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Monday, November 29, 2021

Krasnystaw. They renovated the 18th-century polychromes, hidden for years under plaster

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The most important stage of restoration works on the façade of the Church of Saint Francis Xavier in Krasnystaw (Lublin Province) has been completed. The front of the temple is almost identical to the 18th century. Such richly decorated temple pilasters, cornices and window frames are a rarity in contemporary Poland.

The colorful decorations were discovered last year by workers working on the renovation of the front façade. When it turned out that these were fragments of the original 18th-century polychromes, the conservation services concluded that the discovery was unprecedented.

– When it comes to colors, pink, gold, yellow and green dominate. Among the paintings, plant motifs are the most numerous. The pilasters, cornices and window frames are also richly decorated. This appearance of a church facade is a rarity in contemporary Poland. It can only be compared with the temple in Święta Lipka – spoke in August, in an interview with tvn24.pl, Paweł Wira, head of the Chełm branch of the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in Lublin.

The history of the temple dates back to the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries

This is what the facade looks like after the most important stage of works is completedMaciej Filip

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Conservation works were carried out on the elevations. In its lower parts, where the most of the paintings have survived, the polychromes were preserved, while in the upper parts – partially reconstructed. Now that the scaffolding has been removed, the front of the temple can be admired in all its glory.

The history of the temple dates back to the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. Its creation was connected with bringing the Jesuits to Krasnystaw by Stanisław Święcicki, the bishop of Chełm, in 1685. After the dissolution of the Jesuit congregation in 1773, the church served as a cathedral, and then as a parish temple.

Work began in JuneMaciej Filip

The decorative façade was painted with white paint in the late 1830s. It was probably related to the fact that the paintings began to deteriorate more and more due to the influence of weather conditions.

The intention of the designers and founders was to cause delight

Now, when the wall has been restored to its original appearance, it is clearly visible that the designers and founders intended to delight the faithful, as Paweł Wira mentioned in August.

This is what the façade looked like before the restoration of its former appearance began Maciej Filip

– First, we see a huge and beautifully decorated facade in front of us, then we enter the church, where the motifs from the paintings are the background for scenes from the life of Saint Francis Xavier – he emphasized.

The polychromes on the ground floor will also be reconstructed

Although the most important stage of the façade restoration has ended, it does not exhaust the entire program of restoration works.

The painting “Apotheosis of Saint Francis Xavier” was also fully reconstructed.Maciej Filip

– Although it all depends, of course, on whether the parish will be able to obtain funding, the next stage was primarily the reconstruction of the polychrome, which was located in an approximately 1.5-meter strip on the ground floor – Paweł Wira tells us.

The parish also wants to recreate the clocks on the towers

He adds that the marble portal and the original main entrance door to the temple are also intended for conservation.


– The parish also intends to replace the secondary window joinery from the early twentieth century with wooden joinery according to the patterns from the era. The work would be complemented by the reconstruction of two clocks that were originally placed on the church towers. At a later stage, the renovation of the side facades is planned – emphasizes our interlocutor.

At a later stage, two clocks that were originally placed on the church towers are to be recreatedMaciej Filip

According to the conservation services, the successful conservation work was possible thanks to the subsidies of the minister of culture and national heritage, the Lublin voivode (in the part that is at the disposal of the Lublin Provincial Conservator of Monuments), the mayor of the city of Krasnystaw, the starosta of Krasnystaw, and thanks to the devotion of the faithful. The contractor was a team of conservators from the Rzeszów-based company Comprehensive Conservation of Monuments, M. Filip, A. Filip.

Conservation work is also to include the marble portal and the original main entrance door to the templeMaciej Filip

The Church of Saint Francis Xavier is located in Krasnystaw at Piłsudskiego 3

Main photo source: Maciej Filip

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