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Honourable patronage:

Bogdan Zdrojewski
Minister Kultury
i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Międzynarodowa Rada
Ochrony Zabytków

Fot. Piotr Namiota
VOIVODESHIP: świętokrzyskie
DISTRICT: Sandomierz
COMMUNE: Koprzywnica
DIOCESE: sandomierska
DECANATE: Koprzywnica
FOUNDATION: przed 1185 r.

History of the abbey

The cloister in Koprzywnica started its existence in 12th century, in historiography the year of 1185 is said to be the date of its foundation. It was the time when the first monks appeared in a small village on a small river Koprzywianka.
The founder of the cloister in Koprzwnica was Komes Mikołaj of Bogoriów family who took a part of his domain and handed over as an endowment of a new monastic establishment. He had support from Prince Kazimierz and additionally bishops of Kraków Gedko and Pełka joined. Prince Mikołaj conferred Koprzywnica and 11 villages on the cloister. The whole complex concentrated in two settlements nearby Koprzywnica (Beszyce, Krzcin, Świeżyca, Zdanów, Pielaszów and Koprzywnica) and on Wisłoka and Wisłok -Lubzina, Dobrzechów, Lubla, Jasło, Wietrzno.
The initial grants were additionally strengthened by an immunity given by Kazimierz Sprawiedliwy. Apart from this Kraków's Bishop Pełka granted tithes to the priory.
The abbey developed favourably. In the first quarter of the 13th century they started to build a magnificent new temple and soon after a new cloistral complex. Before the first half of the 13th century the Cistercians from Koprzywnica took the possession of a complex with a centre in Bardijów (on the territories of the kingdom of Hungary)
The Tatar Invasion in 1241 and 1259 brought a lot of damage to the cloister.
As a result of this devastation prince Bolesław Wstydliwy gave a number of privileges to the order.
The second half of the 13th century started quite well for the cloister. It had a protection of the Piast princes. Abbots from Koprzywnica took part in inspections of other Polish Cistercian abbeys many times (Henryków, Ludźmierz, Wąchock, Byszewo, Sulejów) fulfilling the recommendations of the General Capitulary with which they were in contact.
The last Piasts on the throne, Władysław Łokietek and Kazimierz Wielki, were not as generous as their ancestors. In 1308 Władysław Łokietek allowed the Cistercians in Little Poland to found villages on the German law (in Koprzywnica also). Kazimierz Wielki allowed to found towns and that was a breakthrough in the abbey's history as from this moment on, the monks started to rebuild and clean up their numerous properties. The strengthened priory started to purchase real properties in towns and new lands. The characteristic feature of the cloistral economy was getting rid of destroyed and partially depopulated settlements and exchanging them for the parts of towns which did well.
In the 14th century the cloister had a number of economic successes. In 1329 the monks gained preferential papal bull. Next, at the beginning of the 15th century the relations with the General Capitulary livened. In 1413 the chapter recommended the abbot of Koprzywnica to inspect Polish cloisters but later on there was a process of gaining independence of individual Cistercian establishments from Capitulary's orders and influence.
The 15th and 16th centuries are quite stable as far as the economic development is concerned. The cloister's strength was based on landed properties, granges, the centre of local trade in Koprzywnica and the incomes from tithes, mills and monarchal privileges. Parish churches in Koprzywnica, Radlin and Zakrzówek were in the care of the cloister. Apart from that, the cloister had a very rich library which at the moment of suppression had 2572 theological and liturgical works
In April 1819 by the decision of the czarist authorities the cloister was suppressed. Its buildings were turned into Koprzywnica's parish and are used by it until these days.
The church and other buildings were damaged during the First World War in 1915, and in 1929-30 restoration works were organised.
In 1939 the church was destroyed and in 1948-49 again the restoration works had to be organised.

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The Abbey today

Today of the abbey


Only the eastern wing has survived until these days. Its most important room is a chapterhouse which survived in its original form, leant on two pillars supporting a rib vault. One of those two pillars preserved its original chapiter. Window openings in the eastern wall are also original. Now there is a lapidarium.


The building of the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Florien has been preserved almost in its original form. Its shape, interior's arrangement, constructional system and architectural details are the same. Western façade of the present form emerged as a result of the renovation that took place in the 18th century. It is decorated by statues of Blessed Virgin Mary, angels and saints: Florien, Benedict, Bernard and stone vases.
The interior design is very rich in monuments from various periods. On the walls there are gothic polychromies from the beginning of the 15th century. Equipment is from the 17th and 18th centuries and these are among others: altars (17th and 18th c.) stalls (1st half of the 17th c.), confessionals with woodcarving details. There is also a regency pulpit from about 1730 and two late-renaissance tombstones.
Next to the church and cloister there is former prior's house erected thanks to the Abbot Zbigniew Ossoliński's foundation from 1615-1620. It is known as abbatial court.

Parafia pw. Św.Floriana
27-660 Koprzywnica
ul. Krakowska 76
tel. 0048 15 8476202

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