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Krzyżowo-kopułowe kościoły-mauzolea w Polsce w pierwszej połowie wieku XVII

Krasny, Piotr

English Title: Mausoleum churches with a dome over the crossing in Poland in the first half of the 17th century

In: Prace z Historii Sztuki, 20 (1992), 25-52 + Abb. 1-31.

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Translation of abstract (English)

Among the churches erected in Poland in the first half of the 17th century, there is an outstanding group of those with a dome over the crossing, built on the plan of a Latin cross whose vertical arms are of approximately equal length. This group includes the collegiate church at Zolkiew (1609-1618), the Bernardine churches in Rzeszow (1624-1627) and Sierakow (1624-1629), and the church of St. Anne at Kodem (1631-1635). The oldest of these churches was founded by Stanislaw Zolkiewski as a monument to his military victories and a mausoleum for his family. The buildings in Rzeszow (the funerary church of the Ligeza family) and Koden (the Sapieha mausoleum) owed their erection to the founders – Mikołaj Spytek Ligeza and Mikolaj Sapieha – who shared Zolkiewski’s political views and were directly acquainted with him. The funds for the building of the mausoleum of the Opalinski family – the church at Sierakow – were provided by Piotr Opalinski, who did not know Zolkiewski personally but was related to his neighbour and friend Jan of Ostrorog. The sepulchral function of these edifices found its expression in the liturgy performed in them (a considerable number and pomp of the services offered for the dead of the founders’ families) as well as in their interior decoration abounding in ostentatious commemorative elements. In the interior of the buildings, particular stress was laid on the exposure of the tombs, which were frequently treated as important elements of the church’s spatial arrangement. The practice of building funerary churches on a cross plan goes back to the Early Christian era (martyria) and is related to the soteriological significance of this form. Undoubtedly, Polish mausoleum-churches were modelled on the modern Basilica of St. Peter in Rome (the martyrium of the Apostle and the mausoleum of the popes); as regards the church at Koden, this found its confirmation in archival sources. However, the central plan of the Basilica was not accepted in the Counter-Reformation period. Therefore, when designing Polish mausolea, the architects probably referred to the modification introduced in S. Lorenzo de la Victoria at the Escorial (begun in 1574), the mausoleum of the Spanish Habsburgs. This church was built on an "extended" Greek-cross plan achieved through the addition of two bays to the central nave: Capilla Mayor and the choir. At the turn of the 16th century, elements of the church at the Escorial were repeatedly transformed in smaller commemorative buildings (S. Juan Bautista de Afuera in Toledo, S. Maria Scala Coeli in Valladolid), in which the plan of S. Lorenzo’s was simplified in a similar way as was done in Polish mausoleum-churches. At the time when the churches at Zolkiew, Rzeszow, Sierakow, and Koden were constructed, the culture and art of Spain aroused interest at the Polish royal court and among members of the nobility, which found its expression, inter alia, in numerous elements of the Royal Castle in Warsaw which had been borrowed from the Escorial residence. Likewise, the biographies of the founders of the mausoleum-churches contain a great deal of information indicating that they shared this interest. The founders and architects of Polish mausoleum-churches may have become acquainted with the appearance of S. Lorenzo de la Victoria through engravings executed in 1589 by Juan de Herrera and Pedro Peret. Additional information about this church was provided by Polish travellers visiting the Escorial at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century. One of them was Stanisław Zolkiewski’s friend Jakub Sobieski, who did not disguise his admiration when describing the church in his diary.

Document type: Article
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2011 16:48
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Architecture
Controlled Subjects: Polen, Kirchenbau, Mausoleum, Vierung, Kuppelbau, Architektur, Geschichte 1600-1650
Subject (classification): Architecture
Countries/Regions: East Europe
Collection: ART-Dok Central and Eastern Europe