The frescoes in Pręgowo

The harsh stone walls provide a beautiful contrast to the smooth rises of the nearby forests, and the ornamental fences on the old cemetery add a romantic aura to this pastoral scene.

The church in Pręgowo was most probably built by the Teutonic Knights in the first half of the 14th Century, although, as Bishop Hieronim Rozdrażewski stated after his visit of 1583, “The consecration documents are not known, and neither are any mentions of establishing and building the church (…)” We know for certain that in 1395 Grandmaster Konrad von Jungingen presented the Pręgowo land to the Bridgettine nunnery of Gdańsk.

At the turn of the 15th Century, under their supervision, the uneven walls of the church became the backdrop for vividly-colourful frescoes. The frescoes have survived to this day, although they were hidden for centuries under a thick layer of oil paint. The discovery of the so-called Veraicon (the Veil of Veronica) in 2009 was an incredible surprise, although not the only one. To this day amazing figurative and ornamental depictions of scenes from the Passion Week and Last Judgement have been uncovered. The most amazing and original, however, is the fiery dragon, Leviathan, which swallows the personifications of cardinal sins.

Frescoes are not the only discovery of historical significance. 2010 saw the completion of archaeological research that resulted in finding many interesting items from the Middle Ages. The oldest item was a coin believed to date back to the early 13th Century. The discovery of child skeletons wearing brass wreaths with silk flowers on their heads, which suggests they came from a wealthy family, was a sensation.

The church in Pręgowo has never been a provincial or marginalised place. The very fact of funding the frescoes suggests that an affluent mediaeval sponsor was interested in it. After 1572 the Pręgowo Parish became a branch of the Royal Chapel in Gdańsk. Mikołaj Koss became the local priest. Numerous brotherhoods, or confraternities, were active here. One of them was the Brotherhood of Providence, which fostered Polish culture during the Prussian partition.

The interior holds several fascinating historical items, such as the Baroque main altar, also termed ‘privileged’, stalls with the image of Noah’s Ark, a renovated pulpit, the Plaque of the Pręgowo World War I Heroes, a painting of St. Roch – the patron of the Parish, and two Gothic stoups.

Near the church a contemporary stone Calvary, a historical parsonage and a regional-style renovated parish classroom called “Najo Checz”, are located. In the east you can stumble upon the ruins of the old cemetery. It still features beautiful forged decorative elements, of which the most interesting is the extremely realistic depiction of a blossoming rose flower. The parking provides a view of the Zamkowa Góra (Castle Hill) and the vast valley of St. John, which for centuries has sheltered a rapid, highland stream.






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