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Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpatian Region in Poland and Ukraine - Zabytek.pl

woj. podkarpackie, pow. , gm.

The property was inscribed on the List by World Heritage Committee in 2013.   Brief synthesis  Located at the eastern fringes of Central Europe within the Polish and Ukrainian Carpathian mountain range, the sixteen wooden tserkvas (churches) are outstanding examples of the once widespread Orthodox ecclesiastical timber-building tradition in the Slavic countries that survives to this day. The architectural forms of the tserkvas with tri-partite plans, pyramidal domes, cupolas and bell towers conform to the requirements of Eastern liturgy while reflecting the cultural traditions of the local communities that developed separately due to the mountainous terrain. They include Hutsul types in the Ukrainian south-eastern Carpathians at Nyzhniy Verbizh and Yasynia; Halych types in the northern Carpathians either side of the Polish/Ukrainian border at Rohatyn, Drohobych, Zhovkva, Potelych, Radruż and Chotyniec; Boyko types either side of the Polish/Ukrainian border near the border with Slovakia at Smolnik, Uzhok and Matkiv, and western Lemko types in the Polish west Carpathians at Powroźnik, Brunary Wyźne, Owczary, Kwiatoń and Turzańsk. Built using the horizontal log technique with complex corner jointing, and exhibiting exceptional carpentry skills and structural solutions, the tserkvas were raised on wooden sills placed on stone foundations, with wooden shingles covering roofs and walls. The tserkvas with their associated graveyards and sometimes free-standing bell towers are bounded by perimeter walls or fences and gates, surrounded by trees.

Criterion (iii): The tserkvas bear exceptional testimony to a distinct ecclesiastical building tradition, which is grounded in the mainstream traditions of the Orthodox Church interwoven with local architectural language. The structures, designs and decorative schemes are characteristic for the cultural traditions of the resident communities in the Carpathian region and illustrate a multiplicity of symbolic references and sacred meanings related to the traditions.

Criterion (iv): The tserkvas are an outstanding example of a group of buildings in traditional log construction type which represents an important historical stage of architectural design in the Carpathian Region. Based on building traditions for Orthodox ecclesiastical purposes which were adapted in accordance with the local cultural traditions, the tserkvas, as they evolved from the 16th to the 19th centuries, reflect the sacred references of the resident communities.

Components of serial property:

  • the tserkva of St Michael the Archangel in Brunary Wyżne (Poland)
  • the tserkva of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Chotyniec (Poland)
  • the tserkva of St Paraskeva in Kwiatoń (Poland)
  • the tserkva of the Protection of the Mother of God in Owczary (Poland)
  • the tserkva of James, son of Alphaeus in Powroźnik (Poland)
  • the tserkva of St Paraskeva in Radruż (Poland)
  • the tserkva of St Michael the Archangel in Smolnik (Poland)
  • the tserkva of St Michael the Archangel in Turzańsk (Poland)
  • the tserkva of St George in Drohobych (Ukraine)
  • the tserkva of the Ascension of Christ in Yasynia (Ukraine)
  • the tserkva of St Dmytro in Matkiv (Ukraine)
  • the tserkva of the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Potelych (Ukraine)
  • the tserkva of the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Rohatyn (Ukraine)
  • the tserkva of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Nyzhnii Verbizh (Ukraine)
  • the tserkva of St Michael the Archangel in Uzhok (Ukraine)
  • the tserkva of The Holy Trinity in Zhovkva (Ukraine)


Category: cultural

Building material:  drewniane

Protection: UNESCO World Heritage

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_12_UN.1104