This publication depicts a precious collection of wooden Greek-Catholic and Orthodox temples that were saved in north-east Slovakia, in regions of Ruthenian-Ukrainian settlement. Originally the sacral buildings were called "tserkva" - till now this name is the most widely spread, and because of its origin in a Russian word it also accords with its appurtenance to the eastern liturgy.
The wooden churches - "tserkvas" in East Slovakia's Carpathian region appeared very often. It was caused especially by historical, cultural, social and natural living conditions of the resident population.
Historical and cultural development of the Sub-Carpathian region is tightly connected with the process of settling, the ethnic structure of the population and their religion. Hardly any of the explorers of the wooden sacral architecture in the East Slovakian region contests the fact that the buildings were built as expressions of culture of East Slavs or East Christians. It is also confirmed by studies of prestigious Slovak, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian and other specialists that in frame of typological determination or other circumstances they term the wooden temples (tserkvas, small churches) as Eastern (of the eastern ritual), East Byzantine, Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Carpathian-Russian, "Lemkos", Ruthenian, Ruthenian-Ukrainian, Ukrainian etc. The seeming lack of uniformity of the typological determination is influenced also by a lack of unanimity in giving a name to the settlement of the very suffering region - Rusyns, Russniaks, Ruthenians, Carpathian Rusyns, Carpatho-Russians, Ugric Rusyns, Ugric Russians, Small-Russians, Rusyns-Ukrainians, Ukrainians. This variety of historical names of the same ethnic group of population with a common history, culture and language or dialect was, and, alas, is an object of various speculations about the national appurtenance and the character of culture of the settlement.
However, our history gives evidence that as early as in 6th-7th centuries East Slavs penetrated the Carpathian region moving from Dniester, Prut and Black sea area especially under the pressure of raids of wild nomadic tribes. The question of intensity and territorial expansion of the East-Slav influence on the territory of present East Slovakia during earlier historical epochs is still or even now, nevertheless it is incontestable that the territory of the present West-Ukrainian ethnic was settled by people of south-west group of East Slavs.
Since 5th century they have been called Veneds, Anti and Sclavs, later they were termed as Russians (Rosi), Rusyns, Russian people. Since the first half of 9th century the term "rusky" (Ruthenian) - "ruska vira" (Ruthenian Church), "ruska tserkva" (Ruthenian church) have become widely spread.
In the 10th century dispersed East Slav tribes associated the uniform state formation - Kievan Rus'. The existence of the new state resulted in forming of an East Slav ethnic group from which three independent nations were formed - Moscovian (Russian), Ukrainian (Little-Russian) and Belorussian.
Although the question of the western border of Kievan Rus' cannot be answered unambiguously, remarkable vestiges of East Slav culture unquestionably persist in being an important value and an inseparable part of Slovak culture. Explorations of archeology and written historical sources give evidence that once all present Ukrainian (Russian, Little-Russian, Ruthenian) ethnic regions were under strong cultural influence of Near-East nations; and the contacts with the East were multiplied after Kievan Rus' had come into being. War raids, diplomatic relations and especially business connections of Ukraine and Byzantium made up favorable conditions for an expansion of Christianity among our predecessors.
Variances and grudges among followers of Christianity and devotees of old folk customs became more keen which led to the fact that Vladimir the Great (Vladimir Vel'ky, 980 - 1015) knowing the importance of a strong church organization in order to strengthen the state took resolutely the side of Christianity. In 988 he and his family were baptized which made up conditions for evangelization of the whole empire.
"Tserkvas" became places of services as well as important centers of cultural, social and economic life. Around them public gatherings were organized to solve topical problems, markets and fairs were arranged, schools and hospitals were established. At some parish churches monasteries came into being. On a culture mission, they educated priests, and they were very important in spiritual and social life of the population. Thanks to Christianity, in our region literature, painting and monumental architecture were also uncommonly developed.
The missionary activities of two brothers of Solonika - St. Cyril and Methodius had the essential influence on the domestication and expansion of the Christian faith in the North-East Slovakian region. They operated in the territory in 862 - 863 in the form of their missionary trip to Great Moravia.
After the branching of Christianity in 1054 our Ruthenian-Ukrainian predecessors in the Carpathians were living for a long time under the rule of ecumenical patriarchs of Constantinople. Till now confession is the main difference between Ruthenian-Ukrainians on one side and Slovak, Hungarian and Polish population of Roman-Catholic and Protestant denominations. At services East Slavs use sacral Slavonic language (no Latin), liturgy of Jan Zlatousty (John the Goldenmouth, 347 - 497), take bread and wine receiving the Eucharist, use the Julian old style calendar, which leads to feasting on Christ's birth (Rizdvo) on January 7th, it is two weeks later than it is stated in the Gregorian new style calendar.
After fission of Kievan Russia in the 2nd half of 12th century to independent dispersed principalities and then after the raid and the desolation of the territory by Tartars (1240) the North-West Carpathians including the North-East Slovakian territory were settled more intensively by East Slavs, it means by Orthodox Christians.
However, the policy of the Hungarian Kingdom, similarly as the Polish-Lithuanian state once led to the consequent adaptation of Orthodox Ruthenians to the established Roman-Catholic Church. In 1596 - 1646 (Brest-Lithuanian Union, Uzhgorod Union) resulted in formation of the so called Uniate Church, i.e., the East Christian Church was put under the control of Roman popes.
So since the middle of 17th century predecessors of East-Slovakian Ruthenian-Ukrainians have been divided into Orthodox ones and Uniates (Orthodox Catholics). In 1772 the Uniates were renamed Greek Catholics. In some countries (USA, Canada) the communion is denominated as Byzantine Catholics, Ukrainian Catholics etc.
Wooden temples have been saved till now in Bohemia, Slovakia, Poland and Belorussia, a great amount of them can be found in Russia, but the most of them are in Ukraine, especially in its western regions. Not taking a lot of region or local specialties into account the wooden sacral buildings can be divided into two large groups - eastern and western ones.
West Slavs building their temples were influenced especially by West-European patterns, that is why they reflect mostly secular historical art styles. So the wooden buildings were built in accordance with Gothic and later baroque masonry churches.
A typical ground plan of West-Slav wooden churches is with one nave, and consists of two log rooms. The first is rectangular and the most often second one (presbytery) is polygonal. A high tower with a beam frame construction is situated on the opposite side of the presbytery. Both of the log rooms as well as the tower and prospective small towers on the roof of the church are covered with a sheer Gothic roof.
A lot of experts in sacral art and religion have perceived that the eastern model of Christianity represented both by Catholics of eastern liturgy and Orthodox believers was not afflicted by complaints of our civilization so far as it became in West Christian world. Also the attitude of the believers was much more connected with nature and it was more sensitive to bitter impacts of men. The tserkvas are mostly in comparison to Latin churches more modest and cozy.
However, the modesty was in no case a result of limited material, technical and other prerequisites of our predecessors. People were pure but in this case the decisive reasons were the poise between possibilities and the actual need, the sense of harmony with background and also realization of Christian modesty in practice.
Most of the wooden tserkvas in East Slovakia date back to 17th and 18th centuries. The earlier epochs did not save us a lot of the monuments because of used material non-resisting to weather and other influences. A lot of precious creations of folk architecture were damaged especially during World Wars. On the Polish side after-war migration and especially evacuation of "Lemko" inhabited areas also contributed to the fact. Various assimilative processes have very unfavorably effected the region. They resulted in indifferent attitude to Old Slavonic and Old Ukrainian traditions, the ignorance of the beautiful cultural heritage. From village-planning point of view all the wooden churches in frame of the housing of independent villages have gotten a dominating position. They are situated especially on higher places sometimes even hard to access, away from other village buildings.
Only rarely the tserkvas were placed in the middle of the village (Trochany, Ulichske Krive). Near their area churchyards with simple wooden, sandstone and cast-iron crosses were placed. The whole area is put under a log or stone lance with a gate covered with a shingle roof. The architectonic complex in a lot of cases is added with a wooden belfry.
All wooden tserkvas in East Slovakia have got a log basic frame allowing a wide scale of ground plans and formal shapes of the buildings. That is why right-angle log buildings are sometimes replaced with polygonal shape ones. Log rims and other constructional parts were joined with no nails. Masters tried to make corner joints ("locks") resisting to weather and other influences.
On the outside walls of the log buildings were mostly left in their natural appearance. However, in some cases the whole building was protected with shingles or planking. Very rarely when the building was built of tow-quality timber the walls were plastered with earth and whitewashed (Kalna Roztoka). It was also in consequence with a tend to imitate more ostentatious town masonry buildings.
One of the specialties of East-Slovakian tserkvas is their three-part design symbolizing Trinity. The design is on the outside emphasized also by tree towers consequently prolonged in the western direction.
The middle log room (nave) is the biggest one, it has got square shape or hardly substantive rectangular from north to south. The altar part in the east and "babinets" (place designed for women - women part) are on their western side smaller and are of a slight rectangular shape. Location of each of three log rooms meets the requirements of symmetry.
The three-part three-tower design has always been the most characteristic and original specialty of the Ukrainian monumental architecture ever. These characteristics were also typical for masonry tserkvas from Kievan-Russia period.
Because of the disposing designs and their main principles the Ruthenian-Ukrainian or so called "Lemko" wooden temples in the Low Beskids region (Nizke Beskydy) are very similar to the "boiko" type of tserkvas, typical especially for the Carpathian region, along upper stream of the V. Rika, Opor, Stryla, San and Uh rivers, where their original almost intact forms were saved.
The "boiko" type of tserkvas in East Slovakia is typically represented by the wooden church in Nizhny Komarnik built in 1938 in accordance with a project of the famous Ukrainian architect and an expert in folk architecture V. Sichinski (V. Sichinsky). But the other wooden tserkvas in East Slovakia have got their highest tower over the western log room - the women part (babinets). However, the dominating part of the buildings is not joined with the log room construction what shows that the so called "Lemko" forms of the wooden churches are derived from the "boiko" type or they represent one uniform type.
The wooden tserkvas were principally covered with shingles. The roofing material was sometimes replaced by some others as we can see on the northern side of Carpathians which impoverishes and devaluates the monuments very much.
The Ruthenian-Ukrainian sacral buildings in the East-Slovakian region were typically filled out with exuberant decoration. There seem to have been even more exuberance than saved remains in the past. The decoration was applied also in ways of laying and profiling the shingles, planking and clamping. Carpenter and wood-carving geometric ornaments can be found on various architectonic details.
Metal is also applied in various decorative and additive functional components (crosses, window bars, window and door mountings). The interiors of the wooden tserkvas in Ruthenian-Ukrainian parts of East Slovakia are unique and really enchanting. Originally they were exuberantly decorated with wall and ceiling paintings based on topics from Gospels (Potoky, Kozhukhovce, Kozhany). Their traditions at East Slavs have their roots as far as in 11th century. The painters using simple expressional means informed people about the contents of Old and New Testaments.
The iconostasis is the most important and unavoidable part of the wooden tserkvas. It is an art and functional core of the sacral buildings and also an evidence of its East-Ukrainian origin. The iconostasis of Halich, Transcarpathian Ukraine and East Slovakia have got its conception very similar to Byzantine and Balkan sights of this kind. The iconostasis (from Greek eikon - picture, stasis - building) is a wooden wall dividing the altar from the other part of the temple.
The oldest sights of iconography in our region date back to 16th-17th centuries. That is why it is very problematic to find out the actual way of development of the iconostasis. As an architectonic unit it was formed as late as in 14th- 15th centuries. A specialty of the wooden-tserkvas iconostasis is the strict arrangement of icons, their stated number and composition of topics. The construction system is also predetermined by iconography needs, it means common for all buildings of the kind. At the end of 16th and at the beginning of 17th centuries the Ukrainian iconostasis reached the top of their development. In art synthesis it represents architecture, monumental painting and decorative wood-carving.
Some icons show some regional signature features or style badges influenced by places and periods of their rise. It is indisputable that local folk artists partly knew also western art, mainly under the impact of neighboring ethnics, especially Slovaks. That is why mainly above mentioned Gothic influence can be seen.
The wooden churches in Ruthenian-Ukrainian parts in East Slovakia represent a perfect symbiosis of Christianity and folk art, an excellent expression of the scorporeal reflection of human spirit. The monuments save in themselves the oldest features of folk sacral architecture ever and they are one of the oldest reflections of Ukrainian monumental architecture.
In the East Slovakian region as well as in "Boiko" part of Transcarpathian Ukraine and "Lemko" region of Poland the unified type of the wooden temples of eastern liturgy were formed as a result of historical, political, social and economical, cultural, natural and climatic conditions of living.
The wooden tserkvas of East Slovakia reflected basic cultural, moral and aesthetic postulates of their creators as well as the whole spirit of the concrete historical epoch. It is an interesting world of architectonic and artistic creation which was formed during several centuries and till are attracts us with its beauty. We are obliged to learn about, save and develop the wealth.
1. Bodruzhal. The Tserkva of St. Nicholas built in 1658 on the southern slope of the village. The three-part log building has got exuberantly articulated shingle roof with three towers prolonged in the western direction. The altar - similarly as in other Russian churches - faces east. The church area is put under a log fence with a shingle roof. The north side of the nave interior is interesting due to remains of wall paintings from the first half of 18th century. The iconostasis is from the end of 18th century.
2. The fragment of the roof. Wooden churches were on principle covered with shingles.
3. The part of the iconostasis illustrating some main feasts - "prazdniky" and Apostles. In the "prazdnik" row you can see the icon "Last Supper", "Christ the High-Priest" is located in the lower, so called Fathers' row.
4. Remains of the wall painting illustrating the Last Judgment and the Crucifixion.
5. Most of the wooden Russian churches still function.
6. The exuberantly decorated baroque candlestick from the end of 18th century.
7. Brezhany. The Tserkva of St. Luke built in 1727 and renovated in the 2nd half of 18th century. The three-part log building has got an atypical external design remarkably influenced by Gothic Roman-Catholic sacral architecture (compare with the church in Hervartov). The baroque iconostasis dates back to the end of 1733.
8. A typical window made by deep cuts in two neighboring beams of the building.
9. Dobroslava. The Tserkva of St. Paraskievia built in 1705. In 1932 the building was enlarged with two side chapels what caused a change of the original three-part ground plan to the five-part one. The baroque interior and the iconostasis are from 18th century.
10. The baroque iconostasis made in accordance with requirements of iconography.
11. Frichka. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael built in 18th century. The log building consists of three parts which is indicated in the exterior by a metal cross under the altar part, a small tower under the nave and a dominating tower under the women part. Apart of the iconostasis is from 1830, some of paintings from the end of 19th century. The Pokrova icon is from the end of 19th century. The altar dates back to 1716.
12. Such simple small windows were also characteristic for dwellings.
13. The middle part of the iconostasis.
14. Hervartov. The Roman-Catholic Church of St. Francis in the Slovak village of German origin (Heerwarte) built at the end of 15th or at the beginning of 16th century. It has got a two-part ground plan, a high tower and other features both in exterior and interior that distinguish it remarkably from Ruthenian-Ukrainian wooden Russian churches and give it the pure Gothic character. The bell tower was built later. The internal part is known for a precious altar. Besides the interior is noted for exuberant ornamentation and wall paintings.
15. The part of the interior of the church with precious wall paintings, in detail St. George with Dragon.
16. The part of the interior of the church with precious wall paintings, in detail St. George with Dragon.
17. Hrabova Roztoka. The Tserkva of Basil the Great built in the middle of 18th century. The three-part log building is covered with a hipped shingle roof with two small towers. The walls both inside and outside are planked. The interior is mostly baroque, it dates back to the 2nd half of 18th century. The iconostasis is from the end of 18th century. In the interior you can find an interesting case made in the Gothic style.
18. The internal arrangement of the temple's nave.
19. The part of the iconostasis.
20. Hranichne. The Tserkva of the Mother of God built in 1785, rebuilt in the 2nd half of 19th century. The church was used for needs of worshippers of Eastern as well as of Roman-Catholic liturgy. The log building (mainly the nave and the altar part) is covered with a shingle roof, the tower was built later. The internal decoration is heterogeneous. In addition to icons some fragments from a church of Stara Lubovna were moved here.
21. Hunkovce. The Tserkva of the Mother of God built at the end of 18th century. The partition in three parts is pointed up by the three towers consequently - from east to west - prolonged. An iconostasis or another interior decoration is absent. The church does not function.
22. The icon St. George and the Dragon from 17th century were placed in collections of Saris Museum in Bardejov.
23. The design with three-towers is the most characteristic and original feature of Ruthenian-Ukrainian wooden Russian churches.
24. Inovce. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael built in 1836. The three-part log building is covered with a hipped shingle roof with two small towers. The iconostasis is from the middle of 19th century. The Pieta icon with signature "Mankovich Michal, 1842" is very interesting.
25. A polygonal shape of eastern parts of log buildings is the characteristic feature of churches - tserkvas in Ruthenian-Ukrainian regions in East Slovakia.
26. The design of wooden churches is based on the log construction.
27. Jedlinka. The Tserkva of the Mother of God built at 1763. It is a typical so called "Lemko" version of Ruthenian-Ukrainian three-part and three-tower wooden churches. The log building is outside protected by planking. The interior decoration dates back to the 2nd half of 18th century. Some icons (St. Michael, Christ the Pantokrator) are from 17th century. The interior is filled out with precious baroque candlesticks, a cup from the first half of 18th century and liturgical books from 17th century printed in Cyrillic alphabet in Lviv and other Ukrainian towns.
28. The most important and unavoidable part of the Russian churches is an iconostasis. It is the art and function core of the temples.
29. The part of the wooden procession cross, the end of 17th century.
30. The typical pyramidal three-tower complex with cupolas and wrought crosses.
31. Kalna Roztoka. The Tserkva of Basil the Great, built at the end of 18th century, rebuilt in 1839. The three-part log building with a polygonal altar part. On the outside it is laid with earth and then whitewashed which raises an impression of a masonry building. The tower rises from the hipped shingle roof over the women's part; the miniature cupola tower with a cross is located over the altar part. The iconostasis is from 18th century. The Christ icon is dated to 1773. The bell tower situated in front of the church was built in 20th century.
32. The nave of the temple with the iconostasis.
33. The Hodegertria the Mother of God icon from 18th century.
34. Korejovce. The Tserkva of the Mother of God built in 1764. The three-part log building covered with a shingle roof with three towers. The western tower is fixed in the women log part, that is why it has got almost straight plank walls. The building is protected with planking. The iconostasis is not complete, it is dated to the 2nd half of 18th century. The bell tower built in 1949 is situated in front of the church.
35. The winter idyll.
36. Kozhany. The Tserkva of Lord's Meeting with Simeon built in the 2nd half of 18th century. The three-part building consists of the altar room, the nave and the women part. Because of the outside planking the church evokes an impression of a two-part building but the three-part design is emphasized by the three towers harmoniously compounded into the exuberantly articulated shingle roof. The interior is interesting with remains of precious wall paintings as well as with hand-made wrought window bars of the Gothic style. The iconostasis is from the beginning of 18th century. A specificity of the iconostasis is that it has got only two doors (czarist one - in the middle and diaconal one - on the north side). The most precious icon is Last Judgment from the end of 18th century (canvas). Visitors are also attracted by a decorative chandelier, wooden cup, candlesticks and other sacral things.
37. The overall view of the iconostasis.
38. Kozukhovce. The Tserkva of St. Nicholas built in 1741 and since 1927 improperly situated among town buildings in the area of East-Slovakian Museum (Vykhodoslovenske museum) in Koshice. It is a typical "Lemko" version of three-part and three-tower wooden churches. In the interior you can see exuberant wall paintings from 1785 restored in 1928. The most interesting compositions are Adam and Eve in the Paradise Garden and Last Judgment. The iconostasis is also from 18th century, it is compounded of various fragments moved from other Russian churches of East Slovakia.
39. Krajne Chierno. The Church of Saint Basil the Great, built in 18th century. The three-part log building has its walls shingled on the outside. The roof is also covered with shingle roofing where three small towers are very sensibly compounded. The architectural unit is added with a log fence with a shingle roof and a wooden gate. The specialty of the ground plan articulation is that the width of the nave is the same as the women's part one with leaving these parts independent constructional and functional units. The baroque iconostasis is dated to 18th century. Some paintings (icons Saint Archangel Gabriel, Saint Nicholas etc.) are from 17th century.
40. The icon Descent from the Cross, the end of 17th century.
41. Krive. The Tserkva of Luke the Evangelist built in 1826. Because of outside planking the three-part spatial temple raises an impression of a one-part building with the oval-shaped polygonal part of its altar room. The iconostasis is from 18th century and it is filled out with several older icons from 17th century.
42. Most of the wooden Tserkvas are placed on slopes of the villages far from other secular buildings.
43. The fragment of the shingled wall with a typical window.
44. The functional core of the temple - the iconostasis dividing the altar part from the main nave.
45. Ladomirova. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael from 1742. It is situated near the churchyard with interesting stone, wooden and metal crosses. To the South of the temple you can see an independent bell tower of the pillar design with planking. The area is put into a log fence with an interesting gate. The iconostasis is dated to 18th century.
46. The harmonious composition of the independent parts of sacral buildings with the dominating temple tower.
47. The exuberant articulation is a characteristic feature of the wooden churches - tserkvas.
48. The icon Saint Michael Archangel from 17th century. At present it is placed in collections of Sharish Museum in Bardeiov.
49. The icon Saint Paraskievia from 17th century, an exhibit of Sharish Museum of Bardeiov.
50. An important part of each Russian church - "prestol" (altar).
51. Lukov - Venecia. The Tserkva of Saint Kosmas and Damian from 1708 - 1709. The three-part log building is set on a high stone base wall flattening the slope especially in the east. The three towers are atypically compounded into the roof because of the remarkably prolonged nave. An architectural specialty is the roofed space extended around the building and set on vertical pillars. The interior decoration is mostly influenced by baroque. The prevailing part of the iconostasis is from 18th century. Last Judgment and several other icons are from 17th century.
52. Matysova. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael, built in the 2nd half of 18th century. It has been moved to area of an open-air museum of folk architecture under the castle of Stara Lubovna. The three-part log building is completely covered with shingles, including walls. One bigger (western) and two smaller towers rise from the roof. The iconostasis from the first half of 18th century originates with an older and smaller temple. Some of icons (St. Peter and Paul, St. Michael, Christ the Pantocrator) are from 17th century. The most interesting part of the altar part is a precious painting of the Mother of God dated to 1693.
53. Mikulashova (Nikl'ova). The Tserkva of the Mother of God built in the 2nd half of 18th century; the western part was rebuilt in 1937 - 1938. In 1926 the relic was moved to the area of Bardeiovske Kupele. The three-part design of the building is on the outside emphasized by three towers consequently prolonged. The tower over the women's part excels in monumentality, exuberant articulation and decoration. The iconostasis is also from 18th century.
54. Mirol'a. The Tserkva of the Mother of God from 1770. It stands on the eastern slope of the village where it dominates. The typical three-part and three-tower log building is on the outside planked which caused the nave and the women's part to raise an impression of one room. The internal decoration dates back to times of the rise of the building. Some of the icons (Archangel Gabriel, The Mother of God) are from 17th century.
55. The typical czarist doors - a passage from the nave to the altar used only by priests.
56. The interesting relief the Crucifixion from the 2nd half of 18th century placed in the altar part.
57. The Last Judgment icon - a part of the iconostasis.
58. The part of the iconostasis - a group of apostles and prophets
59. Nizhny Komarnik. The Tserkva of the Mother of God built in 1938 in accordance with a project of the outstanding Ukrainian architect and explorer V. Sichinsky (1894 - 1962). The "boiko" type of temples represent an ideal harmony and conformity of independent parts of the building. The perfect application of static law, the logical articulation of the whole and the parts resulted in its attractive appearance. The internal decoration is from times of the building.
60. Harmony with nature and surrounding world was the main principle in the folk architecture of our predecessors.
61. Nova Polianka. The Tserkva dated to 1766 originally consecrated to St. Paraskievia. In 1961 it broke down. In 1986 it was rebuilt in State Museum of Ukrainian-Ruthenian Culture in Svidnik in accordance with exact documentation. It is a typical "Lemko" version of three-part and three-tower log temples. Walls of the original interior were decorated with wall paintings. The iconostasis separating the nave from the sanctuary is from the first half of 18th century and originated in Pravrovce. The church after its consecration in 1993 is functional and casual services are held within.
62. Nova Sedlica. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael, built in 1764, in 1977 moved to the exposition of folk architecture and living of National History Museum in Humenne. It represents a typical "Lemko" version of Ruthenian-Ukrainian wooden Churches. The three-part building consists of an altar part, a nave and women's part. The three-part design of the space is emphasized with three towers. The shingle roof is characteristic with exuberant horizontally articulated parts. The baroque iconostasis is from 18th century. Some of icons (St. Michael, Deesis) are from 16th - 17th century. The tower bell is from 1811.
63. Potoky. The Tserkva of St. Paraskievia from 1773 dominates the village on its eastern slope. Temple's area was put under a small stone fence. Next to the temple you can find a lately built isolated belfry of a pillar design with a bell from 1839. The three-part design is on the outside confirmed with typical three towers. The iconostasis is also from 1773. Originally the interior had been also decorated with wall paintings but they were damaged by a breakdown in 1958.
64. The dominating position of the wooden tserkvas in villages is also emphasized by consequently prolonged towers.
65. Prikra. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael, built in 1777. It is erected on the northern slope of the village. The three-part log building is on the outside protected by planking. The roofing is shingle. The iconostasis is from the first half of 18th century. Some of icons (Spas Nerukotvorny, St. Michael, St. Nicholas) are from 17th century. The interior is filled with four rococo candle sticks from the 2nd half of 18th century. The Tower bell is from 1759.
66. Ruska Bystra. The Tserkva of St. Nicholas - bishop, built at the beginning of 18th century. The wooden three-part log building consists of an altar room, a nave and a tower space. The altar room is polygonal-shaped. The roof is shingle. Its almost regular hipped shape suggesting traditional peasant houses is broken by one bigger tower over the women's part and a smaller tower over the altar part. The interior originated in the period of building and it is designed in the baroque-rococo style meeting icon-graphical requirements.
67. The exuberantly decorated baroque altar with the central leitmotif of the Crucifixion.
68. The Christ the Pantocrator icon, a part of the iconostasis.
69. The internal equipment of the temple's nave.
70. Rusky Potok. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael from the first half of 18th century dominates the village on its eastern slope. Originally the temple was protected with a stone lance with two gates. In 1956 an isolated wooden belfry was built near the church. The shingle hipped roof has compounded in two small towers. The iconostasis is from the period of building. Liturgical books were printed as early as in the first half of 17th century in Cyrillic in Lviv and other Ukrainian towns and they are very precious.
71. Timber as a building material represents an ideal possibility in ground-plan and external designs of buildings.
72. see the next item
73. Carpentry and wood-carving as well as wrought ornaments are inseparable parts of sacral buildings.
74. Shemetkovce. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael from 1752. Next to it a separate wooden belfry was built. The area is put under a log lance with a shingle roof. The three-part design is on the outside visible because of the three towers consequently prolonged. However, the planking of the building makes an illusion of the two-part exterior. The iconostasis is from the first half of 18th century. The icons Resurrection of Lazarus, St. Michael and some others are from 17th century.
75. The part of the iconostasis with a typical czarist door and a side diacon entrance.
76. Topol'a. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael built in about 1700. It is placed on the severe hill above the village. It is surrounded by a churchyard. The belfry placed in the area was built in the 20th century, it replaced an older much more simple one (made up of four pillars). The three-part log building is covered with a shingle hipped roof with two small towers rising from it. The log building is protected with extended roofed space set on vertical pillars fixed in horizontal beams. The iconostasis is from the first half of 18th century. Some icons are from 17th century.
77 Trochany. The Tserkva of Saint Luke from 15th - beginning of 16th century. It is the oldest example of a three-part wooden Tserkva of the eastern ritual. It is located in the middle of the village among dwellings and buildings. The three-part log building made of yew consists of an altar part, a nave and under tower space. The shingle roof covering the nave is of the pyramidal shape with a conical end reminding of small roofs of earlier dwelling buildings' chimneys. The iconostasis is from 17th century. Some icons are younger. Alas, the unique collection of ancient woodcuts that were a part of temple's interior was not saved.
78. Ulichske Krive. The Tserkva of Archangel Michael from the first half of 18th century. It is situated in the middle of the village and its beauty attracts all passers-by. The three-part log building is set on the low stone basement. The walls are on both sides left in the natural form. The altar part is of the polygonal shape. Two towers with simple crosses rise from the bulky step-like shingle roof of an irregular hipped-end shape. The iconostasis of the baroque style dates back to 18th century. The icons St. Michael, Christ the Pantocrator and some others are from 17th century.
79. The middle part of the iconostasis with the typical arrangement of its components.
80. The interior of the temple's nave.
81. Zboj. The Tserkva of Saint Nicholas, built in 1775. In 1967 it was moved to the folk architecture exposition of Sharish Museum in Bardeiovske Kupele. It is a typical "Lemko" version of Ruthenian-Ukrainian three-part and three-tower log temples. The substantial part of the iconostasis is from 18th century, some icons (Last Judgment, Saint Nicholas, Crucifixion) are from 17th century.
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Date Posted: August 25th, 1996
Last Revision: August 24th, 2001
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