St. Roch’s Church in Bialystok is one of the most beautiful churches built in the 20th century in Poland. See this unique building

St. street. Rocha in Białystok is a Roman Catholic church established as a monument to the restoration of independence. It is considered by many specialists to be a leading example of Polish Modernism, but it is also one of the greatest sacral buildings of the 20th century in Poland.

In 1925 permission was granted to found a second parish in Białystok and to build a new church. The church was located on an overgrown hill with a closed Catholic cemetery. More than 70 projects were submitted for the competition in 1926, but none were accepted by the parish priest. The competition was repeated and in 1927 construction work began according to a design by the Warsaw architect Oskar Sosnowski.

See how wonderful the Basilica of St. Roch looks from the air, how beautiful it is both outside and inside

In the case of a young country that has recently regained its independence, architecture has become a way to show its independence and national identity. The first half of the 1920s was a period of triumph for the national trend in church building in Poland

– wrote Krzysztof Stefański (“A New Form in Polish Sacred Architecture”) and emphasized that Sosnowski’s concepts stand out from the generally prevailing trends

… Sosnowski’s work (…) has become one of the most important events in Polish sacral architecture of the first half of the twentieth century.

The project was complex, and the work was funded almost exclusively by donations from the faithful. At the outbreak of World War II, the church was ready in a raw state, a dome and tower had been installed, complete with a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During the war, construction continued as far as possible, and in 1941 services began. Construction work was completed in 1944, and in 1946 the temple was consecrated.

You must see: Discover the pearls of modernity in Bialystok. These are churches, villas and houses

Oskar Sosnowski is a Polish architect, conservationist and educator. Born in St. Petersburg in 1880, in 1903 he graduated from the Warsaw Polytechnic Institute, in 1914 he became a full professor at the Lviv Polytechnic, and in 1919 at the Warsaw University of Technology. In 1922 he was the initiator of the creation of the Association of Polish Town Planners. In 1929, he founded the Department of Polish Architecture at Warsaw University of Technology. During the war, he personally supervised the security of the building of the Faculty of Architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology. On September 24, 1939, during a bombing, he was wounded by shrapnel, as a result of which he lost both legs and died a few days later. His two sons died in the Warsaw Uprising.

Oskar Sosnowski left behind a rich legacy. In his designs, he made reference to historical forms, but used new materials such as reinforced concrete. Early in his career, he had the honor of designing the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Warsaw (1911-1923). According to his designs, temples were built in many places, also in Podlasie and in Bialystok itself.

  • church of st. Agnieszka in Goniadz (1924)
  • church of st. Roche in Bialystok
  • Andrzej Bobola Church in Bialystok (1937-1938)
  • Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hodisio (1930s)

St Andrew Bobola Church in Bialystok

A great example of modernity Pyotr Lozowick

According to many, the Church of St. Rusha in Bialystok is the most interesting example of Polish sacred modernity. The building is built in the neo-expressionist style on an octagonal plan and consists of three gradually growing blocks.

See how wonderful the Basilica of St. Roch looks from the air, how beautiful it is both outside and inside

In the church of St. Rocha, the architect developed the concept of the central plan. The object (…) is based on an octagonal projection. In this case, however, Sosnowski abandoned coarse, fanciful forms in favor of more disciplined and geometric shapes, still containing a great deal of expression. A slender tower dominates the body of the church. The verticality of the building is emphasized by its location on a hill, thanks to which it creates an excellent closure of the perspective of the main street of the city. The expressiveness of the form was made thanks to the use of reinforced concrete material for the construction of the church. It is reinforced by the use of sharp triangular and prismatic forms in the decoration of the building associated with the Polish “Art Déco” trend.
Stefansky writes years later

A great example of modernity
A great example of modernity Pyotr Lozowick

The leitmotif repeated many times and in many ways is rock crystal. We can see it practically everywhere, both outside and inside the building. The whole is thus very cohesive, from the floor, pews, rails, doors and confessionals to the walls or the 78-meter-high tower topped with a 3-meter-high figure of the Virgin Mary.

Do you prefer baroque to modernism? look!

The main altar of the temple was built Anthony Masso. In the church there are three statues Stanislav Horno Poplawski

  • Christ on the main altar
  • The Mother of God with the Child in the outer altar
  • Christ the Good Shepherd in the portico of the courtyard

To the left of the main altar is the altarpiece of Saint Peter’s. Anthony and the left side chapel of St. St. street. Roach. On the right side of the main altar is the altar of Our Lady of the Rosary, behind it is the Church of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn with a copy of the Vilnius painting. Inside the church there are also several plaques commemorating Polish soldiers from the border regiments. The interior design is characterized by harmony, consistency and attention to detail. Attention is drawn to the beautiful stained-glass window on the ceiling depicting the symbols of St. Soul and Evangelists. The rose was made according to a design by Placyda Siedlecka – Bukowska.

A great example of modernity
A great example of modernity Pyotr Lozowick

Artistically shaped by the pre-war climate of Vilnius, the Bialystok Painter influenced the symbolic, sacral and secular space of Bialystok. She dealt with painting, graphics, design and composition in wood. Graduated from the State Gymnasium Princess Anna Jabunowska nee Sapieha (Mikivitsa 1). From 1929 she taught painting in Vilnius (also with Professor Ludomir Sledzinski).

See how wonderful the Basilica of St. Roch looks from the air, how beautiful it is both outside and inside

In October 2018, by decision of Pope Francis, the church was elevated to the rank of chapel. In the same year, because of its outstanding artistic status, the church was included in the list of historic monuments as part of the “100 History Monuments for the Centennial of the Restoration of Independence” campaign.

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