Polish navy garrison Church of Our Lady of Częstochowa (Kościół pw. Matki Boskiej Częstochowskiej) is located in the Oksywie district in 9 Żeglarzy Street. It is one of the witnesses to the rebirth of the Navy of the Second Republic of Poland and the construction of the naval port. The facility was designed by the architect Prof. Marian Lalewicz. It was possible to build the church thanks to the seamen’s and their families’ private funds. Its construction was started by Blessed Rev. Lieutenant Commander Władysław Miegoń –– the garrison’s chaplain and seamen’s priest; the process lasted from 1935 to 1939 and it was consecrated on 1st July 1939.The first and the last holy mass was celebrated by Rev. Miegoń several days before the war broke out, on 15th August 1939 – the Armed Forces Day. After the World War II began, the church served as a warehouse for the Navy Shipyard for 40 years. Its original, sacred function was restored after 1980, when the church as dedicated to Our Lady of Częstochowa.
The building is a fantastic example of church architecture in the modernist spirit of the 30s of the 20th c. According to the architect’s plan, it was given the layout of a three-bay basilica with a flat, reinforced concrete roof. The building had a frame construction. Innovative architectural and artistic solutions were applied both on the inside and outside of the church. Their form was a clear reference to the seaside character of Gdynia. Concrete was the main construction material. The inner walls had ceramic brick facings. The main entrance to the temple is located on the south side, in the Inżyniera Jana Śmidowicza Street. The body of the building consists of the central nave and side aisles of half its width, a chancel and an adjacent chapel or sacristy on the west side. The simple yet monumental façade was divided into three parts (the central nave and side aisles of half its width). Three entrances were placed in the central part and there were three rows of vertical windows above them. In 2000, the façade, whose only original distinctive feature was the texture of the concrete, received pewter decorations on the front slabs of the side aisles with an anchor against sea and a plaited ornament. A sundial was placed on the right with an inscription “A.D. 2000”. The side aisles have eleven vertical windows with colourful stained glass. This creates the impression that the church has more windows than walls, just like in the Paris Sainte-Chapelle (the chapel is the best example of Rayonnant Gothic architecture).
The interior exudes white and colourful stained glass. The number and size of the vertical windows and the high ceiling make it seem spacious. The chancel with references to the port – a safe place – with the symbolic image of a ship and a cross instead of a mast attracts attention. There is the inscription “Domina Mari” (Lady of the Sea), which was supposed to be the church’s name. The granite altar is placed on three anchors and there are ship lamps on the sides of the central nave.
The church was restored in 2009-2011 and it was entered into the register of monuments on 21st March 2019.