and the placing of pictures inside churches. Some parts of his Orbis sensualium pictus treating of the Jewish and Christian religion, were illustrated with biblical scenes, which proves that he agreed with Luther that religious pictures can be used to instruct those who have difficulties with the reception of the sacred texts. In his Historia persecutionum Ecclesiae Bohemicae, Comenius vigorously condemns the actions of Catholics, who had removed and destroyed from Bohemian churches the pictures of the utraquistic martyrs, Jan Hus and Hieronim from Prague. Comenius insisted that he did not defend these works as cult paintings, but saw them as valuable mementos of the Hussite religion, which gave rise to the Czech Reformation. The vision of the role of art in the life of the Church formulated by Comenius was a synthesis of the solutions introduced by various Protestant denominations. It was presented by him in an inconspicuous manner, in order to silence the possible conflicts between these faith groups. Comenius looked at art solely as a tool for the religious education of the faithful, and was against limiting its use for this purpose. Such an instrumental approach also meant that unlike the Church reformers active in the 16th century, Comenius did not seek to formulate a complementary theory of religious art.
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The topic of this paper is the woodcuts featuring on the title pages of the three editions of Luther’s sermons on the Sacraments written in the autumn of 1519. These include the first edition of Ein Sermon von dem hochwürdigen Sakrament des heiligen wahren Leichnams Christi (Wittenberg, Grunenberg, 1519); another edition of the same sermon (Leipzig, Schumann, 1520); and one of the editions of Ein Sermon von dem Sakrament der Taufe (Lepizig, Stöckel, 1520). All the woodcuts were reprinted from wooden blocks previously used for other works. The Wittenberg print features the images of the two ostensoria (monstrances) executed after the drawings by Lucas Cranach the Elder, originally showing reliquaries from the collection of Frederick the Wise (the so-called Wittenberger Heiltumsbuch, 1509 and 1510). The two Leipzig brochures open up with the picture of the Man of the Sorrows as the source of the Seven Sacraments, which in 1514 illustrated the anti-Hussite treatise by Hieronymus Dungersheim, in 1520 belonging to one of Luther’s most important opponents. The main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that despite the often repeated opinion to the contrary, the decorations on the title pages sometimes played a significant, although ambiguous role in the reception of a woodcut. In some cases, they amplified or raised doubts about the doctrinal correctness of the author’s claims, as a result exposing him to troubles with censorship. In others, on the contrary, the title pages decorations distracted the reader’s attention from the content of the work. All this entails the issue of the later reception of these designs, characterised by considerable durability despite the changing historical, religious and artistic circumstances, which were disseminated through printing medium.
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As a result of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, huge timber-framed churches were built outside the city walls of Głogów, Jawor and Swidnica, capable of accommodating several thousand people. Because of exceptional historical conditions, the large size of the buildings, and their form and structure, they were researched since the 18th century. Yet there has never been an attempt at detailed examination of their building history, or the reconstruction of their original architectural form and the structure of the wooden framework. As part of the two scientific projects dedicated to the Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica, attempts have been made to fill these gaps in the past research. There was obviously no need to rewrite the history of the Churches of Peace. The latest study, however, made it possible to correct some of the former opinions. For the first time it had been possible to make a detailed drawn reconstruction of their original form and of the timber framework since they were first built in the mid-1650s. The original spatial layout of both churches was well known and was described in numerous publications. However, the precise information about the location and the shape of the entrances, the stairs, the windows, the sacristy, and the baptismal chapels is a new addition. Moreover, some new data has been gathered regarding the bearing timber frames, the structural elements of the walls, the wood processing and the colours of the timber architecture of both Churches of Peace.
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The subject of this paper is Protestant church architecture in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the early modern era, within Poland’s present-day borders. This includes lands which belonged to Poland before the Partitions and those granted in 1945 by the decision of the Potsdam Conference of three great powers (Mazury, New Marchia, Western Pomerania, and Silesia). In all the lands between the rivers Oder and Bug, which were affected by the Reformation, especially where the Evangelical National Churches (Mazury, New March, West Pomerania) were built, the concept of church founders “meriting” Eternal Salvationwas gradually disappearing. According to the recommendations of Martin Luther, all the churches that were not used for preaching the word of God, especially monastic and pilgrim churches, could be used for secular purposes or even dismantled. Only parish and castle churches were deemed acceptable, as they were serving the communities assigned to them. Wherever the Reformation supporters succeeded in taking over the medieval parish churches, far-reaching changes were made to their furnishings with time. Medieval altars were usually left in their original place, although some underwent Renaissance “modernising”, as in St. Nicholas Church in Brzeg (1572). New additions were in general the pulpits and the baptismal fonts, which together with the altar made the so-called liturgical triad, visible from anywhere in the church. In order to improve the visibility of the main liturgical acts, the emporas or galleries were introduced in the church interiors, forming an arrangement similar to the letter “L” or “U”. The elevation within the church space was created for the distinguished representatives of the widely understood establishment – the princely and noble patrons, mayors, councillors and aldermen. They were seated on special benches or in loges/boxes, usually highly impressive and ornamental pieces of furniture. From the mid-16th century, many churches in towns and country began to show signs of a new style: the Renaissance portals and gables, and the “Italian” tented roofs. The outer walls of the brick churches began to be plastered, and even made using the technique of sgraffito, in imitation of stone cutting. This was supposed to give churches a more “noble” look. Totally new places of worship were built wherever Evangelicals could not take possession of the local parish church, or where they had to return the church to the Catholics by court order or as a result of royal intervention. In the area of Lesser Poland (Malopolska), the noble followers of Calvinism and Arianism developed a rather dynamic church building, erecting structures of such high rank as the Calvinist church in Oks near Jędrzejów based on the horizontal plan of the Greek cross. In the area of Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) and Royal Prussia, Lutheran municipalities were often forced to hastily reuse various secular buildings such as private houses, baths, town halls and granaries. The most famous example of such a structure is the “Kripplein Christi” in Wschow, built in 1604 over a short period of time near the city walls, and using its gate tower as bell tower. A good occasion for the construction of new Evangelical churches, mainly Lutheran ones, were human resettlements conducted in the 16th and 18th centuries in the swampy areas of the Polish-Brandenburg borderland, near Trzcianka and Wielen, as well as in rural areas surrounding the three major towns of Royal Prussia – Gdańsk, Toruń and Elbląg. As part of these movements, not only voluntary settlers from the Netherlands and North Germany came to Poland, but also religious refugees, especially the Mennonites, highly praised for their development of Żuławy. A much larger scale of resettlements, however, was due to religious refugees from Bohemia and Silesia, especially in the final phase of the Thirty Years’ War (1635–1648). Thanks to these migrants, the existing towns of the Wielkopolska- Silesian borderlands, including Wschowa and Lesznów, enjoyed considerable growth, but also new centres such as Bojanowo, Rawicz, Szlichtyngowa, Zaborowo and Zduny were established. In each of these towns, inhabited almost entirely by Evangelicals, new churches were immediately built, which over time had acquired, like the Lutheran church of the Holy Cross in Leszno, monumental proportions. Several prominent new churches were also built in the second half of the 17th and early 18th centuries for the Silesian Evangelists who did not flee the country, although they lived in an area of re-catholicisation. According to the provisions of the Peace of Westphalia, the so-called Churches of Peace were established in Glogow, Świdnica and Jawor, which were not part of the existing parish network, then already completely Catholic. Similarly, the six so-called Churches of Grace were built in Silesia (Cieszyn, Jelenia Góra, Kamienna Góra, Kożuchów, Milicz, Żagań), as a result of the Convention of Altranstädt, signed in 1707 by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I and King Charles XII of Sweden. The new tradition of Protestant church building, independent of the existing parish network was followed by the so-called Friedrichian prayer houses, established in Prussian Silesia since 1742, and the so-called tolerant churches, erected in Austrian Silesia since 1782. Similar status was granted to Lutheran churches in Poznan and Warsaw, built thanks to the concessions granted by King Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski after the restoration of rights to Polish religious dissenters by the Sejm in 1768. Both churches are outstanding works of Polish architecture in the era of early classicism. A separate place in the Protestant church building in the early modern era was occupied by castle chapels and court churches. A few substantial edifices of this type are still preserved in Poland, beginning with the Lutheran castle chapel in Szczecin (1575–1577) representing the “Vitruvian” ideals of the Renaissance. We can also mention the Calvinist castle chapel in Siedlisko near Nowa Sól (1616–1618), which combines with sophistication the modified gothic and mannerist forms, as well as the castle church in Kamieniec Suski (1716–1718), originally also Calvinist, which is one of the best replicas of the famous Huguenot temple from Charenton sur Seine. The Evangelical-Reformed court church in Wroclaw (1746–1750) was of great importance for church building in Silesia. Initially, it offended the local Lutherans with its ostentatious lack of images, but over time it became an inspiration for the most outstanding church buildings of Silesian Classicism, designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans, the Lutheran churches in Dzierżoniów, Rawicz, Syców and Walbrzych. A further development of Protestant church building in the lands belonging to the Polish state has progressed in a fairly uniform manner. Most of these lands after 1815 belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia, which over time was transformed into the German Empire. Church building, controlled by the Berlin headquarters, has undergone a far reaching standardization and homogenization. This fact began to reflect upon the perception of its earlier achievements, which for some critics have ceased to be a title for glory, as a manifestation of excessive individualism and too exuberant imagination. German scholarly research on the history of Protestant church construction in the countries “east of the Elbe” was interrupted by World War II and its consequences, which for the architectural heritage of the Reformation turned out to be particularly tragic. Many churches were destroyed during the war and many have fallen into disrepair as a result of the post-war human migrations and a huge gap in the Evangelical population. The Polish Catholic Church, which had taken over most of the old Evangelical temples, for a long period of time, could not cope with their furnishings. Fortunately, there were some well-informed and educated priests who took care of the Protestant temples. From the late 1960s they were also able to count on the support of the academic community, in particular the Institute of Art History of the University of Wroclaw. This institution has continued to conduct systematic research on Protestant church architecture and art in Silesia, Poland and throughout Europe. This has brought a rich crop of master and doctoral dissertations and many other publications in Poland and abroad.
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