An abandoned 16th-century church has gone up for sale in Poland, with estate agents suggesting to potential buyers that the property is “ideal for use as a banquet, wedding or conference hall”.
The former Roman Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel (pictured above) is located in Okrzeszyn, a village of 200 people sitting alongside the border with the Czech Republic in the Lower Silesia region of southwest Poland. The church itself is just 30 metres from the border.
It was built between 1580 and 1585 on the site of a previous church, with further additions to the building in 1736, reports local newspaper Gazeta Wrocławska.
However, by 1690 it had already stopped functioning as a parish church and later was used as a funeral chapel for the nearby cemetery. The last service took place there in 1945, since when it had stood abandoned and passed into private hands.
The current owner is looking to sell the building for 800,000 zloty (€183,000), though the listing with online estate agency Otodom notes that the price is negotiable. That is equivalent to the cost of a small apartment in Warsaw, notes the Rzeczpospolita daily.
The church itself has a floor space of 242 square metres (2,605 square feet) while its surrounding plot is 2,650 square metres.
The building “will ideally serve as a banquet, wedding or conference hall”, says the listing, which adds that its “excellent acoustics” mean that “it can become a unique facility where music events can also be organised”.
The fate of the church mirrors that of Okrzeszyn itself, which was once a thriving settlement with a Catholic monastery and, in the 19th century, a coal mine.
However, it fell into decline after the Second World War, when the border crossing was closed. The communist authorities later tried to establish a uranium mine in the village but that project was abandoned after failing to yield results.
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Image credits: Otodom
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign Policy, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.