Z dziejów ochrony drewnianej architektury kościelnej w Polsce. (Karty z działalności TOnZP w latach 1907-1914)*
STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF THE PROTECTION OF WOODEN MONUMENTS OF SACRAL ARCHITECTURE IN POLAND (PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY FOR PROTECTION OF THE MONUMENTS OF THE PAST 1907—1914)
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The Society for Protection o f the Monuments of the Past was formed in Warsaw, June 28, 1906. At that time when Poland was partitioned — and, thus, deprived of her statehood and its bodies — the Society exercised not only a social function but also that of a national and formal conservation service. At the early stage of its activities the Society managed already to cover with the latter the whole o f the Russian sector o f partitioned Poland. The proceedings involved were oriented on protection and conservation of the monuments o f wooden sacral architecture and laic building as well. A telling illustration of that trend was the exhibition of the monuments o f Polish architecture, mainly the wooden one, organized in 1915. The author deals with four old wooden churches, whose documentation is to be found in the Society’s archives. In 1907 energetic steps were taken up by the Society in order to prevent demolition of the three-aisled basilica at Białynin, dating from 1521. Those endeavours were not, however, crowned with success and that has remained of that historical monuments is but a portal o f sacristy — a rare instance of architectonic wooden relief. The second wooden church — at Brzeźnica Stara, early 16th century, burnt during the hostilities in 1939 but is known to us due the photographs taken, and the descriptions and drawings made, by the members o f the Society in 1908. A similar documentation pertains to the non-extant church at Olbierzowice (1468). Now what owes its survival to the Society is the parish church at Zborówek (1459), the oldest of the dated wooden churches in Poland. It was the Society’s members that effectively opposed, in 1913, the project o f its demolition. The author states in conclusion that irrespective o f the failure of some of the preventive measures taken up by the Society, its activities in the sphere of surveying and documentation have resulted in collection of an extremely valuable material which has saved many a historical monument from sinking into oblivion.
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