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Kościół świętego Marcina Podwilk

St Martin's Church in Podwilk

Pod niebem częściowo zachmurzonym stoi na wprost duży, murowany kościół z kwadratową wieżą. Z dachem pokrytym blachą, z wieżyczką. Elewacja biało-szara. Świątynię otacza murowano-metalowe ogrodzenie. Po prawej stronie stoi murowany budynek. Po lewej stronie wieżę kościoła przysłania duże drzewo.

Podwilk 289, 34-722 Podwilk Tourist region: Beskid Żywiecki i Orawa

tel. +48 780050801
The church in Podwilk is the first brick church in Polish Orawa.
It stands on the site of an earlier wooden church that unfortunately did not survive to our times.

St Martin's Church in Podwilk from 1767 is an impressive exposed building on a hill with a spherical tented hill. The section for the priests, i.e. the presbytery, is enclosed by a semi-circular apse that was added to the building. Like the church in Lipnica Wielka that had been built two years later, its style is referred to as Upper-Hungarian Baroque. It should be pointed out that the village belonged to Hungary until 1918, and to Slovakia between 1939 and 1945.

In 1771, Maria Theresa, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary, issued a decree according to which all churches were to have a ‘typical plan’ in one of three variants: a church with a central plan, or one of two plans of single-nave churches without side chapels and with single-tower facades.
The impression of the work, however, is emphasised by the bulbous tented roofs of the tower and the ridge towers, which give the building its Baroque character together with the arcaded interior.

Some of the church's former furnishings have been preserved, including the pulpit with a bas-relief depicting the figure of St John the Baptist, a side altar and two Rococo confessionals.  The valuable stucco relief above the door to the sacristy depicts St Wendelin. In the tower, among the bells from the inter-war period, hangs a bell dating back to 1702 that measures half a metre in diameter.

The first church in Podwilk was probably founded in 1659 by Feliks Wilczek. It was a wooden church with an altar with pictures of St Martin and St Paul the Apostle. A later owner of the land donated the church and the land to the Lutheran parish. The village administrator, Stanislaw Wilczek, testified to a special church commission that there were as many as 779 Catholics and only 12 Lutherans in the settlement, yet the Catholics bore the cost of repairing the presbytery and church. To top it off, the Lutheran pastor did not allow them to hold Catholic services there.  After the commission left, the village administrators were punished. They were kidnapped to the Orawa castle, where they were restrained, beaten and starved.

In 1660 the rector of Orawa, Wojciech Zagórski, seized the church in Podwilk as a result of a daring action carried out by the village chief Stanislaw Wilczek with the help of Catholics from Sidzina and Spytkowice. An independent Roman Catholic Parish Of St Martin in Podwilk was established. The independent Roman Catholic Parish of St Martin in Podwilk was established in 1687 and included the surrounding villages. Grateful Wojciech Wilczek funded a copy of the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, on the bottom part of which he added an image of himself and his wife. The painting was unfortunately lost during the Second World War. It is included on the list of lost works of art of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It is said that the painting was taken away in 1945, together with chronicles and church records, by the Slovak parish priest Father Paweł Sopko.

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