Uniate tserkva of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Koryciny
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Uniate tserkva of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Koryciny

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One of the oldest surviving wooden Uniate tserkvas in the Podlasie region. Its distinguishing features include an unusual silhouette consisting of a number of clustered sections and featuring a three-sided front façade, a chancel designed on a triangular plan as well as a pair of sacristies which, when combined with the rest of the structure, give the floor plan of the church a cruciform shape. The tserkva remains an excellent example of how various eastern (the tripartite structure) and western (the presence of a single roof above the entire main body of the church) traditions would come together in the architecture of the Uniate churches in the Podlasie region.

History

The exact date of establishment of the Grodzisk parish remains unknown. It is now believed that it can trace its roots all the way back to the second half of the 16th century or the first half of the 17th century. The current tserkva was founded somewhere around the year 1709 by count Marek Antoni Butler, the alderman (starosta) of Preny (Prienai) and Drohiczyn. The church most likely underwent alteration works on a number of occasions, with the dates of the earlier restorations remaining unknown; during the 20th century, the tserkva was refurbished in the years 1924-26, 1956-57 and 1964. In 1839, following the dissolution of the Union of Brest, the building was converted into an Orthodox tserkva. After a new, brick tserkva was erected in the years 1887-1891, the old, wooden building was closed down. In 1918, it was entrusted to the Roman-Catholic Church; in 1923, it became the seat of the local Roman Catholic parish. From 1990 onwards, however, the tserkva has stood abandoned once again, the parish having been moved to a new, brick church.

Description

The tserkva is located in the northern part of the village, on 22 Lipca street, in a cemetery surrounded by a concrete fence. The tserkva is oriented towards the east and accompanied by a wooden bell tower. The tserkva is an example of Uniate architecture of the Baroque period, devoid of any features pointing towards a particular architectural style.

The main body, designed on a rectangular floor plan, features a semi-hexagonal front section and a narrower, rectangular chancel with a triangular end section, flanked by a pair of sacristies. The roof above the main body is a five-sided structure topped with a steeple, with the chancel featuring a three-sided roof. The sacristies are covered with shed roofs.

The tserkva is a wooden log structure reinforced by two brick posts forming part of its two longer façades. Its walls are covered with vertical board and batten siding. The roofs - including the steeple - are covered with sheet metal. The tserkva features wooden floors and ceilings. The windows and doors are made of wood; the casement windows are divided into a number of small panes and adorned with profiled surrounds. The doors are made of wooden planks.

The interior is divided into the main nave and two side aisles by rows of wooden posts. The nave features a flat ceiling, whereas the chancel has a false vaulted ceiling following the shape of a basket-handle arch. The choir gallery rising above the entrance to the church takes the form of a balcony supported by two wooden posts, with a pair of small storerooms positioned directly below. The interior fixtures and fittings include the preserved main altarpiece from ca. 1700, designed in the Baroque style.

The historical building is abandoned and can only be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Aneta Kułak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 19-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Jaszczołt T., Gmina Grodzisk k. Siemiatycz. Dzieje ziemi i mieszkańców, Grodzisk 2004, pp. 76-91.
  • Diecezja Drohiczyńska. Spis parafii i duchowieństwa 2004, Z. Rostkowski (ed.), Drohiczyn 2004, pp. 190-193.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. XII, Województwo białostockie, M. Kałamajska-Saeed (ed.), issue 1, Siemiatycze, Drohiczyn i okolice, compiled by M. Kałamajska-Saeed, Warsaw 1996, pp. 30-32, fig. 59, 61, 62.

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1709 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Koryciny
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district siemiatycki, commune Grodzisk
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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