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The St Cosma and Damian Greek Catholic parish tserkva - Zabytek.pl


woj. podkarpackie, pow. jasielski, gm. Krempna-gmina wiejska

The temple in Krempna is a textbook example of religious buildings erected in the western part of the Lemkovyna region.

The distinguishing feature of these Greek Catholic tserkvas were chambered towers rising above the narthex, the varying heights of individual sections of the church as well as multi-tiered hip roofs surmounted by bulbous steeples. The spatial composition of these churches clearly shows that the main, log frame temple structure and the post-and-beam tower rising above the narthex are structurally independent parts of the church.


According to the surviving foundation plaque, the tserkva was built in 1782, with the tower most likely being a remnant of an earlier temple. The building underwent restoration works in 1830, 1893 and 1936 (the original wood shingle roofing having most likely been replaced with metal sheeting at that time). In the first half of the 19th century, the iconostasis was added, featuring icons painted by a painter known as Krasucki of Przemyśl in years 1835-1836. After 1964, the church stood abandoned for a number of years. From 1971 onwards it functions as the St. Maximilian Kolbe Roman Catholic Church. Subsequent renovation works were carried out in 1971 and 2007 (extensive renovation and conservation works, including the replacement of metal roof sheeting with wood shingles). The tserkva performed the function of the parish church until a new temple was built in 2004.


The church is oriented towards the east; it stands in the central part of the village in a densely built-up area, near the crossroads of the Polany - Świątkowa and Grab - Nowy Żmigród roads.

A Greek Catholic tserkva typical of the western Lemkovyna. A tripartite structure consisting of the chancel, nave and narthex topped with a tower equipped with the so-called zachata, a type of storage space created by erecting light weatherboard walls under the eaves of a pent or skirt roof appended to the tower wall. Spaces inside the church retain a floor plan with a shape approximating that of a square. The chancel is significantly narrower than the nave and terminates with a straight wall in the east. The floor plan of the adjacent sacristy located north of the chancel has the shape of an elongated, irregular rectangle. The church is made of wooden logs positioned on a stone foundation; its chambered tower (with a faux belfry) is a post-and-frame structure. The walls of the tower taper towards the top. The building is made up of three main sections, i.e. a small chancel, the nave (which is much taller and more massive than the chancel) as well as the tower dominating the entire structure; the presence of the two- and three-tiered hip roofs and irregularly shaped walls as well as of the bulbous spires surmounting the individual sections of the church introduces an element of variation. The height of the log structure of the walls of the nave is considerably greater than that of the narthex and chancel walls. The chancel, nave and tower have tented roofs, the roof above the nave being two-tiered. The roofs are topped with bulbous spires the design of which incorporates faux roof lanterns. The sacristy is covered with a shed roof. The walls of the tower have wood shingle cladding, while the nave and chancel walls are both clad with vertically positioned weatherboards. The windows are rectangular, with the nave and the south wall of the chancel featuring dual windows.

Inside, the nave and the chancel both have pyramid-shaped four-faced cupola ceilings made of wooden logs. The narthex features an open beamed ceiling. The narthex opens up into the nave at its entire width and height. The choir gallery runs along the walls of the narthex and the western wall of the nave. The chancel features a wall painting some features of which are typical of the Classicist style, most likely originating from the late 18th century. The iconostasis was built during the first half of the 19th century and features four distinct sections.

The building is available all year round and may be visited upon prior telephone appointment.

Compiled by Ryszard Kwolek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszów, 12.08.2014.


  • Karta ewidencyjna, Cerkiew w Krempnej, oprac. Szanter Z., Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków Delegatura w Krośnie.
  • Kiełboń C., Michalczuk S., Krempna, woj. rzeszowskie, pow. jasielski. Cerkiew drewniana. Dokumentacja naukowa, 1968, mps w Pracowniach Konserwacji Zabytków w Lublinie.
  • Szlak Architektury Drewnianej, oprac. Fortuna-Marek A., Giemza J., Kwolek R., Mazur J., 2003, mps, Archiwum Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa OT w Rzeszowie.
  • Brykowski R., Łemkowska drewniana architektura cerkiewna w Polsce, na Słowacji i Rusi Zakarpackiej, Warszawa 1986.      
  • Szematyzmy duchowieństwa grecko-katolickiego z lat 1877, 1879, 1927, 1936, 1938-39.

Category: tserkva

Building material:  drewniane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_18_BK.11370, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_18_BK.194731