Part 3. Churches between the 15th and mid 16th c.
Hall churches were built in Silesia from the beginning of the 13th c. In the 15th c. and until the mid 16th c. 21 hall churches were erected or reconstructed . Most of the reconstructed churches came from the 13th or the beginning of the 14th c. Sometimes it is hard to establish the time and scope of reconstruction, even in situations when the documentation describing construction work have been preserved. Some essential and irreversible changes in churches were made in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th c.
In this period of time churches were not so often described as in the 14th c., H. Lutsch pointed out that transverse blind arcade which shortened the nave appeared in churches, as well as radial chapels around the presbytery, which he defined as the result search for new forms conducted by late medieval constructors. H. Tintelnot noticed that between the 14th c. and the Reformation Silesian Gothic style did not undergo any major changes. Descriptions of churches were included in catalogues of art monuments by: H. Lutsch, S. Kowalski, J. Pilch, in the Catalogue of Art Monuments in Poland.
In 1962 there was a session of the Association of Art Historians, it was devoted to late Gothic architecture and art. A. Miłobędzki presented there church types occurring in Poland, pointing out that there was large number of hall churches. In his opinion the construction of the Collegiate Church of Virgin Mary in Poznań with a hall presbytery and a polygonal ambulatory was influenced by Hans von Burghausen’s churches – the Church of Holy Spirit in Landshut (1407-1461) and the choir of the Franciscan church in Salzburg (started before 1408). Unfortunately Silesia was not mentioned in these considerations. M. Zlat emphasised that there was a magnificent solution used in the church in Nysa, which, in his opinion, was covered with the Parler’s net vault. He pointed out that there was break in construction of churches due to the Hussite Wars, after which no notable buildings were erected. M. Kutzner presented Silesian architecture from the 15th and 16th c. from the perspective of its conservative character. He noticed new forms in vault details, window traceries, and interior decorations.
Articles written by M. Brykowska, D. Hanulanka and M. Zlat are devoted only to vaults.
In the catalogue of Architektura gotycka w Polsce (Gothic Architecture in Poland) the earlier literature, descriptions and church dating.
The goal of the work preparing measurement and photographic documentation of churches, architectural and historical research as well as reconstruction of their state from the 15th – mid 16th c. The research encompassed preserved hall churches in historical borders of Silesia. Research results were the basis for a comparative analysis of projections, spatial designs, architectural and sculptural details presented in this article. The allowed to date some churches more precisely.
Keywords: Silesia, gothic architecture, hall churches