The Uniate tserkva of St Peter and Paul Apostles and St Dmitri the Martyr, currently serving as the Roman Catholic parish church of St Peter and Paul Apostles – church complex, Hanna
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The Uniate tserkva of St Peter and Paul Apostles and St Dmitri the Martyr, currently serving as the Roman Catholic parish church of St Peter and Paul Apostles – church complex

Hanna

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An extremely rare and valuable example of a wooden ecclesiastical complex dating back to the first half of the 18th century, with very few of its kind surviving in the Chełm region.

History

The Uniate tserkva was erected in years 1739-42, with the funds for its construction being donated by Hieronim Florian Radziwiłł; it is believed that components of an even earlier church might have been used in the course of its construction. Initially the tserkva was most likely a tripartite structure made up of a chancel, nave and narthex with an added bell tower. The tserkva underwent extension works on two occasions, first during the third quarter of the 18th century, when the chapel and sacristy adjoining the building to the south were added, and then during the fourth quarter of the 18th century, when the nave and chancel were extended upwards and a new narthex, treasury and southern vestibule were added. It was consecrated in 1791, with the interior wall paintings being executed during the same year. In 1874, the tserkva was taken over by the Orthodox Church, while in 1824(?) it became a Roman Catholic church; it has undergone renovation works on a few occasions, including after 1810, towards the end of the 19th century, in years 1955-59, 1967, 1976-1980 and 2001-2005.

The bell tower is believed to have been built in the fourth quarter of the 18th century, with the final series of renovation works taking place back in 2002 (replacement of damaged structural components, exterior cladding and roofing).

Description

The complex is located in the north-eastern part of the village and consists of a wooden tserkva and the accompanying bell tower. The tserkva is positioned so that its chancel faces the north-east; initially conceived on a tripartite floor plan, it consisted of a rectangular nave, a chancel with a semi-hexagonal termination, narrower than the nave yet of equal height and flanked by a sacristy and a treasury as well as of the narthex, the latter being of the same width and height as the nave. To the north, a chapel of Christ Crucified adjoins the nave, featuring a semi-hexagonal termination. To the south, on the other hand, lies an open porch - a subsequent addition - located along the side entrance into the narthex. The building is a corner-notched log structure reinforced with vertical supports and clad with weatherboards. Inside, the tserkva features wooden ceilings with encased upper logs of the chancel side walls running along the entire length of the nave, narthex and chapel, lending the side sections of the ceiling a “dropped” look; the rood arch is semicircular in shape. A choir gallery is located in the rear part of the narthex, with the space directly below it serving as a porch. The narthex, nave and chancel are covered with gable roofs of varying heights, topped with three octagonal, bulbous turrets perched atop their ridges. The roofs are covered with sheet metal which replaces the original wood shingle cladding. The façades are covered with board and batten siding and feature exposed wooden vertical supports, with a profiled cornice running alongside the upper section of the walls. The windows are multi-panel and rectangular in shape, adorned with wooden surrounds. The chancel is illuminated by a single oculus. The tserkva features surviving original doors made up of studded planks arranged in a rhomboidal pattern. Inside, visitors can admire polychrome decorations on canvas, executed towards the end of the 18th century and repainted a number of times, depicting figural scenes set against the background of trompe l’œil architectural vistas. The altarpieces, designed in the Regency style, date back to approx. mid-18th century. The bell tower was erected on a rectangular floor plan as a three-storey structure. It is a post-and-beam building clad with weatherboards. The lower section features a wide roof which forms covered walkways along its longer sides, the roof itself resting upon posts reinforced with braces. The upper storey is visibly narrower and features bell openings arranged in two distinct areas; the roof of the tower is of the tented type and is clad with sheet metal.

The monument is accessible to visitors.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 26-01-2015.

Bibliography

  • Brykowski R., Dzieje budowlane drewnianej unickiej cerkwi w Hannie (na podstawie prac konserwatorskich w latach 1976-1980), “Ochrona Zabytków”, 1987, no. 4, pp. 269-276.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Województwo lubelskie, issue 18: Powiat włodawski, compiled by Smulikowska E., Warsaw 1975, pp. 6-10.

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1739 - 1742
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Hanna
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district włodawski, commune Hanna
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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