Wooden churches in southern Lesser Poland

Wooden churches in southern Lesser Poland

Wooden churches in southern Lesser Poland are a group of historically and architecturally valuable wooden churches located in the southern and eastern part of Lesser Poland (in the areas of Gorlice, Nowy Targ, Bochnia) and Podkarpackie (Brzozów).

Most of the churches were built in the form of log buildings and represent architectural styles from Gothic to Renaissance, Baroque and more modern styles. The style of some buildings was influenced by the proximity of the Greek Catholic and Orthodox cultural space – many of them have distinctive domes and are built in the form of the Greek cross.

The earliest sites were built in the fourteenth century (the oldest is considered the church in Hachuv, built in 1388). The churches have survived to this day in good condition and are the second oldest cluster of wooden churches in Europe after the Norwegian frame churches.

Since the churches are of great historical value, some of them were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 3, 2003. Most of the churches are part of the Wooden Architecture Tourist Trail.


Churches on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Commune Photo Name Year of construction
Binarova Kosciol Binarowa po remoncie.JPG The Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Binarovo ca. 1500 г.
Blizné Blizne-kosciol.jpg Church of All Saints in Bliznoe before 1470
Dębno Podhalańskie Church of St. Michael in Dębno 2009 (5).jpg The Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Dębno XV century
Hachów Kosciol Haczow.jpg The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary church in Chachów 1388 г.
Lipnica Dolna Lipnica leonard1.jpg The Church of St. Leonard in Lipnica late XV century
Sękowa Koscioł Sekowa calosc.jpg The Church of St. Philip and St. Jacob in Sękowa 1520 г.

Churches proposed for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List

At present there are 6 of 9 churches that have been applied for in the UNESCO list – the oldest (Gothic) churches have been selected. The following sites did not make the list:

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Commune Photo Name Year of construction
Lachowice Lachowice kosciol pw sw Apostolow Piotra i Pawla.jpg The Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul in Lachowice Built in 1789, a typical representative of the late Gothic style in Southern Poland wooden church
Oravka Orawka Kosciol 20070828.jpg The Church of St. John the Baptist in Oravka The seventeenth century, the valuable polychrome painting and interior decoration.
Szalewa Kosciol Szalowa.jpg The Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Shalew. The most valuable Baroque wooden church of the eighteenth century.

Other objects

A number of other churches not on the World Heritage List

Commune Photo Name Year of construction
Grywald Kosciol Grywald.jpg The Church of St. Martin in Gryvald
Bončal Dolny Sanok skansen kościół Bączal Dolny 20.08.08 p.jpg The church in Boncal Dolny 1667
Trzcinica Kosciol sw. Doroty Trzcinica.JPG The Church of St. Dorota in Trzcinica
Osek Jaselski Church of the Transfiguration in Osiek Jaselski
Ljubljana Kosciol Lubla.jpg Church of St. Nicholas in Ljubljana
Slavencin Drewniany kosciol Slawecin.JPG Church of St. Catherine in Slavencin
Ivkova Kosciol w Iwkowej.jpg Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ivkova
Gogoluv Gogolow.jpg Church of St. Catherine in Gogolow
Rzepennik Biskupi Kościół w Rzepienniku z zewnątrz.jpg The Church of St. John the Baptist in Rzepennik Biskupim


See also.

Krakow Historical Center – Wieliczka Salt Mine – Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp – Bialowieza Forest (also in Belarus) – Warsaw Historical Center – Zamosc Historical Center – Marienburg Castle – Torun Historical Center – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Peace Churches in Jawor and Świdnica – Wooden Churches in Southern Lesser Poland – Muskau Park in Łęknica – Hall of Centuries in Wrocław

Wooden churches in southern Lesser Poland

The wooden churches in southern Lesser Poland are a selection of six wooden churches in Lesser Poland that were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2003. These are some of the best preserved and oldest Gothic wooden churches characteristic of Małopolska and the western part of Podkarpackie Voivodeship. The churches are a unique example of the tradition of medieval wooden churches of the Roman Catholic Church. They were built using the log building method, which was common in Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages. The range of joinery techniques used in their construction makes them unique.

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Table of contents

description of

The three-part floor plan, resulting from the liturgy , is characteristic of buildings . A narrower choir, which usually ends in an apse, joins the rectangular nave in the east . The church towers in the west are partly from later times. The church at Lipnica Murowana is the only one without a tower. Arcades (sobots) are often arranged in front of the ship. Often the steep roofs are covered with wooden tiles .

The churches bear witness to the high quality carpentry work of the Middle Ages . This includes structural solutions, truss construction and valuable decorations with rich carvings. The elements of the rich interior finishes harmonize with each other and complement each other in content, functionality, and style. They also illustrate stylistic changes over the centuries. Polychrome paintings on the walls and ceilings are preserved in some churches and testify to the church patronage of the local nobility at that time.

List of wooden churches

picture Name (Polish) place features
Parish Church of the Archangel Michael (Kościół św. Michała Archanioła) Binarowa 49 ° 45 ′ 26.3″ N. 21° 13′ 38.9″ E. Małopolska voivodship 49.7573 21.22747 Gothic sculptures from the end of the 14th century built around 1500: the Virgin Mary with the Child and four bas-reliefs in the side altars; valuable ceiling paintings from the beginning of the 16th century, Baroque wall paintings – in the choir from 1655.
Parish Church of All Saints (Kościół Wszystkich Świętych) Blizni 49 ° 45 ′ 7.5″ N. , 21 ° 58 ′ 43.3″ E. Subcarpathian Voivodeship 49.75209 21.97869 Built in Gothic style before 1470, tower of the first half of the 17th century; Polychrome painting in 1549, 1649 and circa 1700, repainted in the late 19th century and exposed in 2000-2001.
Parish Church of the Archangel Michael (Kościół św. Michała Archanioła) Dębno 49 ° 27 ′ 59.3″ N. 20° 12′ 43.3″ E. Małopolska voivodship 49.46648 20.21202 Built in 1490, church tower 1601; Tabernacle of the early 14th century, cross of 1380, late Gothic triptych, widely painted with geometric and vegetal ornaments in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Branch church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Kościół Wniebowzięcia NMP) Gaczow 49 ° 40 ′ 13.3″ N. , 21 ° 53 ′ 23.9″ E. Podkarpackie Voivodeship 49.67035 21.88996 Gothic church from the late 14th century, baroque tower from the 17th century, figurative, polychrome paintings from 1494 (discovered in 1956 during restoration work); the largest wooden Gothic church in Europe and the oldest wooden church in Poland
St. Leonard (Kościół św. Leonarda) Lipnica Murowana 49 ° 51 ′ 37.6″ N. , 20 ° 31 ′ 49.4″ E. Małopolska voivodship 49.86045 20.5304 Cemetery church, no tower; Built late 15th century, paintings late 15th – early 18th century, valuable and rare furniture.
Saints Filip and Jacob (Kościół św. Filipa i św. Jakuba) Sękowa 49 ° 37 ′ 50.3″ N. , 21 ° 11′ 9.9″ E. Małopolska province 49.63063 21.18608 Branch church , built in 1520, 18th-century tower and arcades; Complete cladding, except for a boarded-up tower room ; Late 17th-century Baroque main altar, destroyed in 1915 and rebuilt in 1948-1949.
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Monument protection

Each church has been entered in the national register of monuments of the provinces. Their protection is also supervised by the curators of the dioceses. The area of the protected world heritage sites is 8.26 hectares . In order to protect the surroundings of the sites and visual axes, a buffer zone of 242 hectares was created.


Tourist Organization Małopolska Organizacja Turystyczna Małopolska province has created a route of wooden architecture (Szlak Architektury Drewnianej) with more than 250 objects and various routes. The project is also coordinated with the neighboring voivodeships.

See also.

Unlike Roman Catholic churches, the wooden churches of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine (eight in each country), which have World Heritage status, belong to the architectural heritage of the Eastern Churches .

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