The church in Krupy

The historical, artistic and scientific value of the church in Krupy is of both local and national meaning. It is the oldest half-timbered temple in West Pomerania and the only Mediaeval one that has survived. Its unique, Gothic framing construction, dated to ca. 1400, is one of the oldest in Europe. It is an unusually interesting object, commonly not identified with the half-timbered construction, due to having been bricked up and covered under a 16th-century “costume” of late-Gothic brick walls. Fully preserved Mediaeval construction of the roof and the ridge turret, along with the main body framing, reveal master skills of Mediaeval carpenters and determines the great historical value of the building.

The object has been recorded in the Registry of Cultural Property, No.: A-722 / 1964 r.

Keywords: Gothic, aisleless church, half-timbered construction, wood, brick

Location

Krupy, No. 21, commune and district: gmina Darłowo, powiat sławieński

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The church is located in the north-western part of Krupy, in the village green. The multilateral parcel of land is surrounded by homesteads. South of the church, there is a pedestal (presently with a figure of Virgin Mary), on which a monument dedicated to the village residents killed in World War I used to stand.

History

In its original form, the church was built around 1400, what has been indicated by a thesis by Prof. Jan Tajchman of 2003 and the roof framing dendrochronological examination done in 2002 by Prof. Tomasz Ważny. The construction works began with erecting a brick tower. The builders probably intended to construct a brick nave, however, instead, they built a framing-construction main body with a multilateral termination at the east; and covered it with a high, gable roof.

In 1583, a Renaissance-style funeral chapel was added at the southern wall. At that time, the half-timbered walls were covered with ceramic bricks, in result of which they may be seen only from the inside of the church.

In the 2nd half of the 19th century, the lower parts of the main body walls were bricked up, additional windows were made in the longer elevations, the original openings were extended, a sacristy was added and the roof was slated.

In 1946, the church was turned into a Roman Catholic one, dedicated to Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, as a branch of the Stary Jarosław Parish.

Description

The church is an aisleless Gothic building of a rectangular basis and three-sided termination at the east. The main body is adjacent to a square-based tower at the west, a small, rectangular chapel (former mortuary) at the south and a sacristy at the north.

The walls of the tower, of the mortuary and of the sacristy are built of ceramic bricks. The half-timbered main body walls are covered with ceramic bricks from the outside (but not in the interior of the church) ant not plastered.

The squat main body is covered with a steep, slated roof of two slopes running towards the side walls and three at the eastern end. It has an octagonal turret crowned with a tented roof made of shingles. It is one of scarce Gothic turrets fully preserved in Poland.

The half-timbered wall construction is integrally connected with the roof king-post truss and characterised by master carpentry. The brick elevations of the main body are divided by irregularly located rectangular windows, without architectural details.

The half-timbered wall construction is integrally connected with the roof king-post truss and characterised by master carpentry. The brick elevations of the main body are divided by irregularly located rectangular windows, without architectural details.

The spacious interior, opening at the tower side with a pointed-arch arcade, attracts attention with its framing construction of rhythmically arranged posts and pairs of opposite angle braces. The longer walls are accented with nine pairs of posts set in intervals of ca. 1.8 m. Each of the three walls of the eastern termination has two posts. Running continuously with the posts, the ceiling beams are the basis for the roof truss. The construction is supported with angle braces, doubled at the longer walls, with curved, tracery-style cut-outs.

The unique interior of the church in Krupy is complemented by precious furnishing of great artistic value. The oldest object is a late-Gothic Crucifixion Group sculpture (15th – 16th century). A Mannerist pulpit from 1665 has retained its original composition form with sculptural and painting representations and woodcarving ornaments. Early-Baroque main altar from 1679 is characterised by master woodcarving referring to Dutch motifs. Originally, the main, oval section contained a painting with a multi-figure allegoric scene of Torcular Christi (presently a copy of the painting of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn). The original altar predella with the Last Supper painting is separately exposed on a chancel wall.

Photogrammetry

Sources

    Bibliography:
  • Böttger L., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungs – Bezirks Kösslin, Bd. I, H. 3, Stettin 1892, s. 32 – 36;
  • Gwiazdowska E., Krajobraz naturalny i kulturowy gminy wiejskiej Darłowo udokumentowany w ikonografii archiwalnej, [w:] Historia i kultura Ziemi Sławieńskiej, T. VI, Gmina Darłowo, red. Rączkowski W., Sroka J., Sławno 2007, s. 245;
  • Kochanowska J., Perły Pomorza, Szczecin 2011, s. 92 – 93, il. 211 - 215;
  • Ober M., Gotyckie kościoły wiejskie okolic Darłowa, [w:] Historia i kultura Ziemi Sławieńskiej, T. VI, Gmina Darłowo, red. Rączkowski W., Sroka J., Sławno 2007, s. 196 - 199;
  • Tajchman J., Kościół w Krupach. Próba odtworzenia pierwotnej postaci, [w:] Ocalić dla przyszłości. Studia ofiarowane Profesorowi Ryszardowi Brykowskiemu, Warszawa 2003, s. 71 – 93;
  • Tajchman J., Kościół w Krupach. Najstarsza gotycka świątynia szkieletowa na Pomorzu Zachodnim, [w:] IV Polsko – Niemiecka Konferencja Architektura ryglowa – wspólne dziedzictwo, red. Opęchowski M., Szczecin 2003, s. 265 – 276 i n.;
  • Vollack M., Der Kreis Schlawe. Ein pommersches Heimatbuch, 2. B.: Die Städte und Landgemeiden, Husum 1989, s. 91 i n.;
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury i budownictwa, Kościół. Krupy, oprac. J. Kowalczyk, K. Kontowski, 2001, archiwum WUOZ Delegatura w Koszalinie;

    Photographs and illustrations by:
  • Reprodukcja rysunku (nr 1) z publikacji (photograph No. 1): K. Rosenow, Sagen des Kreises Schlawe, 1922, s. 80;
  • Zdjęcie (nr 4) sprzed 1945 r. z publikacji (photograph No. 4): M. Wisłocki, Sztuka protestancka na Pomorzu 1535 – 1684, Szczecin 2005, s. 419;
  • Archiwum WUOZ o. Koszalin – D. Derecka (photograph No. 2), G. Solecki (photograph No. 3), A. Zborski (photograph No. 5);
  • A. Hamberg-Federowicz (photographs No. 8 - 9 and 11);
  • B. Makowska (photograph No. 6 - 7 and 10);
  • Biuro Dokumentacji Zabytków – K. Tymbarski (figures No. 12 - 28);