Orthodox filial tserkva of St Anne, Stary Kornin
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Orthodox filial tserkva of St Anne

Stary Kornin


The tserkva in Stary Kornin was once one of the most important Uniate and then Orthodox sanctuaries in the Podlasie region, dedicated to the worship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today, this small, filial tserkva remains an example of vernacular ecclesiastical architecture with evident Russian influences, manifesting themselves mostly in the décor of its façades. The tserkva forms part of an ecclesiastical complex consisting of a pair of wooden tserkvas, both of them having a significant artistic and historical value.


The Orthodox parish of St Michael the Archangel and St Anne in Stary Kornin was originally founded in 1631, adopting the Union of Brest eight years later. The construction of the first tserkva took place between 7.XI.1630 and 25.VIII.1631. In 1709, the miraculous apparition of the icon of the Mother of God occurred there, which led to the tserkva becoming a Marian sanctuary famous across the entire Podlasie region. The next parish church was consecrated in 1733 as the church of St Michael. In 1839, the parish returned to Orthodoxy following the dissolution of the Union of Brest. The tserkva of St Anne was erected in 1892, using the timbers left over from the dismantled bell tower. It was designed to serve as a temporary place of worship while the neighbouring parish tserkva was being erected. The tserkva of St Anne was restored and consecrated in 1903. After World War I came to an end, the parish in Stary Kornin was abolished, with the local churches now forming part of the parish in Dubicze Cerkiewne. The parish in Stary Kornin was re-established in the year 1940. Today, church service at the tserkva of St Anne are held only on certain occasions, mostly on holidays related to the patron saint of the church.


The tserkva is located in the middle of the village, surrounded by a cemetery; it is situated on the south-western side of the road leading across the village, next to the parish tserkva of St Michael the Archangel. It is oriented towards the east. The tserkva forms an example of a wooden tserkva with clear influences from Russian wooden architecture.

The church is a single-nave structure. The cuboid nave is covered with a gable roof surmounted by a bulbous cupola in its eastern section. An octagonal bell tower topped with a tall, pyramid roof surmounted by another bulbous cupola rises above the entrance into the church. The rectangular chancel on the eastern side of the church is narrower and lower than its main body and covered with a three-sided roof. The tserkva is a wooden building, with a log structure used for the main body, while the bell tower features a post-and-beam structure instead. The building rests on a stone and brick foundation. The walls of the tserkva are covered with wooden boards inside and out. The roof and cupolas are clad with sheet metal. The weatherboards on the façades follow a vertical layout up to the window level; those positioned higher up the walls, on the other hand, are arranged in a horizontal pattern. The windows are rectangular in shape, topped with triangular arches and divided into small, rectangular panes; they are framed with decorative surrounds with sinuous volutes and feature projecting, profiled window headers forming small rooflets above the windows. The bargeboards as well as the boards running beneath the eaves feature decorative, serrated edges. The interior follows a tripartite layout. The chancel is separated from the rest of the church by an iconostasis. A flight of steps leads from the vestibule into the organ gallery, featuring a railing supported by balusters. The interior fixtures and fittings include an 18th-century iconostasis relocated from the tserkva of St Michael the Archangel and modified in 1892.

The historic monument can be viewed from the outside. The interiors may be visited during church service.

compiled by Tomasz Rogala, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 17-11-2015.


  • Korch J., Parafia w Starym Koninie w XVI-XVIII wieku, “Białoruskie Zeszyty Historyczne” 2000, no. 14, pp. 74-87.
  • Mironowicz A. (ed.), Księga cudów przed ikoną Matki Bożej w Starym Koninie dokonanych, Białystok 1997.
  • Sosna G., Święte miejsca i cudowne ikony. Prawosławne sanktuaria na Białostocczyźnie, Białystok 2001.
  • Stankiewicz D., O niektórych zabytkach ruchomych z cerkwi pw. św. Michała Archanioła i św. Anny w Starym Koninie, “Białostocczyzna” 1992, no. 3, pp. 56-57.
  • www.starykornin.cerkiew.pl

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1839 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Stary Kornin 32
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district hajnowski, commune Dubicze Cerkiewne
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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