An Abandoned Protestant Church [Żeliszów, Poland]

Definitely a must see, no matter how unusual this expression may sound speaking about forgotten place. An abandoned church, situated in Żeliszów, a village in southwestern Poland, so simple and grey from the outside, hides behind its thick walls a magical scenery that impresses everyone who opens the heavy doors of the temple.

The thing that makes this place so stunning is its eliptic interior surrounded by wooden matronea consisting of columns which, despite being significally touched by decay, still remain elegant, and let us have a short glimpse on the glorious past of the church. After looking around more, the eyes catch a few other details showing the beauty of the temple in the times when it was in use, like fancy polychromy, still bright enough to see it despite the dusk filling the building, and arches, making the interior even more charming. It’s also worth to mention the ceiling which, dome shaped, makes the church look so great, while the green colour of its surface, puts on the place a shade of brilliance.

All these details taken together, filling the ones already swallowed by decay with a bit of imagination, can be put into a picture of the place in 1945, just before it became abandoned. This recreated image would show as the early Classical period church built in 1796-1797. It was used by local Protestants, as mentioned before, until 1945, and became abandoned when German inhabitants relocated from there. After their relocation the building was still in good condition but wasn’t used for its primary purpose—it was turned into a sheepfold, also, locals simply treated it as a source of building materials. That was making its condition worse and worse, and this once so great temple was falling into ruin.

Despite such a sad recent past, the future of the church seems to be much brighter. Different from many other decaying churches, this one luckily will be saved as since 2013 the ‘Your Heritage’ Foundation is taking care of it. The building is going to be turned into a multifunctional cultural arena, thus the temple will be given a second life—something that it really deserves, considering its greatness and charm.

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