Uniate tserkva of St Demetrius the Martyr, currently the filial Roman Catholic church of St George Orthodox parish tserkva, Krzyczew
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Uniate tserkva of St Demetrius the Martyr, currently the filial Roman Catholic church of St George Orthodox parish tserkva

Krzyczew

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The church is an exceedingly rare valuable example of preserved wooden 17th-century sacred architecture that had once been one of the hallmarks of the northern part of the Lublin region.

History

The tserkva, in its current form, was built in 1810, using the foundations of the previous Uniate tserkva erected back in 1683 for the funds provided by Józef Hornowski, the owner of the Pratulin manor. A description of the tserkva dating back to 1811 provides that the floor plan of the new tserkva, consisting of a rectangular nave and a narrower chancel abutted by a sacristy, was similar to that of the previous structure. In 1875, as the tserkva was taken over by the Orthodox church, substantial changes to its outline and interior décor were introduced. A narthex surmounted by a bell tower was added in front of the nave. Inside, the walls were stripped of the original canvas wallpapers, covered with wooden boards and painted dark grey. The floor and ceiling boards were also replaced, the new ones being decorated with figural painted motifs. When the Catholic church regained control of the tserkva after 1919, the building became a filial church, initially serving the Malowa Góra parish and then the Neple parish. From 1925 onwards, the tserkva was treated as a public chapel, with disuse and lack of renovation works bringing about its gradual decay. Some emergency works were performed in the early 1970s, resulting in the replacement of the roof truss and repairs of the nave and chancel roofs; the crumbling tower, however, could no longer be saved. A comprehensive restoration of the tserkva was performed in years 1998-2000. The brick foundations, sill plates and roof truss were all replaced, the damaged wooden logs were replaced, the roof received a new copper sheet cladding while a new porch was constructed in front of the church. Works resumed in years 2006-2007, when the interiors underwent a thorough renovation; both the nave and chancel walls were covered with wooden boards, the cupola ceiling structure was reinforced and the painted decorations on the ceiling as well as the painting of St George on the main altarpiece were restored to their former glory.

Description

The former Uniate tserkva, currently serving as a Catholic church, is located at the edge of the village, right next to the steep slope leading down to the Bug river which flows along the border. The wooden log structure resting upon a brick and stone foundation is reinforced by two pairs of vertical supports and clad with wooden boards on both sides. The tserkva follows a tripartite plan and is not oriented towards the east as is usually the case with buildings of this type; the church consists of a chancel with a rectangular termination which faces north, a nave built on a rectangular plan as well as a porch. A sacristy adjoins the chancel to the west, while towards the south there is an open porch with a triangular pediment which protects the main entrance against the elements. The roofs above the individual sections of the tserkva vary in terms of height and design, with three-sloped roofs being used for both the nave and the chancel; all roofs are clad with sheet metal. An octagonal steeple with a bulbous cupola topped with a cross perched upon a globe rises from the roof ridge near the southern gable. The interior is illuminated by a series of windows which pierce the side walls, adorned with rectangular surrounds. Inside, the nave and the chancel share a common flat ceiling. A ceiling painting from ca. 1910, incorporating the portrayal of God, the Veil of Our Lady with two angels as well as other religious symbols adorns the ceiling of the nave. The organ gallery is positioned above the porch, opening up towards the nave. A large crucifix adorns the rood beam. The main altarpiece dates back to the 1920s and incorporates an image of St George battling against the dragon, most likely executed back in 1775. The Baroque tabernacle is believed to have been crafted during the second half of the 18th century. The side altarpieces, dating back to the second half of the 19th century, incorporate religious paintings that had been used at the tserkva before it became a Catholic church - the images of St Ignatius of Antioch and St George. The church is surrounded by a wooden picket fence and a group of old trees. In the church cemetery, visitors may admire a brick tomb of Marianna Dramińska Bogusławska née Kobylińska, who died in 1832; the tomb takes the form of a shrine, incorporating a marble inscription plaque. In addition, there is also a memorial stone commemorating Tadeusz Kościuszko. The old alley leading from the tserkva towards the south provides a visual link between the tserkva and the neighbouring manor house and park complex.

Viewing of the church interior is only possible before or after church service or by arrangement with the parish priest.

compiled by Jan Niedźwiedź, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 14-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Województwo lubelskie, issue 2: Powiat Biała Podlaska, edited and compiled by K. Kolendo-Korczakowa, A. Oleńska, M. Zgliński, Warsaw 2006, pp. 147-148.
  • Maraśkiewicz J., Semeniuk A., Drewniane budownictwo sakralne, powiat Biała Podlaska, Lublin 2001, p. 69.
  • Maraśkiewicz J., Baszkow A., Drewniana architektura Północnej części Euroregionu Bug, Biała Podlaska 2006, p. 57 et seq.
  • Maraśkiewicz J. - Kościół filialny pw. św. Jerzego w Krzyczewie, “Wiadomości konserwatorskie województwa lubelskiego” 2005, vol. 7, pp. 237-246.
  • http://www.kosciolydrewniane.pl/pages/drewniane/krzycze.html

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1683
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Krzyczew
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district bialski, commune Terespol
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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