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It’s the past or that is the future!

My proposal of distinguishing the sacral buildings in the Upper Silesian Region - Poland by the Europa Nostra association in the year 2000

Europa Nostra Awards 2000 -

St. Anna - Wooden Church in Olesno


The Wooden St Anna Church in Olesno, a relic of a zero class and precisely its miniature, together with the model of the Eiffel Tower represented Europe on a World Exposition of Architectural Art in New York. It is a very famous pilgrimage Church in Poland.

The Wooden Churches, an 110 sacred monuments of national interest in Upper Silesian, Poland; are situated in an area where the natural conditions on wood and natural treasures were excellent. The pilgrimage church dedicated to St Anna in Olesno built in1518 together with the complex of 5 chapels (1668), is among the most beautiful in Europe.Old fresco painting and wooden altars as well as the voices of congregation singing old religious songs carry us back to the epoch of our ancestors.

During the church fair it is visited by processions from the neighbouring parish as well as pilgrims from all Silesia, Poland, end even from abroad: Moravia, north Bohemia and Germany.On such occasions a lot of young boys, girls and adults from mother and neighbouring parishes take part in the religious ceremonies. To-day the church has a sign as: “Christus heri hodie semper - Jubilaem A.D. 2000”.

The legend goes back to the XIII century together with the “Story of the Rose”. At present, the shape of the church with its five joined chapels, built in 1670 reminds the shape of a rose.In 1518 a church was made out of the one small chapel from 1444. This rebuilt wooden church was consecrated by the Breslau bishop Jan Thurzo from Bethlehem Falva - the regent of Free State of Pszczyna (Pless). On wish of bishop and his brother Alex, Cuprum-magnate from Hungaria had a pupil of master Veit Stoss (1445 - 1533) , sculptor Jan to built in 1517 a gothic triptich “The Great Holy Family” with 32 figures in bass-relief. It’s a main altar in Anna�s Church .

By the side of it there is a figure of St Anna “Samotrzecia - Self-thirdly”: St Anna, Her Daughter Mary with infant Christ. She has been the patron of this church from the XV century.

In 1994 the altar - “The Great Holy Family” from XVI century was stolen!

The altar - “The Great Holy Family” from XVI century will have been restored by the end of 2000 by the professor of Academy of Arts in Wroclaw dr Gerard Koch - a sculptor and conservator.

In the present year - the celebrated year 2000 all the five altars have been renovated.All the walls have been cleaned from the intensive paint. This has been done applying the “sand method” by the local workers. The renovation has been performed by the Bull firm from Krosnica by Opole.

St Anna Church is being rebuilt all the time, covered with shingles (a kind of wooden roofing tile), systematically, one year - one chapel, because the cost is high and they do not get any many from the State. The costs are being paid by the people belonging to the parish. They make it for people of this land, for pilgrims of Europe.

The people from Silesia love their native country with the churches. They pay more and moreattention to the protection of the churches as the extraordinary landscape of Europe.

The natural and cultural treasures are the national heritage for both local and European. These richness and cultural diversity are, therefore, constitutive elements of our own identity.

Member of Europa Nostra and Pan-Europa

Peter Karl Sczepanek

Peter Karl Sczepanek 
Holzweg 40, 40789 Monheim am Rhein
Tel/Fax 02173-66742

Monheim/Rh, den 25.09.2000
w Rheinische Post:
search: Sczepanek

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