The characteristic of the current state of St Michael the Archangel’s Church in Domachowo
According to the tradition, the St Michael’s Church existed in 1256, but its beginning fades in the shade of past and waits for more detailed scientific research. The original church was made of wood and, unfortunately, burnt down entirely. It was thought, until recently, that the present, also wooden, temple was built in 1566. However, as a result of dendrochronological research, it was announced in August 2019 that the church located in Domachowo was built two hundred years prior to what was originally reckoned, i.e. between the years 1368-1369 and constitutes the oldest known integrally preserved wooden temple constructed on Polish soil with a complete medieval king post truss.
St Michael’s Church is an orientated two-nave wooden post and lintel mixed log-framed structure. Presbytery is clearly narrower than the nave and is attached to the sacristy from 1775 (from the north) and to the chapel (from the south). The chapel, which is lower than the presbytery, has a small tower with a bulbous tent and lantern. In 1930 along the main nave, an aisle open to the main one with arcades was built. At the same time a four-floored tower with a narthex and two annexes was built. The construction was done according to Lucjan Michalowski’s design. The church is covered with a steep two-ridged roof (a single-ridged one over the old nave and presbytery) with a shingle and a quadrangular tower crowned with a steel bulbous tent with a lantern.
The flat vault over the nave is adorned with multiple polychrome. There are historic relics laid in the church, such as beautifully adorned rococo main altar dating back to 1775 with a gothic sculpture “Pieta” from about 1400, a picture of Coronation of Lady Mary placed on the curtain, baroque side altars from approximately 1700 with pictures of exactly the same age, a magnificent pulpit, and an altar placed in the chapel dating back the half of the 19th century with older elements. In the entire interior, there are numerous sculptures, bas-reliefs and pictures of high quality painted on canvas, board or tinware dating back to a variety of ages.
In Semptember 2018, under the presbytery 18th century boarding, a substantial amount of valuable polychrome was discovered alongside various formations strengthening the church’s frame. This polychrome is three levels of pictures. The primary one, so called Biblia Pauperum Domachovensis, is likely to have originated from the turn of the 17th century. The partly visible pictures baring clear traits of gothic art and the inscription on the rood beam date back to the period of the beginning of the temple. The youngest floral polychrome with Latin inscription from the 18th century adorns the elements of the wall supporting structure. Pictures cover a major part of the side surface of presbytery and of the main nave, which were the original parts of the church.
In the years 2017-2019 with the help of the European Union as part of the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020, restoration work of the inside and historic equipment of the church was conducted.
The restoration of:
- the main altar and three side altars
- the pulpit dating from the end of the 18th century (reconstructed and renewed in 1930)
- the wardrobe from the sacristy dating back to 1775
- the sculptures from the rood beam: Christ the Crucified (the second half of the 17th century) and Lady Mary and St John (19th century)
- sculptures: 3 crosses, Christ the Resurrected and 10 Apostles from the 18th century
- reliquaries from about 1700
- the cover of the monstrance (umbraculum)
- the patron’s pew and the communion balustrade
- the organ front and the choir balustrade
- the polychrome of the presbytery’s vault from 1775 was conducted.
Moreover, the boarding of the nave and presbytery so that the primary pictures are made visible was also removed and the boarding of the choir, the stairway leading to the choir, the main nave in the annexed part, the aisle and the St Barabara’s Chapel was installed.
Furthermore, the fumigation of the church, which constitutes complex disinsection and securing the elements of the temple by gassing and gelation of the church’s surfaces with the usage of appropriate chemicals.