RELIGIOUS EDIFICES on plan

Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Summo

Description

The Late Gothic church dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin was built in the years 1431-47 "in summo" which means within the stronghold on the island of Ostrów Tumski and replaced Mieszko I's palatium and a chapel founded by his wife, Dąbrówka. The church was built by the local builder Hanusz Prus, the west gable by Jan Lorek of Kościan and the vaulting by the builder Mikołaj and his son from Poznań (in the years 1444-47).

The west gable is surmounted by a fleche and the walls are embellished with pointed arch blind windows and pinnacles. Side walls are divided by pilaster strips and feature pointed arch windows (bricked up on the north wall). The entrance to the shrine is through the pointed arch portals of profiled and glazed bricks (a similar portal on the north side has been bricked up). The stone in the plinth of the structure on the southeast side has notches left by swords being sharpened against it; it was believed that this act would develop some sort of supernatural power.

It is a hall church supported by hexagonal or octagonal columns and covered with stellar vaulting in the nave and the aisles and with sail vaulting in the presbytery and in the ambulatory. Polychrome decoration, stain glass windows (designed by Zygmunt Kosmicki) and the main altar from the years 1954-56 are the work of Wacław Taranczewski.

It is quite plausible that hidden beneath the presbytery are the remains of a rotunda where Dąbrówka, Mieszko I's wife, and Jordan, the first Polish bishop, were buried.

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