The Church of Saint Paul in the District of Zawodzie in Kalisz as Seen against a Background of Romanesque Architecture
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The relics of the Collegiate Church of St Paul in Kalisz have been known since as early as the beginning of the 20th century. The first archaeological investigations, carried out in the 1950s and then in the 1990s, permitted a.o. its dating to the reign of Mieszko III the Old. The church is a single-aisled structure with a shallow chancel bay terminated by an apse on the east side and by a rectangular axial tower in the west facade. In the second phase of the functioning of the church a gallery was built in inside that was reached by the stairs situated in the southern part of the nave. The closest equivalent of the Kalisz church is the Collegiate Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Glogów, dated to about the mid-12th century. It has a tripartite arrangement of the whole, uniting along one axis a chancel with an apse, a nave. and a tower as well as a gallery with stairs located similarly as in Kalisz.The composition of mass that appears in Kalisz can be found particularly frequently in the structures of Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, and Hungary, and also in Germany, However, an extremely interesting element is the western church tower on a plan of a vertical rectangle, a rare arrangement in the Polish territory and outside it. It follows from a typological survey that the tower of the Collegiate Church of St Paul was probably representative of the group of westworks in Great Poland (Wielkopolska). The tower in Kalisz may have been a reduced variety of the westwork of Poznan Cathedral. It seems likely that the form of the Kalisz church combined the local Great Poland tradition of providing important royal and ducal foundations with westwork with a dominant axial tower and the model of a tripartite single-aisled church, spreading from the middle of the 12th century. As a church associated with Mieszko III the Old, the Collegiate Church of St Paul in the district of Zawodzie in Kalisz must also be regarded as a sign of the times and may testify to the founder's intention to refer to the ideological content and functional-liturgical solutions present in the great foundations of his predecessors. It is not unlikely that the formal type of the Kalisz church was repeated time and again in Romanesque architecture in the Polish lands.
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