UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland

Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael

The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael in Haczow has original Gothic polychrome decoration from the late 15th century, although the building has been dated to the previous century. At the beginning of the 17th century the church was enclosed by an earthen defensive rampart. Inside a valuable figural wall paintings dating from 1494 can be seen. It is believed that the Haczów church is the bigges ...
Founded: 1388 | Location: Haczów, Poland

St. James Church

St. James Church dates from the seventeenth or eighteenth-century. Together with different tserkvas it is designated as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine'. The tserkva in Powroźnik has existed since around 1600, but only a part of the former structure remains, arranged into the sacristy of the present tserkva. The architecture of the present ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Powroźnik, Poland

St. Paraskevi Church

St. Paraskevi Church is wooden church located in the village of Kwiatoń from the nineteenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine. The tserkov was built in the second half of the seventeenth-century. The date of the completion of the tserkov was dated at 1700. The tower was built in 1743. The date for the comp ...
Founded: 1700 | Location: Kwiatoń, Poland

St. Michael Archangel's Church

St. Michael Archangel"s Church in Smolnik was built the eighteenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine. The first reference to the existence of an Eastern Orthodox Church tserkva in Smolnik comes from a register in 1589 of the Sanok Land. It is presumed that the wooden tserkva was built at the start o ...
Founded: 1791 | Location: Smolnik, Poland

All Saints Church

The most valuable monument in Blizne is wooden Church of All Saints from the middle of 15th century. Church was built in the Late Gothic style, of stromal construction, on a stone foundation. In 17th century was surrounded by defensive ramparts. The Church has a rich painted decoration: the remarkable Last Judgement scene is from this period. In the early 18th century there were changes to interior decorations and furnitu ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Blizne, Poland

St. Michael Archangel's Church

St. Michael Archangel"s Church in Turzańsk together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine. The tserkva in Turzańsk, established as an Eastern Orthodox Church tsekva, later Uniate, was referenced in the first half of the sixteenth-century. The present tserkva was built at the start of the nineteenth-century in 1801, and later ...
Founded: 1801 | Location: Turzańsk, Poland

Church of the Archangel Michael

The Church of the Archangel Michael in Binarowa was built around 1500. In 1595 a tower was added to the west end, and at the beginning of the 17th century the church was enclosed by an external arcade. Window openings were enlarged and new polychrome decoration replaced the earlier stencilled work. The church is decorated with numerous sculptures and paintings of angels. The church is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Si ...
Founded: 1500 | Location: Binarowa, Poland

Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Church

Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Church in Owczary, from the seventeenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine. The tserkva in Owczary was raised in 1653. The tserkva is the second building of its type in this location - the first collapsed due to quicksand in its foundations. In 1701, the tserkva"s chan ...
Founded: 1653 | Location: Owczary, Poland

St. Paraskevi Church

St. Paraskevi Church in Radruż dates from the sixteenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine. The tserkva belongs to the oldest and best kept wooden sacramental architecture tserkvas in Poland. Part of the prestigious World Monuments Fund (WMF) list of buildings worthy of preservation and financial sponsorshi ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Radruż, Poland

St. Michael Archangel's Church

St. Michael Archangel"s Church in Brunary is a Gothic, wooden church from the eighteenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine. The first tserkva in Brunary was raised in 1616, when a Uniate parish was founded in the village. A new tserkva was built in 1653, while the present in the eighteenth-century ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Brunary, Poland

St. Leonard's Church

The Church of St Leonard was built at the end of the 15th century. From this date have survived parts of the polychrome decoration stencilled on the ceiling of the nave. The church was situated outside the defensive wall of the township and had the function of a cemetery church, a function that it still fulfils. It has been renovated many times, but this has not significantly affected its form or spatial arrangement The ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Lipnica Murowana, Poland

Mother of God Church

Mother of God Church is wooden church located in the village of Chotyniec from the seventeenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine. The first document recording the existence of the tserkva originates from 1671. The tserkva is one of numerous active Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church tserkvas in Poland, which s ...
Founded: 1671 | Location: Chotyniec, Poland

Church of St. Phillip and St. Jacob

St. Philip and St. Jacob the Apostles' Church in Sękowa was built at the beginning of 16th century. It was made using manually hewed larch wood covered with shingle. The church is a one-nave one with the chancel closed off at three sides. The interior is meagre, since the church was devastated during the wartime at the turn of 1914 and 1915. Wooden elements from the church were used to build trenches and consumed as fire ...
Founded: 1520 | Location: Sękowa, Poland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg in what was then the village of Lietzow. Originally named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. The inauguration of the palace was celebrated on 11 July 1699, Frederick's 42nd birthday.

Friedrich crowned himself as King Friedrich I in Prussia in 1701 (Friedrich II, known as Frederick the Great, would later achieve the title King of Prussia). Two years previously, he had appointed Johann Friedrich von Eosander (also known as Eosander von Göthe) as the royal architect and sent him to study architectural developments in Italy and France, particularly the Palace of Versailles. On his return in 1702, Eosander began to extend the palace, starting with two side wings to enclose a large courtyard, and the main palace was extended on both sides. Sophie Charlotte died in 1705 and Friedrich named the palace and its estate Charlottenburg in her memory. In the following years, the Orangery was built on the west of the palace and the central area was extended with a large domed tower and a larger vestibule. On top of the dome is a wind vane in the form of a gilded statue representing Fortune designed by Andreas Heidt. The Orangery was originally used to overwinter rare plants. During the summer months, when over 500 orange, citrus and sour orange trees decorated the baroque garden, the Orangery regularly was the gorgeous scene of courtly festivities.

Inside the palace, was a room described as 'the eighth wonder of the world', the Amber Room, a room with its walls surfaced in decorative amber. It was designed by Andreas Schlüter and its construction by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram started in 1701. Friedrich Wilhelm I gave the Amber Room to Tsar Peter the Great as a present in 1716.

When Friedrich I died in 1713, he was succeeded by his son, Friedrich Wilhelm I whose building plans were less ambitious, although he did ensure that the building was properly maintained. Building was resumed after his son Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) came to the throne in 1740. During that year, stables for his personal guard regiment were completed to the south of the Orangery wing and work was started on the east wing. The building of the new wing was supervised by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, the Superintendent of all the Royal Palaces, who largely followed Eosander's design. The decoration of the exterior was relatively simple but the interior furnishings were lavish. The ground floor was intended for Frederick's wife Elisabeth Christine, who, preferring Schönhausen Palace, was only an occasional visitor. The decoration of the upper floor, which included the White Hall, the Banqueting Hall, the Throne Room and the Golden Gallery, was lavish and was designed mainly by Johann August Nahl. In 1747, a second apartment for the king was prepared in the distant eastern part of the wing. During this time, Sanssouci was being built at Potsdam and once this was completed Frederick was only an occasional visitor to Charlottenburg.

In 1786, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew Friedrich Wilhelm II who transformed five rooms on the ground floor of the east wing into his summer quarters and part of the upper floor into Winter Chambers, although he did not live long enough to use them. His son, Friedrich Wilhelm III came to the throne in 1797 and reigned with his wife, Queen Luise for 43 years. They spent much of this time living in the east wing of Charlottenburg. Their eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who reigned from 1840 to 1861, lived in the upper storey of the central palace building. After Friedrich Wilhelm IV died, the only other royal resident of the palace was Friedrich III who reigned for 99 days in 1888.

The palace was badly damaged in 1943 during the Second World War. In 1951, the war-damaged Stadtschloss in East Berlin was demolished and, as the damage to Charlottenburg was at least as serious, it was feared that it would also be demolished. However, following the efforts of Margarete Kühn, the Director of the State Palaces and Gardens, it was rebuilt to its former condition, with gigantic modern ceiling paintings by Hann Trier.

The garden was designed in 1697 in baroque style by Simeon Godeau who had been influenced by André Le Nôtre, designer of the gardens at Versailles. Godeau's design consisted of geometric patterns, with avenues and moats, which separated the garden from its natural surroundings. Beyond the formal gardens was the Carp Pond. Towards the end of the 18th century, a less formal, more natural-looking garden design became fashionable. In 1787 the Royal Gardener Georg Steiner redesigned the garden in the English landscape style for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the work being directed by Peter Joseph Lenné. After the Second World War, the centre of the garden was restored to its previous baroque style.