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Honourable patronage:

Bogdan Zdrojewski
Minister Kultury
i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Międzynarodowa Rada
Ochrony Zabytków

Fot. Piotr Namiota
VOIVODESHIP: wielkopolskie
DISTRICT: poznański
COMMUNE: Czerwonak
DIOCESE: poznańska
DECANATE: czerwonacki
FOUNDATION: 1242(?)-1252 r.

History of the abbey
      The cloister in Owińska near Poznań was founded in 1250 by the Prince of Poznań, Przemysław I and his brother, Bolesław Pobożny. It is assumed that the foundation act could be written out at the turn of 1241/1242 as then the General Capitulary was considering the foundation and consented to Przemysław I's request to assign a Cistercian to the abbey.
      Cloister's endowment consisted of Otwińska and four villages. The cloister was situated next to the trade route from Poznań to north, it gained the right to gather duties and the right to fish on Warta River, it could locate villages on the German Law and what relates to it, and it had judiciary and economic immunities.
      The building of the church and other cloistral buildings lasted 7 years as they used bricks to build it.
      The convent consisted of 12 nuns from Trzebnica and an abbess. It took over the foundation in October 1249 and started to live according to St. Bernadine's rules and Cistercian statutes but officially it did not belong to the Cistercian Order at that time. The first abbess was St. Jadwiga.
      The medieval history of the convent is not known due to the lack of sources. The Cistercians lived in the cloister and served it and the parish. They could choose a parish priest in Chludowo and also took care of that church.
      From the documents that survived it may be assumed that in the 16th century the convent had some problems with obeying monastic observance and in 1580 it joined the Polish Cistercian Congregation. In the following years the level of spirituality increased which is shown by meditations, and rich, embroidered liturgical vestments. There was also an economic school for girls from the nobility and middle class.
      As a result of anti-polish and anti-ecclesiastical activities of the Prussian government the Cistercian abbey in Otwińska was liquidated. Cloistral goods were taken from the Cistercian nuns and in 1797 handed over to Zygmunt Otton von Treskow. The ultimate suppression of the convent was in 1835.
      In the abandoned cloistral buildings, after the rebuilding, in January 1838 the first in Great Poland Psychiatric Hospital was opened.
      After the war there was an educational institution. From 1952 there is a school- educational centre for the blind children.    

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The Abbey today

Today of the abbey
          Since 1946 there has been a School-Educational Centre for the Blind Children 'Synowie Pułku'. In the centre there are: Primary School, Middle School, Vocational School, Comprehensive School, and dormitory.
      Now the building has two storeys. On the walls there is a plaque commemorating the events of 1939. Since 1838 there has been a mental asylum. In autumn 1939 the Nazi took its patients (about 1030 people) away and killed.

Ośrodek Szkolno-Wychowawczy dla Dzieci Niewidomych
Plac Przemysława 9
62-005 Owińska
tel. 0048 61 812 04 86
          The present appearance of St. John the Baptist's Parish Church is from the 1700-1731 (the date of the consecration of the new church). It was then, when Jan Catenazzi, and later Popeo Ferrari rebuilt the church and the cloister. Adam Swach and Walenty Żebrowski decorated the interior with beautiful paintings in 1728-1731.
      Other objects that are worth mentioning are: high altar made of wood, decorated with a scene of the Assumption; four paintings of the big octagonal dome: Cistercians Nuns adoring God's Providence, between them the image of church and cloister from 1727 and three Biblical scenes: the multiplication of bread, Daniel in the den of lions, three youths in the fiery furnace; a beautiful painting above the choir: Our Lady covering Cistercian nuns and monks with her coat; there is also a Latin inscription ( on the left there is an autoportrait of the author- Adam Swach and a date of 1730)
      The interior is complemented by: a crucifix from the 2nd half of the 18th century (under the choir); baroque confessionals- two from the 1st half of the 18th century and two from the 2nd half; lantern (above the vault) with the image of the Holy Trinity; rich stucco decoration of choir's balustrade; stalls from the 2nd half of the 18th century under the inner galleries; embroidered frontal from the 2nd half of the 18th century with the scene from the Apocalypse of John; pulpit-stucco, marbleized, crowned with a canopy; stucco altars of the Holy Family (with a painting by Szymon Czechowicz from 1754-56) and the altar of the Holy Cross.

Parafia św. Jana Chrzciciela.
pl. Przemysława 12
62-005 Owińska
tel. 0048 61 812 65 02

          St. Nicolas Church from the 15th/16th century. It was slightly rebuilt at the turn of the 17th and 18th century. Since 1835 the church has not been functioning as a parish church. Now it is called a cemetery church because next to it there is the oldest parish cemetery in Owińska. Since 1939 it has not been used. Conservation works are taking place there. In the nave there are three original beams decorated with moldings and painted rosaces.

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