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St Adalbert’s church

This somewhat inconspicuous-looking building is a fine example of the beginnings of wooden Gothic architecture in the Podkarpacie region and one of the least explored and most mysterious churches in the region.

It stands on top of a hill and is the first monument on the Subcarpathian Wooden Architecture Trail as one of the oldest churches on the trail.

It was built as early as the middle of the 15th century on the then outskirts of Krosno in the traditional wood joining technique. It may not be the greatest treasure of the trail, but it does have the biggest number of patron saints. Apart from St Adalbert, they comprise St George, St Valentine, St Margaret, St Helen, St Sophia and… the Theban Legion – the entire legion of Roman soldiers martyred together under Emperor Diocletian, several centuries before the times when, according to legend, St Adalbert rested on the hill where the church now stands on his way to Gniezno and Prussia, also to be martyred. This, of course, is legend, but it is actually thought that the hill was the place of the first settlements that were to develop into Krosno, a hypothesis supported by a cross from the 10th century found there. And since there is a grain of truth in every legend, who knows what more thorough excavations may bring one day.

In the middle of the 18th century the church was still in good shape, but in the following century it fell into such disrepair that it threatened to collapse and was therefore abandoned. Fortunately, the curate at that time Leon Świtalski was able to motivate the local community to renovate the church, and the work was completed in the years 1855-1856, not without support from the nearby landowners. At the same time, rather than stop at renovation, it was decided that the church would be remodelled in 1903. This was done to the design of the famous Galician architect Tadeusz Stryjeński, who had already made his name with the successful “regothisation” of the beautiful Franciscan church in Krosno. However, his work with wooden Gothic architecture was less successful and – as it is nicely put – “the church has lost its period characteristics,” even though it has retained its old proportions and soaring silhouette.

The consequences of the remodelling can be seen also on the inside, but some valuable elements of the interior have survived. Most importantly, the beautiful and absolutely unique Mannerist main altar in traditional triptych form from the beginning of the 17th century can still be admired in the church. Next to the Crucifixion scene at its centre, there is a figure of the main patron saint of the church – St Adalbert – and on the other side a figure of St Stanislaus. The side altars, examples of superb Baroque woodcarving, were moved here from the Parish Church. It is worth noting that they were made by local masters around the year 1700. The statues of the Holy Mary of the Immaculate Conception from the end of the 16th century and of St Sophia from the middle of the 16th century must also be mentioned, as well as the statue of St Adalbert from the middle of the 15th century, which was filled in in the 20th century but is probably at least partly contemporary with the church.

The tiny church, which had been a branch of the Parish Church for centuries, became a seat of an independent parish in 1968. In 1987, building work began on a new church, grand and made with brick, which was consecrated in August of 1997. Incidentally, this is when St Adalbert, that is his holy relics, visited the place.

Take a virtual tour of the church

fot. archiwum Arete sp. z o.o. (1); archiwum UM Krosna (2, 3)

Zwiedzanie kościoła św. Wojciecha jest możliwe po wcześniejszym uzgodnieniu terminu z Proboszczem Parafii
Kancelaria Parafialna
ul. Zielona 10 d
tel. 13 49 304 62
e-mail: krosnowojciech@gmail.com

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