Old parish church – Kościeliska Street

Old parish church – Kościeliska Street

The old church and cemetery are still the central place of Kościeliska Street, which usually dictates the direction of the visit.

The parish church of Our Lady of Częstochowa and St.. Klemensa was built in 1847 r. Before that, the highlanders from western Zakopane belonged to the Chochołowska parish, from the east to the Poronin district. The construction was initiated by the Homolacs family, who financed the project and undertook to maintain the temple and the parish priest.

The church was first built by Sebastian Gąsienica Sobczyk, then Jakub and Jan Topor. He celebrated the inaugural mass in January 1848 r. pcs. Joseph Stolarczyk – the first parish priest of Zakopane.

PRIEST JÓZEF STOLARCZYK (1816-1895) – He came to Zakopane in 1848 r "to take over the rectory of the new parish at ul. Kościeliska. It hit hard and insensitive ground – the highlanders were a Catholic people, but so far they had little respect for the priests, and they attended church reluctantly. They adhered to the principle: God made me somehow, such me mos, they were not afraid of the devil, and with Oće Stary, they preferred to deal with matters directly. When the priest did not go to sermon, they went out in front of the church, to listen to the old gaze. At the beginning of his parish priesthood, Stolarczyk was often mocked and scorned. It happened, that after the mass the highlanders lit their pipes from altar candles, however, their approach changed over time. They saw a clergyman – broad-shouldered man, how he built the presbytery with his own hands, they heard, as he spoke to them from the pulpit in clear dialect, not being afraid to point out the sins of Matei the robber. He was an expert on highlander soul; at first he tempted recalcitrant sheep with cash loans, after confession, he handed out gifts. Over time, he gained real recognition, respect and authority. When he died, he was mourned pitifully. He contributed to the popularization of Zakopane, urging many highlanders to accept holidaymakers. He was one of the founders of the Tatra Society, he acted as a liaison between visitors and highlanders. He had many friends and admirers. One of them was Tytus Chałubiński, who healed a priest during a cholera epidemic. Stolarczyk was also an avid traveler – traveled across Europe, Africa, Asia, visited Jerusalem. He was one of the first to climb Gerlach and Ice Peak. When he was old and could not make strenuous climbs, he would come with the church man at Hala Gąsienicowa, he sat by the fire and thought, drinking sour milk.

The entrance to the old church, fenced with a low, straight fence, is from the street. From the front, it presents the most varied face – A soaring roof protrudes above the rectangular door, above him a tower slightly higher, in the finial – dome and cross. No windows, gilding, stucco. On the sides you can only see a high roof and walls with two windows. No architectural finesse, like in Jaszczurówka, no gigantomania, like in the church at Skibówki. And yet it amazes with its power of authenticity and simplicity.

Crossing the door inside is going to the other side of the mirror, to the land of primeval highlanders. You enter the darkness cut through with diffused streaks of light, falling through misty windows. Slowly eyesight gets accustomed, you discover shapes and colors. You smell the wood, incense and flowers, and the ear catches the steady tick of the clock on the left. A little swirling dust highlighted with dull light as a special effect and here you are alone with the wooden eyes of the saints.

The building is wooden, single-nave, small, low vaulted. The walls are made of straight boards. All together with a modest one, but interesting equipment, gives the impression of not so much the interior of the temple, rather, a room surrounded by Christmas trees and flowers, hung with tapestries. In a homely, In a warm atmosphere, positive emotions arise in a person – regardless of your beliefs. The main altar is the central point, with an image of Our Lady of Częstochowa, also made in wood. On the sides there are two figures of saints, paintings depicting the Mother of God and St.. Paul. Standing in front of the altar, on the left side there is a door to the sacristy, above which there is an altar with the Mother of God and Child, with very interesting colors. Two side altars in the lower part with colorful upholstery, floral matter, they mark the boundaries of the presbytery – the left is under the patronage of the Miraculous Mother of God from the Boron Forest. The pictures of the Stations of the Cross were made today in the convention of primitive painting on glass. Under the choir, to the left of the entrance, it is worth looking at the figure of the saint made of one wooden block. The back wall is occupied by organs. On the west side of the church, in the house of the former orphanage there is the seat of the Felician Sisters, who are in charge of the temple.

the chapel of St. Andrew and Benedict

On the right, that is, on the eastern side of the church, there is a path to the old Zakopane cemetery, in the middle of which there is a brick chapel of the patrons of Slovakia and Podhale, st. Andrew and St.. Benedict – martyrs living at the beginning of the 11th century. She is so small, that it takes less than two to go around it 25 steps. It is the oldest religious building in Zakopane, allegedly built for robber money by Paweł Gąsienica at the beginning of the 19th century. The decor was designed by Antoni Kenar. Unfortunately, the trellis prevents entry, but you can look inside. Before the old church was built, Masses were celebrated in this tiny tabernacle.