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11. Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland (2003)
 

Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland and Subcarpathia are located in South Poland. There are in fact many others of the region which fit the description: "The wooden churches of southern Little Poland represent outstanding examples of the different aspects of medieval church-building traditions in Roman Catholic culture. Built using the horizontal log technique, common in eastern and northern Europe since the Middle Ages..."

 

The wooden church style of the region originated in the late Medieval, the late sixteenth century, and began with Gothic ornament and polychrome detail, but because they were timber construction, the structure, general form, and feeling is entirely different from the gothic architecture or Polish Gothic (in stone or brick). Later construction show Rococo and Baroque ornamental influence. The form of these churches is deeply influenced by the Greco-Catholic and Orthodox presence in the region. Some display Greek cross plans and onion domes, but the most interesting of the churches combine these features with the Roman forms with elongated naves and steeples.

 

1.       Church of St. Philip and St. James the Apostles in Sękowa is located in the Western Beskids, around 5 km to Gorlice city. Perfectly preserved and fully authentic wooden church was made of squared beams of larch. The interior exhibits the superb late-Renaissance polychrome and gilt main altar, from the beginning of 17th cent., and the superb late-Gothic stone font, dated to 1522.

 

2.       Church of St. Leonard in Lipnica Murowana is situated almost the same distance from Cracov, Tarnów, or Nowy Sącz. Tradition assigns the first foundation of the church to 1141, erected on the place of ancient pagan graveyard, and as thus is considered as the oldest sacral construction on the territory of Lipnica Murowana. But in fact, the church, in a present form, was re-erected with the same name, on the ruins of the old-one, at the end of the 15th cent. The fittings of the church are very modest, and by this fact it differs certainly from others Catholic churches of similar kind.

 

3.       Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Archangel Michael in Haczów village - situated in the Valley of Wisłoka River. This fully authentic sacral monument preserved all the characteristic elements such as the architectural forms and decorative schemes - typical for a period between 15th and 19th cent. Its exceptional value remains in the artistic and historic connections of all unique elements, as well as in its incomparable construction. It is, in the same time, the oldest and the best-preserved wooden Gothic church of horizontal log structure, in Europe.

 

4.       Church of the Archangel Michael in Dębno village - situated in the surroundings of Nowy Targ town. It is built in horizontal log construction of larch and fir. It contains a unique example of interior polychrome decoration, created at the turn of 15th and 16th cent., and a great number of superb Gothic sculptures. The 17th cent. tower, with sloping walls which narrow towards the top, is erected using post-frame construction. The roof of the church, as well as the walls of the tower, is covered with shingles. The main altar in the interior is an exceptional representation of panel painting - dating to the beginning of 16th cent.

 

5.       Church of All Saint in Blizne village - located in the environment of Stobnica River close to the main road from Rzeszów to Sanok. The outstanding importance of that wooden building is a result of well-preserved architectural substance and extraordinarily rich internal fittings, including the movable original elements, created from 16th to 19th cent. The interior mural decorations and paintings are considered among the most valuable examples of wooden sacral monuments. The Church is distinguished as exceptional because of the application of rare iconographic and ideological principles and a great collection of 14th century's sculptures and bas-reliefs, which are the best-preserved achievements in the region of southern Poland.

 

6.       Church of the Archangel Michael in Binarowa village - located north of the main road from Biecz to Tuchów. It is one of the oldest existing examples of horizontal log construction, preserved in its historical form. The interior mural decorations and paintings are considered among the most valuable examples of wooden sacral monuments.





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