Orthodox tserkva of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Juszkowy Gród
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Orthodox tserkva of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Juszkowy Gród


The tserkva represents a type of an Orthodox church that became popular in the current Podlaskie province between the second half of the 19th century and the year 1915. It is a traditional, tripartite tserkva with lavishly decorated façades, modelled on the Russian wooden architecture of the period. Diversified weatherboarding arrangements and numerous architectural details were used to decorate such temples. Additionally, the artistic value of the tserkva stems from is its picturesque outline, consisting of several distinct segments.


The parish in Juszkowy Gród was first established in 1909; at the time, the parish consisted of a number of villages which were splintered off the Jałówka parish. The construction of the tserkva commenced in 1912; some authors believe that the new structure was erected on the site of a previous tserkva which was lost to the blaze some time before. The construction of the church was interrupted due to the mass exodus of the local population in 1915; it was only after World War I came to an end that the construction works could be resumed. During that period, the separate parish was dissolved, with all the local residents becoming members of the Jałówka parish. The status of the tserkva itself, however, was still not determined, resulting in the gradual dilapidation thereof. In 1930, the tserkva became a filial church of the parish in Jałówka, while after World War II, the tserkva regained its parish status. The building was restored on numerous occasions.


The tserkva is located in the middle of the village, on the site of the local cemetery surrounded by a perimeter wall. The building itself is oriented towards the east. The design of the tserkva was modelled after wooden Russian architecture.

The building was designed on a Greek cross floor plan, consisting of a tall nave erected on a square floor plan as well as four lower avant-corps. A two-storey bell tower rises above the western avant-corps which houses the wind-porch and vestibule. The lower storey of the tower was designed on a quadrangular plan, while its upper section is octagonal in shape. The chancel is located in the eastern avant-corps, flanked by two rectangular sacristies. The side avant-corps form the transverse nave of the church. The main body of the tserkva is covered with a pyramid hipped roof topped with a lantern surmounted by a bulbous cupola. A smaller cupola of a similar design crowns the tall, pyramid-shaped tower roof. The avant-corps are all covered with jerkin head roofs, while the sacristies feature roofs of the gable type. The roof above the chancel is also graced by yet another cupola. The entrance is preceded by a porch covered with a gable roof.

The tserkva is a wooden building combining elements of log structure and post-and-plank structure, resting on a foundation made of split stone bound by lime and cement mortar. The walls of the tserkva are covered with wooden boards inside and out. The roof and cupolas are clad with sheet metal. The windows and doors are made of wood; the casement windows are divided into small panes, while the single- and double-leaf entrance doors are all of the panelled type. The floors and ceilings are made of wood.

The façades of the church feature a vertical arrangement of weatherboards up to the window level, with a horizontal layout used for the upper sections of the walls instead. Above the window there is a strip of vertical boards with semi-circular end sections. The vertical arrangement is also used for the gables. The corners of the tserkva are covered with wooden boards from the window sill level up to the eaves. The eaves of the gables are reinforced with tie beams. The windows are framed with decorative surrounds with window headers in the form of profiled cornices with a raised, triangular middle section. The boards running beneath the eaves feature decorative, serrated edges.

Inside, the nave features an eight-faced faux vaulted ceiling on pendentives, with the roof lantern above providing additional illumination. The remaining sections of the tserkva all feature flat ceilings. The middle section of the nave is connected with the avant-corps through large, roughly square-shaped entrances. An iconostasis separates the chancel and the rest of the tserkva. The wind porch is adjoined by a storeroom and a staircase.

The interior fixtures and fittings date back to the early 20th century and include a wooden iconostasis.

The building is open to visitors.

compiled by Aneta Kułak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 30-09-2014.


  • Nos L., Monografia gminy Michałowo, Białystok 1996, pp. 152-153.
  • Sosna G., Troc-Sosna A., Cerkiewna własność ziemska na Białostocczyźnie w XV-XX wieku, Białystok 2004, pp. 607-609.

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1912 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Juszkowy Gród
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district białostocki, commune Michałowo - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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