A tserkva bell tower, Chotyniec
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A tserkva bell tower

Chotyniec

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The feature is an example of sacred architecture of the Orthodox church and a building that, apart from its basic function, performed defensive functions, significant for the entire tserkva complex, in the early modern era. The monument is characteristic for defensive bell towers functioning at defensive temples of the Latin Church and Orthodox Church, typical for the Red Ruthenian territory.

History

The bell tower was probably erected in the 17th century at the Orthodox tserkva in Torki near Przemyśl. Such an early chronology of construction of the feature is confirmed by its archaic form and a complex structural system. During the first several dozen years of existence, the bell tower served as a building that reinforced the defensive features of the tserkva complex in Torki. In 1992 the Regional Monument Inspector in Przemyśl decided to relocate the bell tower from Torki to Chotyniec. In 1993, after demolition, the bell tower was transported to Chotyniec where it was erected near the local Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary tserkva, in place of a non-existent wooden bell tower. Currently, the bell tower performs cult functions as a component part of the local tserkva complex.

Description

The bell tower is located in the eastern part of the village at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary tserkva. Until 1993 the feature was situated at the tserkva in Torki, where, apart from performing cult functions, it served as a defensive building from the top of which threats of approaching invasions of enemy troops were signalled. The wooden bell tower, 12,30 metres tall, was built on a nearly square floor plan by applying a post-and-frame structure. Corner posts are reinforced by the so-called St Andrew’s crosses. The building has a homogenous body distinctive for old fortified bell towers erected in the 16th and 17th century. Its monumental form is emphasized by a starling structural scheme and sloping walls that are wider at the bottom. The feature has two storeys; the upper one is formed by a starling with an open gallery. The building is covered with a pyramidal dome clad with wood shingles. Walls below the starling are covered with wood shingles, while the starling is covered with vertical weatherboards, decoratively rounded at the bottom. A gable roof made of wood shingles is situated above the entrance to the bell tower on the front façade, on the tserkva side. The base of the bell tower rests on a concrete foundation and is enclosed with a sill plate roof. Ladder-like stairs lead to the starling.

The bell tower is open to visitors all year round.

compiled by Andrzej Gliwa, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow, 20-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kurek J., Drewniane dzwonnice cerkiewne ziemi przemyskiej, Kraków 2013, s. 42-43.

General information

  • Type: belfry
  • Chronology: XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Chotyniec
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district jarosławski, commune Radymno
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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