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Radawnica: church of St. Barbara

Date of construction: 1887-1888

Fashions and trends like to repeat themselves over time. This happened to the Gothic style which “returned” after a few centuries. Why did this happen? Which Gothic inspirations can be found in the main altar?

The Evangelists are presented in art by the means of characteristic attributes. What is the symbol of each of them? Why are they assigned given attributes?

In side altars images of Mary and Joseph with Baby Jesus are shown. Each of the parents is holding characteristic attributes. What do they symbolize?

Monuments Project effects Gallery

Wooden monuments
Radawnica: church of St. Barbara

The industrial revolution which flourished in the 19th century was characterised by an abrupt technological development. However, in the aesthetic and artistic areas there appeared a romantic turn to past. Old stylistic trends were exploited and reinterpreted. Gothic style was especially appreciated. The furnishings of the church of St. Barbara in Radawnica from the second half of the 19th century was made in the Neogothic style. The reference to Gothic period came form emotional and aesthetic grounds: people looked for spirituality and mysticism in art, which was so characteristic for Middle Ages. Neogothic style was characterised by freedom in the use of the resource of Gothic forms connected with antique and even oriental motifs.

Gothic style was imitated by the use of pointed arches, towering pinnacles, i.e. decorations which surmounted altars with ornamental floral motifs.

In the lower part of the altar a half-bodied, realistic bas-relief of the Last Supper was placed. The motif is also characteristic for Neogothic style – it marks out by the domination of realistic figural sculptures, which often pop up in Catholic and Protestant churches.

Procedures of the refining of altar materials are characteristic for this period. Among others, so called graining was used in order to imitate growth rings of timber, e.g. oak, and increase the value of pinewood which the altar was made of.

The pulpit was a place where sermons were given from. It was put high on a wall or a pillar of the first arch of the main nave so that the voice of the priest reached the farthest corners of the church.

The pulpit consists of a corpus and stairs. The corpus includes: a podium with a sill, a backrest and a canopy which is decorated with a dove on the roof and crowned by a statue of Christ.

The basket of the pulpit is decorated with bas-reliefs of the Evangelists’ and their attributes’ images (Mark with a lion, Matthew with a man, Luke with an ox and John with an eagle).

The attributes which the Evangelists are shown with, are symbols of Christ: „As man he suffered, as lion he conquered, as eagle he ascended, as ox was sacrificed”.

Side altars in the church, dedicated to St. Joseph and Mary, were constructed in the Neo-gothic style. Together with Baby Jesus they are the Holy Family whose day has been celebrated from the 18th century. The Pope encouraged to follow the example of the Holy family, he pointed the benevolences which could be expected due to piety and connections with the Holy Family. He emphasized that the imitation of the Family leads to the progress in compassion, sanctity of morals and the atmosphere of piety. “Under the care of the Holy Mother and St. Joseph, completely hidden, Jesus grew up, the Sun of justice, before he enlightened the nations with His shine. Undoubtedly, mutual love flourished in the Family, as well as sanctity of morals and exercises in piousness – in other words, everything that can dignify and adorn a family to set an example for our times”.

Mother of God is shown as a young woman with the Baby on Her hand. In Her right hand, She is holding a scepter, a symbol of power, which was emphasized by a crown on Her head. The depiction also shows a vision revealed in the Apocalypse described by St. John the Evangelist, when Mary crushes satan in the shape of a snake.

St. Joseph is also holding Baby Jesus in his arm, and in the another one he carries a cross – the symbol of Christ’s death by martyrdom. Baby Jesus is holding a blue orb which symbolizes the globe and refers to His rule over the world.


Photo gallery
Radawnica: church of St. Barbara

Useful information

Radawnica: church of St. Barbaraśw-Barbary-w-Radawnicy


3 Mostowa Street, 77-400 Radawnica
tel.: 67 263 13 85


Sundays: 8.00 am, 11.00 am

holy days of dispensation: 6.00 pm

working days: 6.00 pm

Indulgence date

St. Barbara’s day: December 4th

The project is co-financed by European Union subsidy as a part of European Regional Development Fund