Kościół Nawiedzenia NMP
Kościół Nawiedzenia NMP. Fot. Koefbac, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Poznań – one of the most interesting Polish churches

The Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary in Poznań is one of the largest and most characteristic churches in the city. The building is located in the Ratajski housing estate of the Heroes of World War II. It is the parish church for the Parish of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its construction took nearly 30 years.

The concept of building the church arose with the creation of housing estates in the area of the former suburban village of Rataje, as part of the project to build a new residential district “Rataje”. The construction project began in 1966, with the current Piastowskie and Jagiellońskie estates being the first to be built. The new residents belonged to the St Roch parish. Archbishop Antoni Baraniak made efforts with the city authorities to allocate plots of land in the various Ratai housing estates for the construction of churches for the increasing number of believers. Subsequent requests were met with refusal. As a result, the church authorities decided to ask for permission to build a single church for the inhabitants of all the estates, with a capacity for 120,000 worshippers. This permission was granted by the authorities in 1976. The Poznań Provincial Office allocated a site on the Bohaterów II Wojny Światowej estate for the construction of the church.

The church against the background of the housing estate. Photo Koefbac, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The design of the building was commissioned from Warsaw architects Eng Marek Eibl and Eng Stanisław Sołtyk. They designed the two-storey temple in a boomerang-like shape. The tallest central part, facing east, slopes down towards the west on both sides. The structure is based on a dozen vertical steel pylons, on which the slanting roof is supported. Its top is crowned by a cross. The building is astonishing in its size, unique form and boldness of construction.

Peak with cross. Photo by Koefbac, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

A temporary chapel was erected in 1977 and the actual church project was approved two years later. Construction work soon began and was commissioned to Rev. Jerzy Foltyn. At the end of 1982, the laying of the foundation stone, consecrated by Pope Paul VI, and the consecration of the lower church took place. From 1983 to 1990, the construction of the upper church with pastoral and living quarters continued. After 1990, work continued on fitting out the interior. The consecration ceremony took place in 1997. In the following years, work progressed inside the church and on arranging the church grounds (car park, square, greenery, fencing, religious figures). The PINB in Poznań granted permission to use the church at the beginning of 2006.

Source: polskaniezwykla.pl, nawiedzeniepoznan.pl

Read also: Architektura w Polsce | Architektura sakralna | Poznań | Architektura PRL | Modernizm

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