Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist

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Olesnica, Poland
Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist  - Palace Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist
Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist  - Peeping in from the side door
Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist  - The interior - peeping in from the door
Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist  - Palace Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist
Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist  - Palace Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist
Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist  - Palace Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist
Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist  - Palace Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist

Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist Olesnica Reviews

Kathrin_E Kathrin_E
369 reviews
Palace Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist Dec 05, 2015
The Palace Church (Bazylika Mniejsza p.w. św. Jana Apostoła), which is also the main parish church of the town, is dedicated to St John the Apostle and Evangelist and has been promoted to the rank of a Basilica minor by Pope John Paul II. Its origins are medieval. In the beginning there were two smaller churches next to each other, which were then united to one big gothic basilica. For more than 400 years, from the introduction of the reformation in 1538 until the expulsion of the German population in 1945, it was a protestant (Lutheran) church. Since then it has been taken over by the Catholics.

The palace is the church’s next-door neighbour. The Princes of Oels used to visit the services here and donated rich furnishing. In order to adapt the medieval church to protestant service, galleries were installed in the side naves around 1600; their fronts are painted with biblical scenes and images of the apostles according to Lutheran theology. The princely family had their own box on the southwestern gallery. The dynasty of Württemberg-Oels had a burial chapel added to the church in 1698, which contains the tombs of several members of the princely family.

I am taking this information from a textbook. The church was unfortunately, you guessed it, closed. The entrances in the west and north allowed at least entering the vestibule and peeping through a glass door to get an idea of the interior. That’s how I got my photo, and I see a very similar photo of the same view from underneath the gallery on the Wikipedia page, which indicates that other people had the same problem…

The palace church is connected with the palace by a covered bridge. Its three arches cross the street and the moat around the palace. Inside there must be a long, dimly lit corridor with just a few small windows. Palace, church and bridge form an ensemble which proves that the gothic church of St John was indeed considered the „palace church“ as well as the city’s main parish church, where prince and court regularly attended service.

Such bridges were not uncommon in palace churches, but they are rarely preserved. They allowed the princely family and the court direct access into the church without having to mingle with ‘common folks’. From the palace they could reach their box on the first-floor gallery unseen and without being exposed to the weather.
Palace Church of St John the Apost…
Palace Church of St John the Apost…
The bridge between palace and chur…
Palace Church of St John the Apost…
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photo by: Kathrin_E