Pokrow Greek Catholic filial church complex of Our Lady, currently not in use, Wola Wielka
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Pokrow Greek Catholic filial church complex of Our Lady, currently not in use

Wola Wielka

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The Orthodox church complex in Wola Wielka represents a standard type of an eighteenth-century wooden sacred architecture of Eastern Church. It is also a well-preserved homogenous complex of structures built just after the town had been chartered. As a sacred building complex, the Orthodox church with a bell tower and cemetery, surrounded by a stone wall, is an integral part of the landscape. The monument is distinguished by its immensely valuable artistic features.

History

The village was chartered only in the second quarter of the 18th century. A parish was founded shortly afterwards (9 October 1754), and an Orthodox church and probably a bell tower were erected half a year later (28 April 1755). The complex was funded by the head of the village, Wasyl Szczir[y], and the village council. As early as in 1784, the church was a filial church of the parish in Leipzig, and since the mid-19th century it served as a church of the parish in Krupiec (now part of Narol). During the renovation carried out around 1844, a wooden sacristy was added to the chancel, and a choir was installed in the interior. In 1893, painter Joan Manastyrski decorated the interior with wall paintings. Probably at the same time, the church underwent complete renovation that involved building an eight-plane spherical cupola with a lantern (previously the nave was probably covered with a quadrangular cupola having a log structure). The narthex and the chancel were covered with false boarded vaults; the sacristy was extended in a northerly direction; some of the door openings were enlarged and windows were replaced. In 1927, the wood shingles on the roofs were replaced with metal sheeting. After World War 2, the church began to serve as a filial chapel of the Roman Catholic parish in Leipzig. It has not been in use since 1994 (after the construction of a new church). Village residents in cooperation with the Pro Academia Narolense Foundation take care of the complex.

Description

The complex is located in the centre of the village, surrounded by village buildings, on a small hill enclosed with a stone fence. In the north-western part of the complex, there is a free-standing bell tower dating back to the period of construction of the Orthodox church. The area within the fence is occupied by numerous graves made by stone workshops in Brusno (19th/20th c.). The Orthodox church was built of wood and is a log structure on a tripartite floor plan, consisting of a chancel, nave and narthex on nearly square floor plans. The nave is larger than other rooms. A large sacristy also built on a nearly square floor plan adjoins the chancel to the north. The compact body of the church is dominated by the nave which is taller and larger than the other components, additionally elevated by an octagonal tambour covered with an eight-plane dome surmounted by a lantern. The chancel and the narthex are considerably lower than the nave and are covered with gable roofs. The gable roof also covers the lowest room, i.e., the sacristy. A pronounced skirt roof supported by protruding ends of the logs, so-called rafter tails, runs around the whole building, except for the sacristy. The roof is located halfway up the walls of the chancel and the narthex. All roofs are clad with sheet metal. The walls of the nave above the skirt roof were covered with vertically installed weatherboards with battens and surmounted by arcades. The narthex, chancel, sacristy and lower part of the nave (below the skirt roof) feature an exposed log structure. A lintel of the main portal bears an engraved inscription in Latin: “DOMUS DEI AEDIFICATA A: D: 1755 D: 28 Apr.”.

Inside the church, the nave is covered with an eight-plane dome featuring a log structure, on a low tambour. The narthex and the chancel are topped with false segmental-arched barrel vaults. The narthex is open to the nave by wide profiled clearance. The passage opening leading from the nave to the chancel has the form of a wide and low semicircular arcade. A choir supported by two pillars was added to the western wall of the nave. The preserved interior fittings include only a few components of the design of the Orthodox church from the 19th century and early 20th century, such as a fragment of an iconostasis from the early 19th century (purchased in Łówcza in 1902), altar from the first half of the 19th century. Some of the church fittings have been also preserved in the collections of the museums in Łańcut and Lubaczów.

Next to the church, there is a free-standing wooden two-storey bell tower featuring a post-and-beam structure, erected on a square floor plan. The storeys are separated by a pronounced skirt roof running around the bell tower. The structure of the building is clearly discernible in the lower storey. The upper storey is covered with weatherboards installed vertically up to two-thirds of the height and pierced by pairs of oculi. Above the weatherboards, the building is adorned with decorative structural components (braces reinforcing the posts), forming door openings nearly semicircular in outline (two in each wall). The floor on the upper storey is made of boards. The bell tower is covered with a low tented roof.

The area surrounding the church, enclosed by a stone fence, is occupied by a preserved cemetery with a group of several dozen gravestones dating back to the period from the first half of the 19th century to 1945, made by stone workshops in Brusno. The cemetery features a free layout of gravestones.

The structure can be viewed from the outside; viewing of the church interior is only possible by prior telephone arrangement.

compiled by Ryszard Kwolek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszów, 14-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Brykowski R., Drewniana architektura cerkiewna na koronnych ziemiach Rzeczypospolitej, Warsaw 1995
  • Makara S. P., Mazur J., Materiały do dziejów Narola i Lipska, "Rocznik Lubaczowski”, vol. VIII, Lubaczów 1998
  • Mazur J., Cerkwie drewniane w okolicach Lubaczowa. Katalog, Lubaczów 1997, typescript available at the Museum in Lubaczów, part 5
  • Record sheet Cerkiew folialna greckokatolicka p.w. Opieki NMP w Woli Wielkiej, prepared by J. Mazur, Archives of the Monument Protection Service (SOZ) in Przemyśl, 1999
  • Record sheet Dzwonnica w zespole cerkiewnym greckokatolickim p.w. Opieki NMP w Woli Wielkiej, prepared by J. Mazur, Archives of the Monument Protection Service (SOZ) in Przemyśl, 1999

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1755 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wola Wielka
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district lubaczowski, commune Narol - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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