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Honourable patronage:

Bogdan Zdrojewski
Minister Kultury
i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Międzynarodowa Rada
Ochrony Zabytków

Fot. Piotr Namiota
VOIVODESHIP: dolnośląskie
DISTRICT: Ząbkowice Śląskie
COMMUNE: Ziębice
DIOCESE: wrocławska
FOUNDATION: 1222-1238 r.

History of the abbey

The official benefactor of the Cistercian abbey in Henryków was Henryk Pobożny who in 1222-1228 founded this abbey.
On 28th May 1227 the first convent came to Henryków from Lubiąż. On June 6th 1228 Henryk Brodaty wrote a foundation document of the priory in Henryków.
The first endowment was quite poor. The manor was mostly settled and developed before it was given to the Order. In order to enlarge the range of the properties the cloister started to buy lands. Apart from that it was subsidised by princes, clergy and knights.
All the problems connected with the endowment are described by Piotr I and abbot Piotr II in Liber fundationis claustri Sancte Marie Virginis in Heinrichow, in which the oldest Polish sentence was written: Day, ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai.
The favourable development of the abbey was stopped by the invasion of the Mongols in 1241. The priory was burnt down, the properties were stolen away. The following years were the times of restoration and strengthening.
The bases of the material existence of the order were basically landed prosperities that made up granges. The income was from tithes, rents, mines, land deposits, duties and handicraft. The monks of Henryków did many things for a living, among many, salt and beer making, milling, shoemaking and weaving, at the same time brabbling with the townsmen about trading powers for the things they made.
In 1292 they appointed a new Cistercian foundation in Krzeszów. The princes of Ziębice made from the church their own family necropolis.
A very tragic time was during the Hussite Wars. The abbey was stolen away and burnt down. In 1438 the abbey was further destroyed by the army of castellan Zygmunt von Rachenau. On 18th 1442 the abbey was burnt down once again when there was the invasion of the Czech magnate Hink Kruszyna of Lichtenburg. Even more serious destruction of the cloister was as a result of the invasion of King Jerzy of Podiebrad in 1459 and in 1469. The crisis of the abbey deepened due to the war contribution imposed on Henryków by the Bishop of Wrocław.
Despite all these experiences, the Cistercians from Henryków began the restoration of the material bases of their existence, inner life and economic restoration of the order. In 1518 the convent was given mining regalia of the following valuable metal ores: gold, silver, copper, tin, lead and iron ore.
The period of prosperity did not last long. The princes of Ziębice, the patron of the convent in Henryków succumbed to spreading reformation in the Silesia. The abbey was in danger of secularization. The decline of the abbey was avoided as a result of the polonisation process of the cloisters of the Altenberg line in Greater Poland-Ląd, Łekno and Obra. The appointment of Andreas Swederni, a former prior of Ląd, as a new abbot of Henryków in 1554 marked a new period of restoration of the abbey. This period is characterised by reorganisation of school and library, holding back the process of protestantisation of the order's domains and vivid economic and construction activities.
The development of the order was stopped by the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). The abbey in Henryków, invaded in 1621, 1632, 1636, 1640 and 1646 by the Brandengurgian, Swedish and Saxon armies was horribly destroyed. To make the matters worse in 1633 there was an outbreak of bubonic fever in the abbey.
The post-war years were mostly devoted to the restoration on the cloister's buildings and salvaging the economy. The abbots managed to bring back the priory to its previous glory. The cloister in Henryków became a very important centre of recatholisation. A full revamping of the abbey was carried out in the Baroque style. The number of members of the convent increased. In 1738 the property in Witostowice and seven villages was purchased. In 1699, devastated by the Turkish wars the abbey in Zirc in Hungary, was bought. Until 1814, the priory in Henryków was one of the leading Cistercian cloisters in Silesia.
The Silesian Wars (1740-1763) brought the economic breakdown and the activity of the Cistercians from Henryków. The Prussian army plundered monastic constructions and kept the monks in prison. The abbey had to pay very high war contributions.
The Prussian king Fryderyk Wilhelm III, who was looking for money to finalise the campaign against France, on 22nd November 1810 issued an edict on the abolition of the priory in Henryków and the takeover of its all properties by the county. In 1801 the authorities closed the gymnasium and seized the richest library in the Silesia that had 132 manuscripts and 20,000 books.
The abbey in Zirc gained independence. The properties were sold. In 1812 the majority went to the sister of the Prussian King, Fryderyka Luiza Wilhelmina Orańska, the Queen of the Netherlands. In 1863 Henryków was taken over by the princes form the Saxon-Weimar dynasty.
In 1945 the post-Cistercian buildings were taken over by the Polish authorities. The church and the northern part of the eastern wing were given to the Cistercians from Szczyrzyce who came to Henryków. The official approval of the priorare by the Capitulary of the Polish congregation of the Cistercians was in 1991. In 1993 a common novitiate of the Polish Congregation of the Cistercians was created here.

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The Abbey today

Today of the abbey

          Present baroque cloistral complex was built in 1682-1685. Now in its buildings there is a branch of Higher Metropolitan Seminary in Wrocław (Wyższe Metropolitalne Seminarium) (since 1993 novitiate for the Cistercians in Poland) and caritas House of St. Jadwiga and a Catholic Secondary School of Blessed Edmund Bojanowski.
      A few halls are the showcases of the cloister. Oak Hall is intended for sightseeing. Purple Hall is intended for receiving distinguished guests. Apart from that: Refectory with decorations, colourful rococo tiled stove (each tile is hand-painted) and with eighteenth-century oak benches and a Seminar Chapel with renaissance wood-panelling.
      Around the object there is a baroque park from 1701-1717 a so-called Abbots' Garden and in its centre there is a summer dining-place for abbots.

Ojcowie Cystersi
57-210 Henryków
pl. Cystersów 1
tel. 0048 74 810-50-69

Metropolitalne Wyższe Seminarium Duchowne w Henrykowie
pl. Cystersów 2
57 - 210 Henryków
tel. 0048 74 810 51 35
fax. 0048 74 810 50 50

Katolickiego Liceum Ogólnokształcącego
im. bł. Edmunda Bojanowskiego
pl. Cystersów 1
57-210 Henryków
tel: 0048 074 810 50 50

Dom Opieki św. Jadwigi Śląskiej
pl. Cystersów 4d
57-210 Henryków
tel. 0048 074 810 51 36, 810 50 85, 810 50 89

      Sightseeing of the Abbey: May, June, and September: on Saturdays 12.00 a.m. and 2 p.m., on Sundays: 11 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m. July and August: everyday at 11 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m. There is a possibility of visiting the Abbey of Henryków after previous applying for it. Sightseeing is with a guide.

          The Church of the Assumption and John the Baptist is a Minor Basilica. It was built successively from 1241. Its present decoration is from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. It has gothic equipment, for example, a tombstone of Prince Bolko and his wife Jutta from the half of the 14th century-one of the oldest double tombstones. High altar made by Georg Schroetter from 1681-1684 is with a painting by Michael Willmann (1770) "Boże Narodzenie". In tabernacle there is a tree-shaped monstrance from 1671 made of silver, gold and precious stones. Two side altars are from 1687-1700; next two were made at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. The authors are not known but the paintings placed in them are by M.Willmann, J.Ch. Liski and J. Kretschmer. Stalls are separated from the rest of the church by a grill from 1685 which is an example of great woodcarving work.
      Henryków's organs from the half of the 17th century were made by master from Świdnica, and are the oldest in Silesia. Inside there are five chapels: Holy Cross Chapel, Holy Tomb Chapel (from about 1310), Holy Trinity Chapel (covered with a polychromy and painting showing scene from the Old and New Testament; in the altar there is a painting of the Holy Trinity from 1700), St. Joseph's Chapel (with paintings showing his life), St. Mary Magdalene Chapel (wall painting show a series of scenes from her life; gothic tombstone of Prince Bolko and his wife)
      Interior is decorated with paintings of K. Liska and M.L. Willmann and its baroque interior is complemented by a pulpit richly decorated by sculptures, as well as, wooden confessionals and benches.

Parafia p.w.Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny
pl. Cystersów 1
57-210 Henryków
tel: 0048 74 810-50-69

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