St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare Church (North Assissi)


Project: Stanisław Niemczyk, cooperation: Anna and Robert Wojtecki; construction: Marta and Leszek Weszke, 2000. The construction of the church and the monastery began in 2000.

The first building erected on the site of the future temple was the Porcjunculula chapel. It was built on a separate foundation. It was a symbol of the beginning - the history of the Franciscans began 800 years earlier with the small chapel of the Portiuncula near Assisi. Thus, the chapel was like the cornerstone of the whole church. The site for the construction of the church was small, and the investment program was rich: a church and a monastery were to be erected here. The architect adopted the concept of a vertical composition - a two-story church, high towers, a multi-story monastery building.

In the ideological program of the temple, he included such symbolic elements important for Franciscan spirituality as the Porcjunculula chapel, the tomb of St. Francis, placed in the lower church, the cross of San Damiano, outlined on the ceiling of the lower church. The five towers refer to the five wounds of the Crucified. The baptismal font was designed at the level of the upper church, exactly above the place of the symbolic tomb of St. Francis. A street was built between the church and the monastery walls, its atmosphere resembling the narrow streets of medieval Assisi.

The basic building material is light stone (dolomite from the Libiąż quarry) and concrete, partly colored in red, graphite-black and brown (like umber - the color of the land of Umbria, in which Assisi is located). The challenge for the constructors was the vision of the roof truss proposed by the architect - the wooden truss covers the large volume of the upper church. The weight of the roof truss was taken over by the porch of the prayer ambulatory, connecting the five towers. The complicated structure of the truss is protected from the inside by a ceiling made of smooth boards; at its highest point there is a triangular hole - a reference to the symbol of the Eye of Providence. The author of the design, Stanisław Niemczyk, died in 2019 without waiting for the construction of the temple to be completed.

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