Uniate tserkva of the Guardianship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, currently known as the parish church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Ortel Królewski Drugi
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Uniate tserkva of the Guardianship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, currently known as the parish church of Our Lady of the Rosary

Ortel Królewski Drugi


A particularly valuable and picturesque example of wooden ecclesiastical architecture of the southern Podlasie region from the late 17th/early 18th century.


The historic tserkva was erected back in 1706 at the initiative of rev. Teodor Bielecki. It was constructed by a man known as Nazaron, a carpenter, who used parts of the earlier, smaller tserkva which had stood in the village from 1660 onwards. An inventory compiled in 1726 states that the new tserkva consisted of a nave, chancel and narthex with a tower, the entire structure being encircled by covered exterior walkways. During the mid-18th century the building was extended through the addition of two sacristies - the northern and the eastern one - which now adjoined the chancel. In years 1875-1919, the tserkva served as an Orthodox church. Its interior was repainted and its fittings were replaced at that time, with a thorough restoration taking place in 1912; from 1919 onwards, the building has been in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church, first serving as a chapel and then, from 1922, as a church of the newly established parish. The change of ownership entailed a series of both exterior and interior renovation works in the 1920s and 1930s, including the construction of a new main altarpiece and the replacement of the original wood shingle roof cladding. Subsequent renovation works performed in the 1950s and the 1960s involved the repainting of the interior and various works intended to ensure preservation of the wooden joinery, the roof structure and the façades of the church. In years 1994-96, a series of advanced renovation and conservation works was performed, encompassing the roof, the ceilings, the tower and the external weatherboard cladding; these works were subsequently carried on in the early 21st century, this time covering the interiors and décor of the church.


The former tserkva (currently serving as a church) stands among the loosely spread houses that form the village of Ortel Królewski, on the eastern side of the road, occupying a plot of land circumscribed by a fence and surrounded by trees. Right behind the tserkva there is a parish cemetery, with the rectory being situated on the opposite side of the road.

The tserkva is a wooden log structure made of pinewood logs reinforced with vertical supports and clad with weatherboards. The building is oriented towards the east and follows a tripartite layout consisting of a square nave, a rectangular chancel flanked by a pair of sacristies as well as a narthex surmounted by a quadrangular post-and-frame bell tower. A covered walkway with a roof supported by wooden posts runs alongside the front and the sides of the narthex. Above the narthex and its broad skirt roof rises the tower, adorned with lavish fretwork decorations and topped with an octagonal steeple with a bulbous cupola clad with sheet metal and topped by a cross. A similar steeple rises above the common roof ridge which runs above the nave and the chancel. The tserkva is covered by a steep hip roof clad with wood shingles. The pronounced eaves, extended to cover the sacristies, are adorned with pelmet-like fretwork decorations.

The entrance which leads from the narthex to the nave is adorned by a painting entitled “Christ Emmanuel”, with the lintel above the doorway carrying inscriptions in Old Church Slavonic referring to the builder of the tserkva, its benefactor as well as the date of construction thereof. Inside the nave there is an organ gallery supported by a pair of pillars, featuring a fretwork balustrade made of wooden planks designed to resemble turned balusters. The chancel opens up towards the nave through the rood arch adorned with painted decorations revealed during the most recent conservation works. These decorations, originating from the times when the church was still a tserkva, incorporate the motifs of Crucifixion, the Baptism of Christ and Ascension. The main altarpiece as well as the two side altarpieces incorporate various Baroque and Rococo decorations.

The historic monument is accessible to visitors. Viewing of the church interior is only possible by prior telephone arrangement.

compiled by Jan Niedźwiedź, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 09-10-2014.


  • 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. 199-200.
  • Maraśkiewicz J., Semeniuk A., Drewniane budownictwo sakralne, powiat Biała Podlaska, Lublin 2001, pp. 75-76.
  • Maraśkiewicz J., Baszkow A., Drewniana architektura Północnej części Euroregionu Bug, Biała Podlaska 2006, p. 57 et seq.
  • Maraśkiewicz J. - Cerkiew unicka p.w. Protekcji Najświętszej Matki ob. kościół parafialny rzym.-kat. p.w. NMP Różańcowej, “Wiadomości konserwatorskie województwa lubelskiego” 2010, vol. 12, pp. 375-385.

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1706
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Ortel Królewski Drugi
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district bialski, commune Piszczac
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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