Opole – the Cathedral of Finding of the Holy Cross
The church first mentioned in 1223 was a three-nave building to which two western towers were added in the third quarter of the 13th century. The next stage constituted the reconstruction of the nave body. It is connected with a mention from 1295 about the act of founding the church by Prince Bolko I. The church performed a collegiate function and in the first half of the 14th century it was given a basilica system with a long presbytery closed by a polygon. After a fire in 1415 the church reconstruction started – the nave body walls were made higher up to a hall system. The interior received new pillars with pilasters and pilasters at longitudinal walls. Probably, a one-nave presbytery was left.
Undoubtedly, in the second half of the 15th century, the one-nave presbytery was reconstructed and changed into a three-nave hall system presbytery. The pillars and the presbytery interior segmentation constituted a continuation of the nave body forms. The church was given a long three-nave hall system with five bays and a polygonal top of the nave and each aisle. Probably it was not until the mid-16th century that vaults were added, which were renovated in the 17th and mid-19th century. Throughout the whole period on the western side there were two old towers, which were undoubtedly heightened. In the 16th century three chapels were erected as well as a gallery.
The church was given its final appearance in the 19th century, i.e. in 1856 the vaults, roof and buttresses were repaired and in 1899 the western towers were made higher. All the external walls were faced then, which significantly changed the appearance of the building.
Key words: Middle Ages, Silesia, church
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