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Szaradowo: church of St. Nicholas the Bishop

Date of construction: 1838

The altar in Szaradowo looks like a richly decorated theatrical scene. Why did a sculptor decide to use this particular artistic means? What was it supposed to do?

In the altar – as if on a scene – the figure of St. Nicholas is standing. An interesting legend, in which three gold marbles play an important role, is connected with the patron saint. What was the connection between St. Nicholas and the three marbles?

Monuments Project effects

Wooden monuments
Szaradowo: church of St. Nicholas the Bishop

The oldest elements of the main altar were made in the 17th and 18th centuries. Baroque was the dominating artistic style then. It is characterised by the use of contrasts – in the works, things which were real were connected with illusions, passionate piety and ascesis with luxury and splendor. Artists used pathos and illusion to create works which dazzled by their grandour and affected different senses of the viewer. Theatralisation was the means which artists used and which is especially visible in the case of the altar. St. Nicholas in the central painting is standing as if on a stage framed by a gold curtain on the sides.

Beauty and richness of the paintings which is characteristic for the Baroque style resulted from the Counter-Reformation program. The senses of the person who prayed in church were subjected to mystical sensations through works of art created by an artist touched by “the divine spark”. The works expressed his experience, talent but also passionate piety.

The most amazing decorative element of the main altar are the borders. These are wooden, gilded decorations which imitate a draped fabric. They are held by small angels called puttos at the top and at the bottom. This kind of symbolism is an excellent example of theatralisation, a sort of imitation, a cover of truth which was so characteristic for the Baroque period.

The patron saint of the church in Ślesin described earlier and the church in Szaradowo is St. Nicholas. He is very popular – the faithful call on him to help them in every need. The oldest record about St. Nicholas confirm that he lived at the turn of 3rd and 4th centuries and that he was a bishop of Myra. He became famous for miracles and for the help for the poor and those in need. He was a child of noble, rich and pious parents. When he grew up, he renounced women, entertainments, politics and commerce and decided to devote himself to piety.

Nicholas is presented in bishop’s robes with a tray in his hand where three gold spheres are placed. The attribute comes from a legend about St. Nicholas and a neighbour’s three daughters. The neighbour was greedy and he insulted God for which he was punished by the loss of his wealth. The man didn’t have a dowry for his daughters so he wanted to sell them to a brothel. Then Nicholas decided to save the girls and he threw pouches with money through a window. Only when the third daughter collected the money, the neighbour decided to learn who is so generous and when he discovered the truth, ashamed he thanked Nicolas.

Photo gallery
Szaradowo: church of St. Nicholas the Bishop

Useful information

Szaradowo: church of St. Nicholas the Bishop


Szaradowo 9, 89-200 Szubin
tel.: 52 384 84 08


Sundays: 8.00 am, 10.00 am, 11.30 am

Holy days of dispensation:
8.00 am, 10.00 am, 5.00 pm (winter), 6.00 pm (summer)

working days: 5.00 pm (winter), 6.00 pm (summer)

Indulgence date

St. Nicholas’ day: December 6th

Our Lady of the Rosary’s day: October 7th

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