The Uniate Church of St Josaphat The Martyr, currently the Parish Church of the Holy Virgin Mary The Queen of Poland, Kościeniewicze
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Uniate Church of St Josaphat The Martyr, currently the Parish Church of the Holy Virgin Mary The Queen of Poland



The church is a valuable example of tserkva architecture in the Podlasie region, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, which is characterised by its bell tower erected over the porch.


The church was founded by heiress Anna Kościeniewicz of the Szujscy / Rusieccy family, castellan of Minsk, and built between 1673 and 1682. In a document of 1726 the church with a bell tower ‘formed over the narthex’ is described as ‘not old yet’, but requiring repairs to the roof, windows and floor. In 1798, the church was in a better state. In 1872, the tsarist government ordered the closure of the church as a Uniate church, then the conversion of the building to an Orthodox church in 1875, and thus supported its partial renovation. Complete renovation to the building was carried out in 1906-1912. In 1921, the church became a filial chapel of the Holy Virgin Mary the Queen of Poland in the parish in the village of Piszczac; since 1930 when the Roman Catholic parish was founded in Kościeniewicze, it has been a parish church. The foundation of the parish was associated with further renovations and alterations: in 1936 the shingle roof cladding was replaced with a sheet metal cladding; in 1949, the sacristy was extended; in 1974 the roof was renovated; and between 1985 and 1989 the tower and facades were renovated.


The current church (former Uniate tserkva) is oriented, with a chancel facing the east. The building features log construction, covered with weatherboards on both sides, reinforced with clamps, supported by a foundation. It consists of three sections, including a square nave, a narrower three-sided chancel and a porch (narthex). The sacristy adjoins the chancel and nave to the north. The bell tower over the porch features a post-and-frame construction and was pierced by semi-circular windows with tracery. Roofs have wide eaves decorated with pelmet ornaments made of boards and are covered with sheet metal. A hexagonal turret with a steeple crowned with a neo-Baroque dome juts upwards from the roof ridge. The nave has dual windows decorated with surrounds. An overhanging choir gallery with a balustrade is situated above the nave. The interior of the nave and chancel are covered by a common ceiling and separated by a semi-circular rood arch. The altar of the main nave from the early 20th century bears the hallmarks of the neoclassical style. The elements of the fittings and decor date from the 18th and 19th centuries. The church is located in the centre of the village. It is surrounded by old trees. A wooden bell tower which is reminiscent of the architecture of the church was built on its western site. A wooden rectory is located on the opposite side of the street.

Limited access to the monument. Viewing of the church interior is only possible by arrangement with the rector.

Compiled by Jan Niedźwiedź, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 12.08.2014.



  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. 8: Województwo lubelskie, issue 2: Powiat Biała Podlaska, Warsaw 2006, pp. 144-145.
  • Maraśkiewicz J., Baszkow A., Drewniana architektura Północnej części Euroregionu Bug, Biała Podlaska 2006, p. 57 et seq.
  • Maraśkiewicz J., Semeniuk A., Drewniane budownictwo sakralne, powiat Biała Podlaska, Lublin 2001, pp. 66-67.

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1673-1682
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościeniewicze
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district bialski, commune Piszczac
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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