MAŁA - Church of St. Michael the Archangel

In 1909 a bell gable was added to the Church of St. Michael in Mała. In Polish, the name of this type of bell towers is connected with the word screen as its shape invokes a kind of screen or veil. In fact, a bell gable is a high, stone wall, usually with three (sometimes more) arcades. Each of the arches holds a bell.

3D WalkHistory

CHURCH

IN MAŁA

This beautiful church made of larch wood was built between 1593 and 1595. The funds for the construction were provided by the owners of the Mała estate: Rafał and Elżbieta Łyczkowie. The church was consecrated in 1597 by Cardinal Jerzy Radziwiłł, the Bishop of Cracow. The parish received the name of St. Michael the Archangel. To this day, the main symbol of the church is the statute of the saint presented in a warlike pose, holding his spear high and with the defeated dragon at his feet. Already the Old Testament used this primeval reptile as a symbol of the devil.

Saint Michael the Archangel has been considered for centuries to be the champion of the Christians. Knights preparing for battles, soldiers and other uniformed services, including the policemen used to ask for his intercession. Anyone opposing evil could count on the spiritual support of the Prince of the Angels holding the flaming sword. In Poland he is considered to be the patron saint of airborne forces, land surveyors, radiologists, engravers, fencers, grinders, goldsmiths, soldiers, policemen and also of good death.

In 1909 a bell gable was added to the Church of St. Michael in Mała. In Polish, the name of this type of bell towers is connected with the word screen as its shape invokes a kind of screen or veil. In fact, a bell gable is a high, stone wall, usually with three (sometimes more) arcades. Each of the arches holds a bell. 

This type of structures started to appear for the first time in the 13th century, in the Gothic architecture. As a cheaper solution, they were built instead of church towers. Thus, poorer parishes were able to afford their own bells. Numerous old bell-gables survived in the south-west of France, in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. In Poland, this structure was used in the case of old churches where it was impossible to add a tower.

The Mała bell-gable has a bell from 1634, which was cast in the atelier of Jakub Erlicher and founded by Katarzyna Łyczkowa from Nowosielce.

This late Gothic church is adorned with a quadrilateral, two-story tower and a single ridge roof topped with a tin, pyramid-shaped helm.

Once inside, the pilgrims should pay attention to a beautiful polychromy. It was executed in the years 1965-66 by sisters Anna and Zofia Pawłowski. However, this is not all, because behind side altars small fragments of historical figurative polychromy were preserved from the years 1597-1610. This is a true gem of the history of art. 

Other treasures to be found in this place are, among others, late Renaissance paintings from around 1597 depicting Our Lady with the Child, St. Elizabeth and John the Baptist. You will also find there the Crucifixion of Jesus painted on wood with a gold background and representations of St. Barbara and St. Catherine.

The above-mentioned sculpture of St. Michael the Archangel can be found in the late Baroque altar from around 1780. It is also worth paying attention to the wooden baptismal font from the 1st half of the 18th century and a magnificent organ front (2nd half of the 17th century). It is located on the gallery with a curved balustrade from the first half of the 18th century.

Sources:

MAŁA | Church of St. Michael the Archangel

COFUNDED BY THE MINISTER OF CULTURE AND NATIONAL HERITAGE
ORIGINATING FROM CULTURE PROMOTION FUND

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