The Abandoned Saint Barbara’s Chapel [Bukowno, Poland]

I got to know about this chapel by accident while looking for the information about another abandoned site and that was definitely one of my luckiest accidental finds. There are no better words to describe that, as it does not happen too often to find a place like this. An elegant tower of the building turns it into a real pearl of the area where it is located, and its stone walls hide behind quite well preserved and mystically charming interior.

The mentioned place is the abandoned Saint Barbara’s chapel in Bukowno (Poland) situated near the already not existing zinc and lead ore mine shaft ‘Ulisses’. Bult in 1870, this little temple had been in use for years, but later the companies nearby were closed, and its importance decreased. Less and less people were attending masses, and finally it was closed. It’s already some time as the chapel is abandoned, and its only regular visitors are the wind blowing through broken windows and sunlight getting inside the building through dusty windows. The site is missing everything that is typical for a church and that once was making it alive. Getting closer to the building you will not hear the mass held there—just silence filling the place. Also, you won’t find widely opened doors inviting everyone to enter—only a heavy padlock instead.

Even though the chapel doesn’t look the same as in its golden ages, it still can impress everyone who by some reason visits the place. First thing that the eyes catch while being there is the architecture of the building. Simple shape with some details, like stone walls or arched windows brings you back to the end of XIX century, when the chapel was built.

Just a bit of imagination, and you can see people in a hurry to the mass, the same as it was years ago. Following them you would enter a small cosy room—only a bit different from how it looks now.

It’s relatively a short time as the chapel is abandoned, so its interior is quite modern, considering the old architecture of the building. Despite that there are still some things inside that turn the building into some mysterious place. Old books, crucifixes, candles—taken together they create particular, a bit spooky atmosphere which isn’t that easy to forget even after leaving the place.

It’s also worth to mention one creepy detail hiding in a dark corner of the balcony which makes a significant contribution to the spookiness of the place. Nooses which at first sight look as if they were made by someone who decided to say goodbye to the life can easily frighten you and maybe even make you look around for a corpse.

In fact this detail isn’t as macabric as it seems—it’s just a part of a bell, but here imagination decides to give you the most sadly known purpose of using the rope.

Most likely founded by miners and carrying the name of Saint Barbara who is supposed to protect them, today the chapel is the one that needs protection. It’s easy to notice some cracks in the building—time is mercilessly trying to cut it into pieces, and nobody knows what the next cut will cause—whether it will be just another scar on the massive wall, or it’ll make the building get closer to the ground and finally bury it in the shade of the trees surrounding it.

Updated 16.01.2017:

I’ve revisited the abandoned Saint Barbara’s chapel and appears that there are quite a lot of changes there. Previously, even if the building wasn’t fully furnished, there were still quite a lot of things left inside from the times when the place was in use. Now it’s completely empty—everything is gone, starting with an altar and finishing with the smallest details, like crucifixes and books. Despite that, it does not seem as if a burglary took place there (the doors still look untouched), but rather a clean-up and, even though the cracks in the walls seem to be getting deeper, the swept floor gives a hope that the place will be saved.

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