St. Theresa parish church in Lublin
The parish church of St. Theresa was built in the district of Lublin called za cukrownią (‘past the sugar plant’) in the years 1936-1937. Constructed to the design of Lublin-based architect Jerzy Siennicki, it is the only half-timbered church in the Lublin region.
The church is situated at the intersection of Krochmalna and Betonowa streets.
The parish in the za cukrownią district was founded on 5 September 1937. The church was built in the years 1935-1937. Repaired in 1947, 1957 and 1973, its form remained unchanged until the end of the twentieth century. Only in 1998, the church was insulated, its external faces covered with sandstone slabs and siding.
1936–1937 – construction works;
5 September 1937 – foundation of the parish;
1947, 1957, 1973 – repair works;
1998 – repair and insulation works; the characteristic external face with visible timber framing was obscured.
The church has a timber frame structure (wooden frame filled with bricks), a single nave with chancel that is closed with a triangular wall. The chancel is two times narrower than the nave.
The body of the building is composed of the cubical nave, the chancel, with sacristies situated symmetrically on its sides, and a tower. The lower part of the tower houses the chapel of St. Anthony, which is open to the interior of the nave. The tower widens slightly above the line of the nave walls. The roofs are low – the nave is covered with a hip roof with a small fleche to house the smallest of the church bells. The roof of the tower is coped with a short crucifix.
The principal element of the composition of the external face are the irregularly placed windows of different sizes. After the 1998 repairs, the base of the walls was covered with sandstone slabs, and the upper part with siding.
The architecture of the church is modernist in its character. The only departures from the modern patterns of shaping the body and the details are: the three-section arcade gallery near the main entrance and the triangular wall of the chancel. Small chimney stacks projecting from the sacristy roofs are a reference to typical Polish architecture. They were constructed from concrete prefabricated elements with coarse surface imitating natural stone.
The St. Theresa church is probably the only building of this type constructed using timber frame structure in the Lublin region.
The building is a rare example of combination of modern forms of sacred architecture and a traditional type of structure.
Inside, there are altars designed by Lublin architects, adapted to correspond with the form of the church. The high altar, dedicated to St. Theresa, was designed by Jerzy Siennicki, and the side altars are works of Czesław Gawdzik.
Text by Hubert Mącik
Edited by Monika Śliwińska
Translated by Jarosław Kobyłko
Zahajkiewicz M.T. [ed.], Archidiecezja Lubelska. Historia i administracja, Lublin 2000.
Kochanowska I. [ed.], Zabytki architektury i budownictwa w Polsce, t. 22, Województwo lubelskie, Lublin 1995.