The Uniate parish tserkva, currently the John the Baptist Orthodox parish tserkva, Szczyty-Dzięciołowo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Uniate parish tserkva, currently the John the Baptist Orthodox parish tserkva



A temple belonging to the group of Baroque Uniate Orthodox churches on an octagonal plan, popular in the area between Bielsk Podlaski and Orla in the second half of the 18th century. Along with a wall that fences the parish cemetery, the cemetery, bell tower and the John of Nepomuk figure ascribed to Jan Chryzostom Redler, it represents a complex with great landscape values.


The feature was erected in 1785; it was founded by Jan Walenty Węgierski, the king’s chamberlain. In the same year, the Greek Catholic parish was established in Szczyty. From 1839 onwards — Orthodox, which ensued the replacement of tserkva equipment: removal of a pulpit and altars and the introduction of iconostasis. Its renovation in 1878 consisted in replacing the ground plate, repairing the foundation, bracing the walls, lining the floor with marble panels, removing partition walls under the choir gallery and supporting the choir gallery with pillars as well as painting the façade. In 1885, the new, two-row iconostasis was added. In 1918, the parish in Szczyty was abolished and the faithful were relocated to the parish in Orla. In 1946, the parish was reopened. In 1973, the Dutch roof tiles were replaced with wood shingles, the steeple was restored to the original shape with arcaded bell openings. The roof repair of 1993 consisted in replacing wood shingles and flashings as well as covering the steeple and the porch roof with copper sheet.


The feature, along with the bell tower, is located in the northern part of the village, on a hill, at the centre of a tserkva cemetery surrounded by trees. Nearby, there is a burial cemetery, while behind the tserkva cemetery, there is a Baroque St John of Nepomuk figure. Oriented to the East.

It was designed in the Baroque style.

The monument consists of an octagonal nave body including a presbytery, a porch on a plan that resembles a square and a sacristy added to the southern presbytery wall. The nave body is covered by an eight-faced roof, the porch with a gable roof, while the sacristy - with a three-sloped roof. The roof ridge of the nave body is crowned with a Baroque steeple with a quadrangular section and chamfered corners; it is covered with a bell-like tower spire with a cross on a baluster base, decorated with panels that include arcaded bell openings.

The structure is made of log timber and it rests on a foundation; the porch is made of brick. Walls of the nave body and sacristy are weatherboarded vertically with board and batten siding, braced with studs; porch walls are plastered. Roofs of the nave body and sacristy are covered with wood shingles; the porch roof and steeple - with copper sheet. Window and door frames made of wood; frame, multi-panel windows; exterior planked door. A planked ceiling; a floor from marble panels. Internal wooden stairs.

An open-area, aisleless interior; a presbytery separated by the iconostasis. The choir gallery in a three-sided matronea resting on two pillars and enclosed by a baluster.

Equipment: iconostasis and wooden icon cases (example of the 19th century Russian art); valuable set of oil altar paintings by Augustyn Mirys from the fourth quarter of the 18th century.

Accessible historic building.

compiled by Aneta Kułak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Bialystok, 22-09-2014.


  • Karta ewidencyjna, Cerkiew par. prawosławna p.w. Ścięcia św. Jana Chrzciciela, d. unicka w Szczytach-Dzięciołowie, oprac. Kornecki M.. 1978, Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków w Białymstoku oraz Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa w Warszawie.
  • Sosna G., Fionik D., Szczyty - dzieje wsi i parafii, Bielsk Podlaski-Ryboły-Białystok 2005.
  • Sosna G., Troc-Sosna A., Cerkiewna własność ziemska na Białostocczyźnie w XV-XX wieku, Białystok 2004, str. 393-405.

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1785 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Szczyty-Dzięciołowo
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district bielski, commune Orla
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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