WIZNA - Church of St. John the Baptist

Wizna is an exceptional place on the historical map of Poland. It holds not only a beautiful church that we will describe later, but the village, and previously the town, alone, has a fascinating history. Already around 1400 Wizna received town privileges and kept them for four centuries until 1870.

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CHURCH

IN WIZNA

Wizna is an exceptional place on the historical map of Poland. It holds not only a beautiful church that we will describe later, but the village, and previously the town, alone, has a fascinating history. Already around 1400 Wizna received town privileges and kept them for four centuries until 1870. In the time of the Republic of Nobles, local parliaments /sejmik/ used to gather here from the 16th until the 18th century. The history of settlement, however, started much earlier as analyses of archaeologists and historians show that already in the 11th century a stronghold existed on the Narew River and defended the Mazovian Land.  During the Renaissance, Bona Sforza or Anna Jagiellon stayed here. During the nightmare of World War II, Polish troops defended themselves along the defence line on the Narew River. Here the memorable battle took place, called today the “Polish Thermopylae”. Only 720 Poles were defending themselves against 42,000 German soldiers.

The first place of Christian worship in the village was the castle chapel. According to historical sources, it existed already in the 14th century and in the 15t century the wooden church of St. Mark the Evangelist was erected. The Gothic church of St. John the Baptist was built around the 14th century and its founder was Anna, the Princess of Mazovia. The building was refurbished in 1658, later in the first half of the 18th century and at the end of the 19th century. The next century brought about, unfortunately, a dramatic fate. In 1944 the church was pulled down by the German army. Fortunately, in the years 1951-1958 a successful reconstruction was carried out and its characteristic, Gothic style was preserved.

The arrangement of bricks is done in the Slavic (monk) way. It is interesting as historically speaking this type of bond (way of disposing bricks) was used in Poland in the 13th century and disappeared around 1420. Near the ground, the building is reinforced by well-adjusted cobblestones. Inside, there are three four-bay naves with a three-bay presbytery closed by a wall with a leaded window. At the top of slender pillars, you will notice stellar and net vaults. Thanks to the efforts of conservators and builders, pieces of an early-Baroque epitaph and a late-Gothic crucifix have been preserved to this day.

Sources:

WIZNA - Church of St. John the Baptist

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

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