Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine

Poland and Ukraine have great wooden churches. This site consists of 8 churches in each country

St. James the Less Tserkva in Powroznik
This postcard was sent by Ania

St. James Church is a Gothicwooden church located in the village of Powroźnik, southern Poland. It dates from the seventeenth or eighteenth-century.
The tserkva in Powroźnik has existed since around 1600, but only a part of the former structure remains, arranged into the sacristy of the present tserkva. The architecture of the present tserkva was constructed between the seventeenth and eighteenth-century, with a major reconstruction in 1813. The tserkva was moved from its former location due to the danger posed by flooding, after which it was expanded. After Operation Vistula the tserkva was transformed to a Roman Catholic church. - in: wikipedia

St. Paraskevi Tserkva in Radruz
This postcard was sent by Gosia

St. Paraskevi Church in Radruż - a Gothicwooden church located in the village of Radruż from the sixteenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine.
The tserkva is located on an oval hill, by the Radrużka stream, and together with the bell tower is surrounded by a wall (existent from 1825), with a fortification structure. The tserkva's structure is constructed out of a fir and oak framework. The tserkva was most likely funded by poseł to Sejm, and starosta Jan Płaza (died 1599). While being used for sacramental services, the tserkva was also used as a fortress against the invasions by the Tatars. - in: wikipedia

St Michael the Archangel Tserkva in Smolnik
This postcard was sent by Grzegon 

The first reference to the existence of an Eastern Orthodox Church tserkva in Smolnik comes from a register in 1589 of the Sanok Land. It is presumed that the wooden tserkva was built at the start of the village, in 1530. The tserkva was most likely destroyed by fire or flooding. The second Eastern Orthodox Church tserkva in the village was raised in 1602 (...). The tserkva burnt down in October 1672, most likely due to Tatar invasions. After 1672, another tserkva was raised in a different location to increase its defence from invasions. Since 1697, the Uniate treaty was enforced into the Smolnik parish. The fourth tserkva to be built in the village was completed in August 1, 1791. (...) The roof wood shingle was replaced with tin and the iconostasis renovated. The tserkva's affiliation was to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church until 1951 (when as part of the 1951 Polish–Soviet territorial exchangeSmolnik was returned to Poland and the populous of the area moved to the Soviet Union. Parts of the tserkva's interior was moved to Łańcut. In 1974, the tserkva was transferred to the Roman Catholic parish. The tserkva had undergone a major renovation between 2004 and 2005. - in: wikipedia

Tserkva of the Descent of the Holy Spirit 
This postcard was sent by Kseniya

Wooden Church of Descent of Holy Spirit was built in 1502 at the expense of potters in place of older wooden church of St. Boris and Gleb burnt by Tatars. In XVII century was created new two tier iconostasis. In 1620-1640 the interior was painted and in 1683 painter Ivan Rutkovych painted icon "Deesis".
In 1718 Wooden Church of Descent of Holy Spirit was restored by master Casimir Dominikovych. The next restoration carried out by the same master took place in 1736 and 1753. So was replaced foundations and floors above the altar, repaired shelter as well as western and southern doors.
The next restoration took place in 1831 then in 1903 and 1923 when all shingle roofs replaced with tin. In 1970-1972 restored to its original appearance by design of architect Bogdan Kindzelskyi and Ivan Mohytych. At the same time restorers Peter Voitko, Nicolay Slipchenko, Ruslan Yusym restored unique murals of XVII century. - in: https://ukraine-kiev-tour.com/potelych-sights-wooden-church-descent-holy-spirit.html

Tserkva of Saint George
This postcard with a huge stamp was sent by Olesya

The first mention of Wooden Church of Saint George originating in 1496. During Tatar attack in 1499 it burned down. According to some documents was rebuilt in 1525. During another attack of Tatars in 1624 burned again. In 1657 from Nadiyiv, Dolyna region was carried the old church and on base of existing materials set current one.
In 1678 Wooden Church of Saint George was rebuilt and it got three domes. Repaired in 1823, 1833 and the end of XIX century.
In the church survived iconostasis of 1659-1666 created by Stephen Medytskyi. The murals of the nave is made in last quarter of XVII century. Choirs painted on expense of Gregory Proskurskyi in 1691.
Chapel painted in 1711-1714 and babynets - in XVIII century.
In 1961 the church was closed and in 1974-1975 carried out the restoration of Wooden Church of Saint George by architects Ivan Mohytych and Bogdan Kindzelskyi, painters Peter Linynskyi, Yaroslav Movchan, Natasha Slipchenko and Galya Druziuk and same time established the church as a museum.
To the north-east of the church is a wooden bell tower of 1670. - in: https://ukraine-kiev-tour.com/drohobych-sights-wooden-church-saint-george.html

Tserkva of the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael
This postcard was sent by Natalia

Wooden Church of Synaxis of Archangel Michael (1745)is one of the most interesting wooden churches of Boyko style. It is so perfectly placed on the slope so seems grown on its place.
Dominating central dome, small dome over altar and small rectangular tower over babynetz completes harmonious composition of Wooden Church of Synaxis of Archangel Michael.
Wooden Church of Synaxis of Archangel Michael was built by master Pavel Toniv of neighboring Bitlya village and master Ivan Tsyhanyn of Tikhiy village. Building works was finished June 11, 1745. It is said that the original church was built high on a mountainside but old people were hard walk up there and the church moved down the hill almost to the road. In the bishop's visitation in 1751 speaks of a new church in Uzhok that has two bells.
The interior of Wooden Church of Synaxis of Archangel Michael captures the contrast between dark low babynetz and open bright space of the central dome. - in: https://ukraine-kiev-tour.com/uzhok-wooden-church-synaxis-archangel-michael.html

The 16 Tserkvas: (in red the ones I already have):

  • Tserkva of St. Michael the Archangel, Brunary, Lesser Poland
  • Tserkva of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Chotyniec
  • Tserkva of St. Paraskevia, Kwiatoń
  • Virgin Mary's Care Tserkva, Owczary
  • St. James the Less Tserkva, Powroźnik
  • Tserkva of St. Paraskevia, Radruż
  • St. Michael the Archangel Tserkva, Smolnik
  • St. Michael the Archangel Tserkva, Turzańsk, Sanok County


  • Descent of the Holy Spirit Church, Potelych, Zhovkva Raion
  • Holy Trinity Church, Zhovkva
  • St. George's Church, Drohobych
  • St. Dmytro's Church, Matkiv
  • Descent of the Holy Spirit Church, Rohatyn
  • The Church of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary, Nyzhniy Verbizh, Zakarpattia
  • St. Archangel Michael Church, Uzhok
  • Ascension of Our Lord Church, Yasinia, Yasinia, Zakarpattia

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