Post-Uniate churches of Podlachia Region
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
Post-Uniate churches of Podlachia Region

collection

Post-Uniate churches of Podlachia Region

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Post-Uniate churches of Podlachia Region

The unification of both rites as part of the Union of Brest of 1596 initiated the process of Latinisation of the Orthodox Church, which lasted until the dissolution of the Union by the tzar administration in 1839 on the lands incorporated to the empire, and in 1875, in the Kingdom of Poland. In view of the limited durability of wood from which churches of the Orthodox rite were made, historical buildings from the pre-Uniate period have not survived to the present day. Therefore, the oldest Orthodox churches of the present Podlaskie voivodeship are post-Uniate churches in which Latin influences are often clearly visible.

Wooden Uniate tserkvas, created before 1839, constitute the most interesting historical collection of buildings of such type. Orthodox churches built after 1839 were already different in style and reminiscent of Moscow (Russian) architecture. Under the influence of the Latin rite, fitting elements which were unthinkable in Orthodox churches started to occur in Uniate tserkvas: architectural altar (sometimes without iconostasis), with a figurative sculpted decoration, side altars, pulpits, pipe organs, pews, and strongly Latinised painting. After 1839, churches were often erected in the Moscow architectural spirit, therefore they lost their original character. The new owners undertook activities aimed at purifying the old Uniate churches from Latin patina, deposited on them throughout two centuries. In the Podlaskie voivodeship, there are quite a few preserved structures originally created as Uniate tserkvas. Today, they are used as Orthodox or Catholic (parish or cemetery) churches. These are, for example, churches in Bielsk Podlaski, Czeremcha, Czyże, Folwarki Tylwickie, Grodzisko, Jurowlany, Koźliki, Kuraszewo, Lewkowo Stare, Łosinka, Mielnik, Nowa Wola, Nowoberezowo, Orla, Parcewo, Pasynki, Pawły, Ploski, Rudawka, Sokoły, Zawyki, Żurobice, etc.

Sites from that collection