Greek Catholic parish tserkva of St Nicholas (tserkva complex), Hrebenne
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Greek Catholic parish tserkva of St Nicholas (tserkva complex)

Hrebenne

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A remarkably picturesque ensemble of ecclesiastical buildings with the oldest wooden three-domed tserkva in the region, dating back to the 17th century.

History

The tserkva is believed to have been erected back in 1685, at the time when the parish itself was established. The tserkva subsequently underwent renovation and partial alteration works in 1797; it was most likely at that time that the narthex was either added or created through the modification of an existing structure, while a bell tower and a gate were also built, thus forming the ensemble which survives to this day. The tserkva underwent renovation works in 1832 and in 1872, when the sacristy was probably added, as well as in years 1958-9 and 1976.

In 2009, comprehensive restoration and conservation research was carried out, including the restoration of the wood shingle roof cladding, the replacement of roof truss components as well as window and door joinery. The walls were also renovated and received a new wood shingle cladding. In 2012, the bell tower underwent restoration as well, with parts of its structure, exterior cladding and floors being replaced. Renovation of the gate was also performed during that time.

From the 1950s onwards, the tserkva has served as a Roman Catholic filial church, and although today it is under the administration of the Greek Catholic parish forming part of the Przemyśl deanery, it continues to serve both Roman and Greek Catholics, much as it has done for many years before.

Description

The tserkva complex is situated on a prominent hill which lies near the former route from Lublin to Lviv. The complex itself consists of the tserkva - one of the oldest three-domed tserkvas in the region - as well as the bell tower and gate which leads into the cemetery overgrown by towering lime trees.

The tserkva. The tserkva is oriented towards the east. Designed on a tripartite floor plan, it consists of a square nave, a square narthex and chancel (both of them narrower than the nave) as well as the sacristy positioned behind the chancel. The tserkva is made of wooden logs with dovetail corner joints (or saddle-notch corner joints in case of the narthex), featuring protruding log ends, with the entire structure being positioned on a sill plate which lies on stone foundations. The lower part of the log structure is concealed beneath pronounced skirt roofs. The narthex, nave and chancel are crowned by eight-faced domes positioned on tall tholobates; the sacristy, on the other hand, features a gable roof. The domes are topped with roof lanterns surmounted by bulbous cupolas clad with sheet metal. Since the roof lanterns contain no actual openings, they only serve an ornamental purpose. The domes, roofs and walls above the skirt roof are all clad with wood shingles. The multi-pane windows are rectangular in shape; the windows of the nave are topped with segmental arches. An inscription made in the course of alteration works, incorporating the date “1797” and a cross, is visible on the lintel of the western portal. Inside, the walls are topped with a profiled cornice which runs along the base of the domes above; the pipe organ gallery features a simple, austere parapet and rests upon a pair of pillars. The interior fixtures and fittings date back to the period between the 17th and the 19th century and include a newly assembled iconostasis incorporating various icons from the 17th and 18th century.

The bell tower. The bell tower was erected on a rectangular floor plan as a two-storey structure. The lower storey ends with a pronounced, double skirt roof, while the upper storey takes the form of a slightly overhanging belfry with small bell chamber openings topped with semicircular arches. The tower is topped with a tented roof surmounted by a cross. The wooden tower is a post-and-frame structure clad with weatherboards, its roofs being covered with wood shingles.

The gate. The gate is a small structure designed on a rectangular floor plan, covered with a tented roof topped by an ornamental lantern above which rises another, much smaller tented roof with a cross on top. The structure is made of stone, its walls covered with plaster, and features wide, rectangular openings facilitating access into the site surrounding the tserkva.

The historic monument may be visited from the outside.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 13-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Górak J., Dawne cerkwie drewniane w województwie zamojskim, Zamość 1984, pp. 5-7.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Dawne województwo lubelskie, issue 17: Tomaszów Lubelski i okolice, compiled by Brykowski R., Warsaw 1982, pp. 15-18.
  • Doraczyńska-Dziuba K., Fornal M., Kruk B., Kurczewicz M., Kuśmierz L., Mazur P., Matys J., Podkościelny E., Sadaj-Sado J., Semeniuk A., Wiśniewska A., Zarzycka-Goliszek K., Prace konserwatorskie i remontowe w zabytkowych obiektach architektury oraz ich zespołach w roku 2009, “Wiadomości Konserwatorskie Województwa Lubelskiego”, vol. 12, 2010, p. 85.
  • Doraczyńska-Dziuba K., Kruk B., Kurczewicz M., Kuśmierz L., Mazur P., Matys J., Podkościelny E., Semeniuk A., Wiśniewska A., Zarzycka-Goliszek K., Prace konserwatorskie i remontowe w zabytkowych obiektach architektury oraz ich zespołach w roku 2012, “Wiadomości Konserwatorskie Województwa Lubelskiego”, vol. 15, 2013, p. 84.

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1685
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Hrebenne
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district tomaszowski, commune Lubycza Królewska - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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