An installation showing the history of St Martin’s Church was created in Poznan

At the intersection of Marcinkowskiego Avenue and Św Marcin Street, by the church of the same patron saint, a mock-up of the building in its pre-war form has recently been on display. The luminous image on the pavement shows the outline of the former church tower as it used to be in St. Martin’s Church in Poznań

The first small church of St. Martin was probably built by Duke Przemysł I in 1240. Work on the new church was completed in 1517. In 1657, the church was burnt down during the Brandenburg invasion. It was rebuilt in the following years in the Baroque style. The church underwent major renovation in 1834-1840. In 1859, the first statue of Adam Mickiewicz on Polish soil was erected in the garden next to the church, which was destroyed during the Nazi occupation

St Martin’s Church in its pre-war form. Photo: Andrzej Rataj

kościół świętego Marcina

In 1925, the church was rebuilt, culminating in the construction of a 45-metre high tower. It was erected in 1929 on the side of St Martin’s Street by the side entrance to the church. It was designed by Stefan Cybichowski. At a height of 25 metres, there was a clock and above it a bell tower covered by a baroque dome supported on columns. Four three-metre-high figures were placed on the tower: St Adalbert, St Stanislaus the Bishop and the apostles St Peter and St Paul. In 1941, the church was closed by the occupiers and turned into a warehouse for looted works of sacred art

St Martin’s Church in 1928 and 2019. Source: NAC – National Digital Archive (ref. 1-U-5045-1) and own work

View of the church in the 1930s and 2019. Source: and own work

In January 1945, the building was set on fire along with its precious contents, and the 45-metre high church tower was blown up. All that was left of the church was the badly damaged and burnt walls (the church was 90% destroyed). Reconstruction lasted until 1955 and restored the building to its medieval appearance of 1519, before many later modifications
Now, on the occasion of the completion of the restoration, a unique installation has been created at the church. Hidden in a display case, a model of the church shows what it looked like before the outbreak of the Second World War. The striking tower with a bell tower attracts attention. Its outline can be seen after dark as it is marked out by a luminous installation


Read also: Architecture | Monuments | History | Sacral architecture | Poznań

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