Badania i konserwacja katedry wrocławskiej
INVESTIGATIONS AND RESTORATION OF THE WROCŁAW CATHEDRAL
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After the rebuilding in the years 1946 — 51 of the damaged by war St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Wrocław in 1969 the further restoration and conservation were started. Their scope comprises the main façade of the sacred building whose construction lasted as long as from the first half of the ,13th century to the end of 16th century, the later Baroque ex tensions excluded. The sanctuary with its surrounding yard and the uncompleted east towers were erected in 1244—1272 whereas the nave and the lower portions of west towers were completed in the mid-fourteenth century. The Our Lady chapel at the east side was added in 1354—1301 while the seemingly uncompleted east porch in 1465—1468. The north-west tower with its Gothic spire was ready in 1416 but that south-western had to wait for its completion until the Renaissance times. Of numerous fires and damages this Cathedral has suffered in various times the most apparent traces were left by the fire in 1759 which destroyed the tower roofs, the west gable end and the stone framings and transoms of windows in the nave. Restoration carried out in 1873—75 and that in 1908—»1920 have both introduced a number of pseudo-Gothic elements leaving thus the east and west façades deformed till our daysj During the first stage of restoration in 1969—71 were carried out the investigations, conservation and reconstruction of west façade. In the course of works the renderings were removed thus revealing the big Gothic window in the west side and then, after removing of pseudo-Gothic brick facings on the gable end were revealed its partly preserved architectural forms from the end of the 18th century and an external gallery 1.06 m wide. As this gable end exhibited quite poor architectural values and was stuffed with fragments of stones from that original Gothic it has been demolished. Both thirty fragments of the original Gothic stonework and the preserved illustrative materials supplied a background for conservation and restoration. Conserved and reconstructed have been only the entirely certain as to their provenience elements of gable end enabling to reconstruct its general shape, namely its divisions parting it into two „storeys” by means of a frieze of whom, the lower, brick - -built part with two doors formed the access to gallery while the upper one, triangular in shape, was dismembered by five pilaster-strips raising above the gable end cornice. Due to the lack of historical sources that could supply the adequate evidence it has been resigned of decorative niches in the gable end. The numerous preserved and conserved elements of original stonework have been built into the reconstructed wall portions. The parapet in the gallery, the window openings and pinnacles on the gable end have been designed in somewhat simplified forms, however, in general nearing those of architecture of the whole building. The west porch was subjected to investigations and conservation both in its original lower Gothic portion and in that upper, pseudo-Gothic dating from 1873—75 with a simultaneous filling of losses. The second stage of conservation in 197il—1973 comprised the east elevation where, as a consequence of investigations carried out, was resonstructed the window with a stone transom located lin gable end of attic portion and a gallery supported by the consoles running along the gable end. In addition, the roof sheltering the Our Lady chapel has been reconstructed in the forms that are visible in illustrative materials. The reconstruction of the window having three- -„storey” divisions с or responding as to their levels to the original rafter framing levels, together with a door leading to gallery was carried out on the basis of the granite stonework of transoms. The discoveries dealt with in the present report as well as the conserved and partly reconstructed details of the Wrocław Cathedral can be treated as typical elements of „cathedral” architecture borrowed from the West European building art. It deserves to be emphasised, however, that there are not available any other examples of such design that could be considered as those possessing the same value as the Wrocław Cathedral.
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