History Files


Modern Poland

Gallery: Churches of Warminsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship

by Peter Kessler, 1 August 2010



Part 1: Churches of Olsztyn to Ruska Wieś

Catholic Church of Christ the Redeemer of Man

The Catholic Church of Christ the Redeemer of Man (Redemptor Hominis, in Latin, or Kosciół Chrystusa Odkupiciela Człowieka in Polish), Olsztyn, is on the south-east corner of Kardynala Stefana Wyszyńskiego (Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski) and Żołnierska streets in the south-east of the town on Route 16. The parish was created in August 1980. The foundation for the church was laid on 1 February 1981 and the building was consecrated on 17 September 2000.

Catholic Basilica of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic Basilica of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Bazylika Narodzenia Najświętszej Maryi Panny), Gietrzwałd, is on the north side of Route 16 in the centre of the village, about ten kilometres west of Olsztyn. Also known as the Sanctuary in Gietrzwałd, the first church here was built soon after the village was founded. Prior to 1500 it was expanded or rebuilt in brick and stone. Rebuilt many times later, in 1970 Pope Paul VI gave it the title of Minor Basilica.

Catholic Church of Kisielice

The Catholic Church of Kisielice is on the western side of Mickiewicsa street in Kisielice, which runs parallel to Dolna street on Route 16 on the eastern side of the town. The Gothic church was built on a hilltop by a priest named Nicolaus on the foundations of field stone and using red brick. Next to the church was built a high wooden bell tower which also served as an observation tower. In 1653 the bell tower was struck by lightning. The present steeple was built in 1857.

Catholic Church of Marcinkowo

The Catholic Church of Marcinkowo is on the northern side of Route 16, probably on the eastern side of the village of Marcinkowo, close to the edges of the town of Mragowo. The church seems to be typical of the style of ecclesiastical building in twenty-first century Poland - usually very tall, well-illuminated buildings which probably come with the apparently compulsory need to be multi-purpose. Unfortunately the dedication of this one (if any) cannot be discovered.

Catholic Church of Probark

The Catholic Church of Probark is on the northern side of Route 16 through the village, a little east of Nowy Probark, midway between Olsztyn and Baranowo. It is a modern-looking church building situated in what appears to be a churchyard with twin door entrance and bell cote. A large wooden cross sits at the boundary with the road, making the church clearly visible despite the heavy tree cover here. The church's dedication (if any) is unknown, and its affiliation is uncertain.

Catholic Church of Baranowo

The Catholic Church of Baranowo is on the southern side of Route 16 as the road hooks sharply from the north-west to the south-west and then due west, as it passes through Baranowo. The village existed by 1555 and may have been founded by settlers from Mazovia, to the north. The church was built for a Protestant (German) congregation between 1904-1907. It was taken over in 1979 by Catholics. The parish was created on 2 February 1984 by the bishop of Warmia.

Lutheran Church of St Nicholas

The Lutheran Church of St Nicholas, Mikolajki, is on the northern side of the main road to Mragowska, with the river on its immediate western side. The name of this former village, a town since 1726, derives from Saint Nicholas, protector of sailors and patron of a chapel standing on the windmill hill. The name appears for the first time in documents from 1444, when land near Mikolajki was granted by the Teutonic Grand Master to a nobleman called Wawrzyniec Prus.

Church of Orzysz

The Church of Orzysz lies close to the main Route 16 through the city of Orzysz, which is situated midway between Mikolajki and Ełk. This otherwise unidentifiable modern church building was built possibly for an Evangelical congregation, but more likely as a Catholic church in this strongly faithful country - the twin spires seem to be a feature of this style of construction. The church's generous dimensions are similar to new churches in Marcinkowo (see above) and Suwałki.

Catholic Church of Ruska Wieś

The Catholic Church of Ruska Wieś is on the southern side of the main Route 16 road between Ruska Wieś and Klusy. Ruska Wieś itself is midway between Orzysz and Ełk. The church's history cannot be uncovered, so its date of construction and consecration cannot be confirmed, but the style points to a probable date in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries, with a west tower. The church's location cannot be exactly specified thanks to a lack of map data.

Two photos on this page contributed by Piia Soon.

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