In 1467, Kazimierz Jagiellończyk gave Cięcina and the whole Żywiec region to Piotr Komorowski of the Herald Korczak as a heritable property.  It was a token of gratitude for the help to stop the Skrzyńscy’s criminal activity and Komorowski’s support for the king’s expedition to Hungary. In 1542, during Korczak’s rule, the historic Latin Catholic St. Katharine’s church was erected in Cięcina (Gmina Węgierska Górka). In 1624, Komorowski put Żywiec goods in pledge to Queen Constance of Austria - the wife of Sigismund III Vasa. Queen Constance was known for her piousness and she spent a lot of money on the extension of many different churches. Parish of Radziechowy, which included Cięcina and its church, was given a bell tower in 1666.

The church is built from logs laid horizontally and interlocked on the ends with notches. The tower has a timber framing construction. The bearing wall of the central nave in supported by poles. The floor of the central nave is made of sandstone slabs. The floors of the chapel and the presbytery are made from concrete slabs.

The St. Katherine’s Church is a special building that is over 450 years old. The building itself is very valuable as well as the artifacts of the cultural heritage that are kept inside – the historic pieces of sacral art such as: the main altar of 1643, the side altars, the baptismal font of 1705, the pulpit from 19th century or the organ from 17th century. If they were destroyed, it would be a lamentable loss. 

The St. Katherine’s Church and the objects inside it is a monument of wooden sacral construction, the Silesian – Little Poland type of 1542. It is included in the register of monuments with the number: A-597/89/90 issued by Voivodeship Conservator of Monuments in Bielsko - Biała. The church was originally covered by shingles, but it was changed to eternit (asbestos cement roofing material) and again to shingles in 2010. The conservation of the side altars and the parish office is being carried out. The church and the objects inside it are an important part on the wooden route of sacral architecture. Due to its function as a parish office it has gained a cultural, historic and social character.

All movable objects as well as those located around the parish office will be available for tourists. Because of damaged mechanisms, the moving paintings in the altar are on display only during the important celebrations. They also require preservation. The main altar, side altars and all objects inside them will be on display after the preservation process.

The main altar (it is not registered individually as a monument) has the central position in the church and it is the second (new) altar of 1860 (the first – the baroque altar of 1643 was destroyed by flood). In the altar there are three paintings (interchangeable) from the second half of the 19th century.

In the presbytery there is a ceiling of1884 that resembles the barrel vault. The decor of the church is baroque. There are many altars in it. The main altar is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria.

The origin, the author and the donor are unknown. It is believed that the oldest parts may have been related to the reconstruction of the church between 1665 and 1666. There were many conservation workings that saved it from harmful level of humidity in the church. The altar wasn’t reconstructed in a way that would change its appearance. Therefore, its present look may have traits of the one from 17th century.

The St. Anne’s altar is located on the right side of the wider part of the nave. The St. Anne’s altar has also an interesting history. Its origin and the origin of the altar of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus are related to the church expansion from 1655 to 1657. The St. Anne’s alter resembles the altar of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus both in the structure and the style. Therefore, they come from the same period. The author and the donor of this sacral piece of art are unknown. The St. Anne’s altar, as well as other altars in the church, is made of polychrome wood. The bottom of the altar, that is a convex shape altar stone, is placed on two steps and is encircled by cast-iron balusters casted in Węgierska Górka Foundry. On the altar stone, there is a two-leveled altarpiece with the bottom part called predella. This part was commonly used in the construction of baroque altars. Therefore, the assumption that both altars have traits from the pre-baroque period is well-founded. According to historians, the altar of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was called the Transfiguration of Jesus, comes from the time when the church was expanded for the first time in 1655.

Despite the fact that the church comes from the baroque period, which is confirmed by its construction and ornaments, it also has classical elements that might have been introduced during one of the renovations. Its present being is a result of multiple renovations that took place during its over 13 centuries long existence. In the side chapel of the church there is the altar dedicated to the founder of the Franciscans – Saint Francis of Assisi. The wooden altar, covered by polychrome, relates to the classical period.

In the niche of the altarpiece there is the low-relief of Saint Francis of Assisi. In the finial there is the low-relief of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the oval medallion. The saints, who were living in different periods, deserved a life in eternity because of their lifetime devotion to Crucified Jesus and His Most Sacred Heart. Both of them were given stigmata.

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    Kościół św Katarzyny Cięcina

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