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Honourable patronage:

Bogdan Zdrojewski
Minister Kultury
i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Międzynarodowa Rada
Ochrony Zabytków

Fot.Paweł Stauffer
DISTRICT: Strzelce Opolskie
COMMUNE: Jemielnica
DIOCESE: opolska
DECANATE: Strzelce Opolskie
FOUNDATION: przed 1289 r.

History of the abbey

The cloister was initially founded probably next to the already existing church of St Jakob before 1285 (now the parish church of All Saints), and at the beginning of the 14th century it was moved to the present place but in the same village.
The foundation of the Cistercians in Jemielnica was definitely before 1289. The founders of the abbey were Opole's Prince Bolko, who in 1307 built makeshift wooden rooms for the monks and his son, Albert, who founded the brick stone temple and cloister.
What was connected with this Cistercian foundation was the process of colonization, as in the 14th century the abbey and the surrounding villages were near void and isolated places on the left bank of the Mała Panew River.
In within the history the cloister's endowment was relatively small, as Jemielnica was the poorest of the Silesian abbey. There are no traces of them founding any villages.
Under the influence of the Cistercian economy the milling industry in Jemielnica flourished (8 mills in the 17th century). They grew cereals (in 18th century mainly millet) hops, grape vine, and raised sheep and some cows. Fishing and beekeeping industry were well developed, too. Beer they produced was sold in numerous taverns in the cloister's properties. In the 14th century they were probably in the possession of forges.
Despite its poverty the abbey in Jemielnica played a vital role in the history of the Upper Silesia. It can not be excluded that the cloistral church became the burial place for Prince of Strzelce, Albert and his family.
They also built a library next to the cloister. The book collection that has been preserved until these days is meager. However, there are 5 medieval manuscripts among that what is left. In the 12th century many of the monks had a degree. Apart from that, 2 magnificent composers of the baroque music, abbot Jan Nucius and prior Ludwik Bergel, are associated with the cloister in Jemielnica.
The Cistercians had a school in a brick stone building next to the church of All Saints which was certified in 1687. In the middle of the 18th century they founded Latin gymnasium.
In the 17th century they did the housework by the day not only in Jemielnica but also in churches that were not related to the cloister: Centawo, Toszek, Sławięcice and Staniszcze. Before 1636 a shelter for the poor was established in Jemielnica and it was maintained by the abbot's money.
In 1675 the Abbot Kasper Bartłomiej established the brotherhood of St. Joseph at the cloistral church which gathered people who prayed for a good death. In the first one hundred years its members were 42,034 people, mainly bourgeois from the Upper Silesia, monks from all the Cistercian cloisters in the Silesia, and cloisters of other observances.
The cloister was suppressed in 1810. Through all the years of its existence it kept in touch with Poland. In 1638 monks housed dignitary of the King Władysław IV, and during the Swedish Deluge they sheltered many of the refugees from the Polish cloisters.

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The Abbey today

Today of the abbey


Only three wings of the cloistral building have survived until these days. They are quite simple, moreover western and southern wings are storied. In 1833-1834, after the suppression, eastern wing was pulled down; only the gallery with a vestry and medieval stone walls remained. In 1860 and at the beginning of the 20th century the building was modernized.
West of the cloistral building there are farm buildings built during the reign of Abbot E. Staniczek at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. The building includes residential building joined with a granary and a former mill.
In the cloistral garden there is the eighteenth-century chapel in a shape of a square lantern. The church and cloister are enclosed by a wall with gates from the beginning of the 18th century.


Now it is a Roman-Catholic parish of Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Jacob. It has a rich regency and rococo interior: high altar situated in presbytery's apses was made in 1734 in Michael Kossler's workshop in Niemodlin. Twelve side altars are from about 1740. There are also stalls, pulpit from 1769, rococo organs from 1777, numerous sculptures and paintings. The vault in St. Joseph's Chapel is decorated with a baroque polychromy from 1756 made by Wolf which shows St. Joseph the Intercessor. Chapel's high altar was made in about 1740. There is a painting of the Holy Family from the 2nd half of the 17th century painted by Michał Willmann.

Parafia NMP i św.Jakuba
ul.Wiejska 63
47-133 Jemielnica


Cemetery All Saints' Church - Until 1810 it was a parish church. Fragments of polychromy from the 3rd quarter of the 15th century have been preserved in presbytery. High altar comes from 1738 and the painting "All Saints" placed in it is from 1749. Two side altars are from 1668. In presbytery there are also stalls from about the 17th century and richly decorated pulpit from the 2nd half of the 17th century. Its interior is complemented by a large wooden choir from the 17th century; a residents' bench and two other niches from 1667; three wall cabinets from the 17th and 18th century (presbytery) and late-renaissances confessional from the 17th century.

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