The Uniate Church of St Michael the Archangel, currently the Roman Catholic Parish Church of St Michael the Archangel, Witoroż
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The Uniate Church of St Michael the Archangel, currently the Roman Catholic Parish Church of St Michael the Archangel

Witoroż

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The monument is a rare and valuable example of a complex of wooden sacred architecture from the late 18th century. It consists of a tserkva (church) with fittings, a bell tower and the surrounding area.

History

Researcher date the church to 1739. The tserkva was erected at the site previously occupied by a church founded by Grand Crown Hetman of Lithuania Lew Sapieha in 1605. Until 1874 the tserkva was used by the Uniates; between 1875 and 1918 it was taken over by the Orthodox Church; with the foundation of a Catholic parish, in 1919 it was converted to a parish church. The church was restored in 1900 and renovated in 1924 (roof repairs), 1927 (painting of the interior), 1946 (covering the roof with sheet metal), 1960 (replacement of the ground plate and foundation), 1965 (new steeple) and 1982 (restoration of the interior). Further repairs, modernisations and ordering works in the surrounding area were carried out in recent years.

The wooden bell tower situated on the axis of the church facade, which also serves as a gate, dates back to the 18th century.

Description

The church, the former tserkva, is situated in the southern part of the village, terminating the axis of the main road. The building built of wooden logs supported by a foundation and reinforced with clamps. It is a single-nave, non-oriented church, with the chancel facing the south. The almost square nave adjoins a narrower chancel with a sacristy and a small treasury located on the right and left side of it, which make the rectangular shape of the floor plan of the building complete. A small porch surrounded by an arcade resting upon eight columns is located to the north, and the wall enclosing the chancel is accompanied by an analogous arcade. The front facade is single-axis, smooth, with ornately weatherboarded top, slanted window and cross on the axis (repeated at the top of the chancel and porch). All facade are covered with vertical weatherboards and batten siding. The rectangular windows of the nave and the chancel are located at the same level. The log structure of the buildings is crowned with a pronounced cornice, mirrored on the walls of the chancel. The roof is covered with shingles; the nave and chancel are gable-roofed, analogously over the porch, but elongated with three triangular sections to the arcade. A neo-Baroque steeple covered with copper sheet metal is incorporated in the roof ridge of the nave The interior features the main altar and two side altars in the neo-Baroque style and twentieth-century and older decor. An overhanging choir gallery is situated above the nave on the opposite side. A wooden bell tower features a post-and-frame structure which is covered with vertical board and batten siding. The building consists of two storeys, with an asymmetrical gate and hallway running across the ground floor, and with pairs of rectangular openings on the upper storey. The bell tower features a hip roof, covered with sheet metal, with four shed roofs over the wider ground floor.

Limited access to the monument. Viewing of the church interior is only possible by prior arrangement with the rector.

Compiled by Jan Niedźwiedź, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 24.09.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. 8: Województwo lubelskie, issue 2: Powiat Biała Podlaska, Warsaw 2006, pp. 233-234.
  • Maraśkiewicz J., Baszkow A., Drewniana architektura północnej części Euroregionu Bug, Biała Podlaska 2006, p. 58.
  • Maraśkiewicz J., Semeniuk A., Drewniane budownictwo sakralne, powiat Biała Podlaska, Lublin 2001, pp. 92-93.

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1739
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Witoroż
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district bialski, commune Drelów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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