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Kaplica świętego Jacka Odrowąża Oświęcim

Chapel of St Jacek Odrowąż Oświęcim

Kaplica z cegły z trójkątnym szczytem, z zewnątrz od frontu. Prowadzą do niej czarne metalowe drzwi. Nad nimi wisi lampa.

ul. Jagiełły 10, 32-600 Oświęcim Tourist region: Oświęcim i okolice

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The chapel, one of the city's most valuable monuments and the only surviving building of the former Dominican monastery, stands in the courtyard of the Salesian Institution near the Shrine of Our Lady Help of the Faithful.

Founded by Duke Mieszko I of Cieszyn, the Dominican chapel and monastery were built in 1304 and first served as a chapter house and a place for the monks to meet and to prayers. Since the end of the 16th century it has been the chapel of the canonised Dominican Jacek Odrowąż, who served as both patron of the congregation and patron of the city. During the Swedish invasion, the monastery was turned into barracks. After the dissolution of the order in 1782, both the chapel and the monastery fell into disrepair. Between 1819 and 1872, the building belonged to the Russocki family and then to the Jewish merchant Landau. In 1863, the complex burnt down, and the ruined buildings were used as warehouses. In 1894, the chapel was purchased and restored to a design by the renowned architect and restorer Sławomir Odrzywolski-Nałęcz. The original exterior of the chapel was reconstructed, and the interior was decorated with polychromes in the Young Poland style. A major refurbishment was carried out between 2014 and 2018.

It is a brick, two-bay, unplastered building erected on a rectangular plan and buttressed by buttresses. The facades show two windows, each closed with semi-circular arches.  The entrance is closed by a semi-circular metal door. Recessed gables crown the saddle roof.

The interior conceals a cross-ribbed vault with stone ribs and keystones. Fragments of polychrome from the late 16th century were uncovered, 19th century repaints on medallions and vault ribs were removed, and polychrome from the 1970s was reconstructed on the wall of the wooden choir. The stained-glass window depicting Saint Jacek dates from 1896 from the studio of Tiroler Glasmalerei in Innsbruck. The Early Baroque epitaph in black marble was founded in 1656 by Agnes of Biberstein for her husband, Mikołaj Mstowski, who was killed in battle against the Swedes.

The dukes and castellans of Oświęcim and the founders of the monastery, including Duke Władysław I of Oświęcim with his wife Euphrosinia, are buried in the crypt.

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