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Honourable patronage:

Bogdan Zdrojewski
Minister Kultury
i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Międzynarodowa Rada
Ochrony Zabytków
VOIVODESHIP: wielkopolskie
DISTRICT: Wolsztyn
COMMUNE: Przemęt
DIOCESE: poznańska
DECANATE: przemęcki
FOUNDATION: 1277- 1285 r.

History of the abbey

The first try of founding the cloister in Przemęt's castellany was undertaken at the beginning of the 13th century by Prince Władysław Odonic. However, the cloister was finally founded in the 2nd half of the 13th century and the monks were brought by Benjamin of Zeremba family.
The cloister in Paradyż was chosen to be a parent cloister. In the beginning the monks settled in Ptowe (now Kaszczor). It is not known were the Cistercians' place of residence was situated.
The initial endowment included Benjamin Zaremba's grant and immunities: economical and judicial given by Princes of Great Poland, Bolesław Pobożny and Przemysław II, who approved the foundation. The Cistercians also had farmland, meadows, forests, grazing lands, lakes with the right to fish, mills and apiaries. Apart from this, they freed the people from prince's judicature, taxes, serving and duties. They did not have to renovate or build castles and cities and did not have to take part in warfare unless to defense. They were given the right to settle and locate their domains on the German Law. The properties they were given in 1278 started to grow fast.
The cloister was translocated to Wieleń during the reign of Abbot Mikołaj at the beginning of the 14th century, probably about 1301. The 14th century was the time of quite dynamic development due to the numerous grants and their own enterprises.
In the 15th century the abbey was taken to Przemęt. This process started in 1408-1409 when Władysław Jagiełło let the Cistercians buy out Przemęt which was pledged.
They were building the new cloistral complex for over 10 years and the monks moved in there in 1418. Investments depleted cloister's finances. The monks tried to rescue convent's economy which is why they did not join the 15th century trend of intellectual improvement. This economic crisis continued in the 16th century and the standard of living worsened. The professed monk from Koronowo, Jan Węgorzewski, came to Przemęt and ruled the abbey for almost 30 years, 1558-1586.
The Abbey of Przemęt participated in creating the Polish Province and in introducing reforms to the cloisters which were supposed to improve their material, moral and intellectual cleansing. Jan Węgorzewski took part in the session of the first Provincial Capitulary in Wągrowiec (1580)
The command in the cloister was introduced after the death of Abbot Stanisław Ostrowski in 1596. At the beginning of the 17th century the properties were divided into abbatial and conventual. In 1609 the abbots of Przemęt gained the right to wear pontificals.
The reform of the Polish Cistercian monasteries which started in 1580 was carried out quite fast and efficiently in Przemęt. A significant improvement was seen in the abbey's economy. It was so good that in 1604 the monks erected a brick cloister and then in 1651 with the permission of the bishop of Poznań they started to build a new church, which however, was stopped by the Swedish Deluge. They came back to building the church in the 80s of the 17th century. The church was consecrated in 1696.
The 18th century was the period of economic success which led to a significant intellectual liveliness among the monks. Apart from that they became involved in ministry of five parish churches. In 1742 the fire consumed cloistral buildings and the church, but quite soon they started to rebuild what was destroyed.
As a result of the Second partition of Poland the cloister of Przemęt found itself under the rule of Prussia. Przemęt's Cloister was officially closed on 5th March 1835. Some part of the cloistral buildings was pulled down, and convent's library got dispersed. More valuable works were taken to Berlin and the rest become the property of the citizens.
Soon after the suppression the post-Cistercian church became a parish. The chapel was renovated at the end of the 19th century, and in 1914 part of it was pulled down.

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The Abbey today

Today of the abbey



From the former cloistral building from the 17th century there are only fragments of southern wing and a gallery preserved.


The Post-Cistercian Church of St John the Baptist in Przemęt was built in 1651-1696. Rich, mainly woodcarving equipment of the interior come from three periods: baroque (the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century), late-baroque and rococo from 2nd to 4th quarter of the 18th century and classicism from the 19th century. It is possible to distinguish a set made of a black oak: sculptured stalls, abbot's throne, confessionals and benches with sculptural, figural and floral decoration.
Apart from that the interior is decorated by: a rococo high altar, side altars with paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, pulpit from the end of the 17th century, Baptismal font from the first half of the 18th century, valuable paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries and sculptures; organ prospectus from the 2nd quarter of the 19th century is on the whole width of the internal music gallery.

Parafia pw. św. Jana Chrzciciela
ul. Opacka 9
64-234 Przemęt
tel. 0048 65 549 61 03



Other post-Cistercian objects are: the Church of St. Andrew (original one was wooden but it burnt down and was replaced with a small brick building, it is a parish church) and a Cemetery Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (in 1411 it was taken over by the Cistercians and was incorporated into the Order in 1419)


A post-Cistercian object that survived is a late-baroque Church of the Assumption and the refuge of sinners-today a Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sinners' refuge. It was built in 1731-1742 by the Cistercians from Przemęt. A very valuable monument is famous for a miraculous sculpture of the Mother of Jesus with an Infant Jesus, "The Refuge of Sinners" from the 2nd half of the 15th century which is a destination of numerous pilgrimages. Moreover, on the right side of the altar there is an abbot's throne and in the centre of the Chapel of Lord's Passion there is an eighteen-century crucifix which is believed by the pilgrims to be miraculous.

ul. Cysterska 4
64-234 Przemęt
tel : 0048 65 549 90 89


the original place of residence of the Cistercians which was later on moved to Wieleń. However, there is a church of St. Wojciech built in 1764-1775 by Abbot Jan Szołdrski's foundation. Its facilities are late-baroque and classicist in character.

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