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Honourable patronage:

Bogdan Zdrojewski
Minister Kultury
i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Międzynarodowa Rada
Ochrony Zabytków
VOIVODESHIP: kujawsko-pomorskie
DISTRICT: Bydgoszcz
COMMUNE: Koronowo
DIOCESE: pelplińska
DECANATE: koronowski
FOUNDATION: 1250 - po1256 r. (po 1288 do Koronowa)

History of the abbey

The first document for the abbey of Byszewo was written by the Kuyavian Prince Kazimierz on 25th July 1250. Kazimierz wanted to strengthen Bydgoszcz and Wyszogród's castellanies, newly conquered in the war with Prince Świętopełek, and to economically strengthen destroyed by the wars region. Additionally, the stability of the trade route to Bydgoszcz was of great importance for the region
In 1253 the matter of creation of the abbey in Byszewo was the topic of the session of the General Cistercian Capitulary. Next year, the foundation of Byszewo was again discussed at the Capitulary's session. The cloister in Sulejów was chosen as Byszewo's parent cloister.
The first monks came to Byszewo in 1256. The downturn in the development was due to the political situation on the Kuyavian-Pomeranian frontier and the resignation of the Prince Świętopełek from the claims he had had for the disputable land of Wyszogród and Bydgoszcz. In this situation Prince Kazimierz was definitely less interested in supporting the foundation in Byszewo.
The year of 1285 was crucial in the cloister's history. It was the time of a far-flung reformation of the cloisters, in Sulejów and Byszewo among many others. Lubiąż was at that time the parent cloister for Byszewo.
The following years elapsed on cleaning and reorganizing cloistral properties. The favourable political situation was quite helpful in doing so. In 1286 the Cistercians of Byszewo received a number of privileges which confirmed the original endowment of the cloister, as well as numerous immunities. The main place of cloister's residence was moved from Byszewo to Smeysche village (now Koronowo) which was exchanged in 1288 with the Kuyavian Bishop Wiesław for Bóbrcz, Perkowo and tithes from these and other villages.
In 1368 the cloister gained the right to locate towns on the grounds of Smeysche village. The Abbot of Byszewo, Jan, gave the foundation privilege in 1370. Some time later this place gained the new name of Koronowo. Finally, the Cistercians of Byszewo assembled their properties in two main complexes.
In the 1st half of the 15th century the cloister suffered from invasions and warfare for a few times. In 1410 they were made to leave their residence. In 1414 Koronowo was destroyed. The Hussite invasion was destructive in 1433. The cloister was plundered. The monks left their domicile for which they were excommunicated until 1440 when The General Capitulary stopped it.
More auspicious period was after the Thirteen Years War. In 1471 King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk confirmed the privilege of Władysław Łokietek from 1325 (fake) which confirmed places listed there as well as Kazimierz Wielki's privilege from 1353. Their subjects were freed from any services.
In the 16th century there were important organization changes in the convent of Koronowo. A significant change involved assigning the part of income from the cloister's properties for the convent in 1558 by the Abbot Adam Mirkowski.
The cloister was harried during the Swedish Deluge and the Great Northern War.
Due to the First Partition of Poland in 1771 the cloister in Koronowo was under the Prussian rule. As a result of the policy of the Prussian authorities in 1819 the cloister in Byszewo was suppressed.

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The Abbey today

Today of the abbey


There is only one post-Cistercian object in Byszewo. Now it is a Roman-Catholic parish of the Holy Trinity. It is a very famous Sanctuary of Our Lady of Byszewo Temple's interior is covered with a modernist-historical polychromy from 1920 made by Leon Drapiewski. Its equipment is homogenous-rococo from the third quarter of the 18th century. Other things are worth noting: wooden high altar with white polychromy, two wooden rococo and also white side altars. Wall altars from the side chapels, pulpit and marbled baptismal chalice; organ prospectus situated above the choir characterized by rich, golden, openwork decoration. There are also two wooden, rococo confessionals; two wooden, baroque benches from about half of the 18th century, two wooden feretories with sculptures of the Holy Trinity and Mary's Immaculate Conception; numerous paintings, for example, portraits of the first Cistercian abbots Mikołaj (1253-1266), Gerard (1286-1287) and Engelbert (1288-1289, during his reign the convent was moved from Byszewo to Koronowo), as well as, on the organ gallery there are two historical representations with inscriptions from the 3rd quarter of the 18th century that are connected with the foundation of Byszewo cloister. As far as sculptural monuments are concerned there is a set of gothic Crucifixion with a crucifix from 16th-17th centuries. Apart from that there is a set of 4 coffin baroque portraits on a sheet and parallel 15 coats of arms from the third quarter of the 17th century; on the walls there is a lot of epitaphs mainly from the 3rd quarter of the 18th century. As well as there are products of goldsmithery and liturgical vestments (mainly rococo from the 2nd half of the 18th century). Due west there is a bell tower with an arterial gate probably built about half of the 17th century.

Sanktuarium NMP Królowej Krajny
Parafia Świętej Trójcy
Byszewo, 86-017 Wierzchucin Królewski
tel. 0048 52 382 32 95



Since 1819 there has been a prison in the cloister's buildings. In connection with it the building has been partially changed and adapted to the new function. Later, the same happened to Krzeszów's abbatial palace.


The post-Cistercian church in Koronowo has been a Roman-Catholic parish church of Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Apostle since 1833.
In the northern nave of the presbytery there are two gothic, ceramic vault cantilevers, and in the southern nave there is a pyramidal vault from the beginning of the 14th century. The outside arm of the transept is covered with a fourteenth-century frieze. Church's vaults are covered with a rich stucco decoration.
The interior and equipment is baroque and rococo from the 2nd half of the 17th and 18th century: High altar built in 1738 (structure made by a local Cistercian monk Alanus Chilicki, there are also two paintings by Bartłomiej Strobel); wooden baroque and rococo side altars with sculptural polychromies and oil canvas paintings; baroque Baptismal font from the 2nd half of the 17th century; pulpit from the end of 17th century; Rococo choir from the 3rd quarter of the 18th century.
There are also stalls from the end of the 17th century, 4 wooden late-baroque confessionals from the 2nd quarter of the 18th century; paintings by Franciszek Remek from 1758-a series of 10 showing the life of the Cistercians; wooden polychromed sculptures in the chapels. Apart from that in the church there are abbots' portraits and epitaphs. In the temple there are a lot of goldsmith's products mainly from the non-existing Koronowo churches as well as liturgical vestments.
After the suppression the library got dispersed, however, a handwritten codex survived. It was probably of German background and was written in the half of the 13th century; now it is in Berlin. From the former cloister of Byszewo-Koronowo there is also a Bible from the 2nd half of the 13th century which is now in Kórnik's PAN Library.

Parafia Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny Kolegiata
ul. Bydgoska 23
86-010 Koronowo
Tel. 0048 52 382 25 01,
Fax: 0048 52 382 25 01

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