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Nativity of Virgin Mary Greek Catholic parish tserkva complex - Zabytek.pl


woj. podkarpackie, pow. bieszczadzki, gm. Czarna-gmina wiejska

The general structure of the Michniowiec tserkva conforms to the traditional tripartite, three-domed layout, even though its shape borrows heavily on the sacred architecture of brick and stone churches built during the Baroque period.

Compared to other wooden tserkvas in Poland, this particular church is unique due to its spatial composition (including an octagonal nave) as well as the structural solutions applied (the pillars supporting the cupola ceiling above the nave). The church bell tower is the only surviving structure of its kind, a relic of the Boyko material culture.


The tserkva was erected in 1863 or 1868. In 1924, the temple was refurbished and extended through the addition of a porch and sacristy. After 1951, the church stood abandoned for many years. From 1971 it was used as a Roman Catholic filial church of the parish in Czarna Górna. The bell tower was erected in 1904 by a carpenter named Jakub Grzyb; it was subsequently renovated in 1987.


The tserkva complex is located in the central part of the village, on its eastern side, some distance away from other village buildings. It stands on a hill, surrounded by a wooden fence. The tserkva is oriented towards the east. A free-standing wooden bell tower is located south of the church.

The church is a wooden building on stone foundations (the western part of which is higher due to the sloping terrain), based on a log structure. The building consists of three parts - a large octagonal nave, a three-sided chancel adjoining it from the east and a rectangular narthex in the west. The chancel and narthex are considerably narrower and smaller than the nave. The sacristy abuts the chancel from the north, while a small porch adjoins the western wall of the narthex. The overall shape of the building features three distinct sections, dominated by the central mass of the nave. The roofs of the chancel, narthex and nave are dome-shaped, multi-hipped, topped with windowless lanterns; the bases of all three roofs are positioned at an identical height. The sacristy and porch are gable-roofed. All roofing made of sheet metal. The sill plate and foundation are covered with a wood-shingle skirt. The walls of the church are covered with vertical board and batten siding. The walls are topped with a projecting profiled cornice. Below the cornice there is an fretwork arcaded frieze, running around the entire length of the building. Rectangular windows topped with segmental arches; the window in the sacristy is fully rectangular. All doors leading into the building are rectangular in shape.

Inside, above the nave, an eight-faceted dome constructed using wooden logs rests upon wooden pillars. The ceilings in other chambers are flat. The choir gallery with a fretwork balustrade made of wooden boards and topped with a simple, unadorned sill, runs alongside the walls of the narthex and the western walls of the nave. Both the iconostasis and the altar behind it have been preserved, most likely dating back to the third quarter of the 19th century.

Standing next to the church is the free-standing wooden bell tower built on a square plan. This three-storey tower has a mixed internal structure, with the two lower storeys built on a log frame and the third one using a post and beam structure. Individual storeys of the bell tower separated with wood-shingled skirt roofs - above the ground floor, the skirt roof forms a pronounced band encircling the structure, resting on wooden rafter tails, with another, smaller apron roof above the second storey. The third storey is covered with a pyramid hipped roof supported by a king post. The walls of upper storeys covered with vertical weatherboard cladding, with the log structure of the building left exposed on the ground floor level.

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, 02.07.2014.


  • Record sheet, Michniowiec, Cerkiew par. gr.-kat. p.w. Narodzenia NPMariicompiled by Szanter Z., 1978, Archive of the Voivodeship Heritage Monuments Protection Office, Krosno Regional Office.
  • Record sheet, Michniowiec, Dzwonnica przy cerkwi, compiled by Szanter Z., 1978, Archive of the Voivodeship Heritage Monuments Protection Office, Krosno Regional Office.
  • Augustyn B., Zabytki kultury materialnej we wsiach Bystre, Lipie i Michniowiec, [in:] „Bieszczad” Rocznik Towarzystwa Opieki nad Zabytkami Oddział w Michniowcu1998, nr 5.
  • Bańkosz R., Cerkwie bieszczadzkich Bojków, Krosno 2010.
  • Brykowski R., Drewniana architektura cerkiewna na koronnych ziemiach Rzeczypospolitej, Warszawa 1995.      
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Woj. krośnieńskie, Lesko, Sanok, Ustrzyki Dolne i okolice, Warszawa 1982.
  • Kryciński S., Cerkwie w Bieszczadach, Pruszków 2005.
  • Saładiak A., Pamiątki i zabytki kultury ukraińskiej w Polsce, Warszawa 1993.
  • Szematyzmy duchowieństwa grecko-katolickiego from years 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.15623, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_18_BK.175080