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A molenna (prayer house) of the Old Believers - Zabytek.pl

Gabowe Grądy, 11

woj. podlaskie, pow. augustowski, gm. Augustów-gmina wiejska

One of the few functioning temples of the Old Believers in the Podlaskie Voivodeship with historical values.

Its architecture refers to structures of this type existing in the country.


In 1865, 26 families of Old Believers, relocated from Russia upon the Tsar’s consent, gave birth to the Gabowe Grądy village. Most of them were deported in 1915 to the interior of Russia; World War II brought about the pacification of the village and destruction of the temple. In 1948, in place of the previous two, a new molenna was built by residents’ efforts. It was renovated in 1970s.


The molenna is situated on the edge of the forest, close to the cemetery.

It is an oriented temple, erected on a rectangular floor plan, with a tower on a square plan added in the west, housing a vestibule on the ground floor. It is a one-storey, narrow-front, single-bay building with a hall and entrance along the single axis. Built of wood, with a log and post-and-plank structure, resting on a concrete foundation, covered with weatherboards. The tower was built on the basis of a frame structure, covered with weatherboards. There is a separate room with stairs in a vestibule. The molenna is covered with a hip roof with an onion-like cupola at the top, which is crowned with a cross on a sphere. Gable roof, covered with sheet metal. The temple’s windows are wooden, rectangular, with segmental closing and decorative window surrounds.

Facades are vertically covered with weatherboards up to the window line and horizontally beyond that point; gables are weatherboarded vertically; corners and eaves with weatherboarding. The eastern gable of the roof is decoratively weatherboarded with triangular, square and herringbone patterns. The tower is weatherboarded horizontally on all storeys.

In the eastern part of the molenna, there is a kliros separated by a balustrade, preceding the eastern wall on which icons are placed. The ceiling above the part for believers is flat, whereas above the kliros it has a barrel shape.

Accessible structure.

compiled by Iwona Górska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Bialystok, 03-10-2014.


  • Karta ewidencyjna, Molenna, oprac. Żulpa A., 1981, Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków w Białymstoku Delegatura w Suwałkach.
  • Kotyńska-Stetkiewicz J., Ryżewski G., Katalog zabytkowego budownictwa drewnianego. Architektura sakralna. Pow. Augustowski, sejneński, suwalski, t. 1, Białystok 2005, s. 23-24.

Category: sacral architecture

Building material:  drewniane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_20_BK.59090, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_20_BK.136308