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The Church under the invocation of St. John Baptist

The church construction began in 1888 at the initiative of the Catholic commune. The church, based on the projection of the Latin cross, was designed by architect Engelbrecht Seibertz from Berlin. The cornerstone was laid on 28 August 1888. The church was built according to the Neo-Gothic style. It comprises a three-aisle hall structure, supported by richly-profiled pillars. The official consecration was performed on 29 September 1890 by Georg Kopp, the Wroclaw Bishop. During the last War it served as the meeting venue for activists of the German opposition to Hitler. On 4 October 1942 the Gestapo arrested three priests staying there, i.e. Karl Lampert PhD, Herbert Simoleit and Friedrich Lorenzo, suspected of cooperating with anti-fascists of various nationalities. After two years of tortures, they were beheaded on 13 October 1944 in the jail in Halle. They are commemorated in the remembrance plate laid in the left wing of the transept.
The roof, the spire steeple and the bell-tower were burnt down following the Allied bombings.
The first Catholic service in Szczecin was performed in the John the Baptist Church on 6 May 1945 by rev. Florian Berlik. In the post-War period the spire steeple and the ave-bell were restored. Over the portals there are ceramic medallions with the image of Christ. Besides the eastern portal there are medallions with the images of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Next to the spire there is a monument to Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and the figure of Virgin Mary. On the ceiling of the church-porch there is a Neo-Gothic polychrome with the figures of four evangelists.
A plate with the surnames of 111 parishioners killed during the First World War, including 58 parishioners with Polish surnames, was laid in the western wall of the side-aisle. In the presbytery there is an altar to the Mother of God, the Queen of Poland, made in 1960-1961 by Anna and Leonard Torwirt from Torun. In the central section there stands the Mother of God with Baby Jesus, accompanied by St John the Baptist and St Jacob. The triptych wings show St Adalbert, the missionary of Poland, and St Otto, the missionary of Pomerania. On the outer sides there are the Sorrowful Mother and St John Evangelist, standing under the cross. At the top of the main altar there stands a Baroque cross.
On both sides of the presbytery there are Neo-Gothic side-altars – with the painting of St Joseph with Baby Jesus on the left and with the copy of the painting of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, made by Anna and Leonard Torwirt at the beginning of the 1960s, on the right. The consoles comprise Neo-Gothic sculptures of the Mother of God with Baby Jesus, St Otto of Bramberg and St Alfons Liguori.
In the side-chapel of the left transept there is an altar with Pieta. The eastern wall of the aisle comprises a plate from 1957 commemorating the participants of the Warsaw Uprising.
The Neo-Gothic pulpit and the choir loft supported by two bay pillars and four columns are also worth noting.

 

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