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The Collegiate Cathedral


The impressive Collegiate Cathedral of Chełmża is one of the most interesting antiques of the Pomerania region. The construction work started in 1251 and lasted until 1359. The church has many a time severely damaged been by fires and war, but has been rebuild. The building has been erected in gothic style, while the Baroque top of the tower was granted by the magistrate of the town Toruń in 1699. The most early remnants date back before 1291. These consist of a Gothic, red brick, three-nave hall church, its two-tower façade, a transept with uneven length and a chancel of a stellar vault.


Between 1251 and 1824, 49 bishops of the Chełmno district have resided in the Collegiate Cathedral. During this time, it has been visited by many Polish kings, such as king Vladislauv II Jagiełło (1386-1434), king Casimir the Great (1310-1370), king Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572), king Sigismund III Wasa (1587-1632) together with son Wladislaus IV Vasa (1595-148) and by king John III Sobieski (1629-1696).


This last one presented the church with the Kara Mustafa Pasha (1634-1684) his ornamental caparison, which has been turned into a bedspread. Sobieski had obtained this piece during the siege of Vienna, in which Kara Mustafa was leading the Turkish forces. The caparison has been preserved until today.


Among the fascinating antiques of the church one can find:


• Early Baroque Main Altar
The altar has been founded about 1650 by bishop Andrew Leszczyński. It consists of four Corinthian columns supporting its vast architrave on which pairs of lying angels are placed at the figures of St. Wojciech and St. Stanisław. On the top there is a statue of the main patron saint of the Chełmno district, St. George. He is killing the dragon with his spear. In the middle of the central part, inside a semi-circularly topped niche, there is a group of life-sized figures representing the Holy Trinity.


Between the columns statues of the apostles St. Peter and St. Andrew are placed on the tall pedestals. The altar contains the Wieniawa coat of arms and the initials of its founder. Numerous gilded details of ornaments and figures contrast perfectly with the dark monochrome reaching the Gothic vault.


The upper part of the altar contains an oval painting showing the Assumption scene in its centre. The semi-circularly topped central niche is closed with a movable painting depicting the Holy Trinity from 1697.


• The epitaph and painting of the blessed priest Stefan Wincent Frelichowski. The priest Stefan Wincent Frelichowski was born on 13 January 1913 in Chełmża, where he lived until 1931 at Chełmińskiej street 5. In 1945 he passed away in the concentration camp Dachau, where he took care of the ill, the beaten and the weak. For many he was not only a priest, but as well a doctor, friend and a caregiver. He is a model of love for Christ, holiness of life and love for his fellowmen. His community considers him to be a saint. He has been announced as blessed by Pope John Paul II at the celebrations in Toruń on the 7th of June 1999.

  • autor: merle&michał, data: 12.07.05

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Urząd Miasta Chełmża   ul. Hallera 2   |   87-140 Chełmża
tel. +48 56 675-22-91
fax +48 56 675-21-22
e-mail: um@chelmza.pl
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