Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine

St. George's Church

St. George"s Church in Drohobych is one of the oldest and best preserved timber churches of Galicia. The church is a monument of Galician wooden architecture of the late 15th - early 16th centuries, one of the best preserved and one of the best monuments of ancient Ukrainian sacral architecture. Built in the 15th century, it has been rebuilt several times and given the final architectural forms by the talented Ukrain ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Drohobych, Ukraine

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

Church of Our Lord’s Ascension

The Church of Our Lord’s Ascension, built in 1824, is a tserkvas of Ukraine classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building preserves an old 19th century iconostasis and is surrounded by an old cemetery and bell tower built in 1813.
Founded: 1824 | Location: Yasinia, Ukraine

Wooden Church of the Holy Spirit

Rohatyn is a small town considered as one of the historic places of Ukraine. The wooden Church of the Holy Spirit is a monument of folk architecture and monumental art of national importance included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This church, one of the most outstanding monuments of the Galician school of wooden architecture, was most probably built in the first half of the 17th century. It is one of the oldest wood ...
Founded: 1598 | Location: Rohatyn, Ukraine

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

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

Holy Trinity Church

Wooden Holy Trinity Church was built in suburb of Zhovkva, Ukraine in 1720 on the place of a church that burned down in 1717. The structure consists of three wooden naves and a brick sacristy. There is an iconostasis consisting of about 50 icons painted by the masters of Zhovkva Painting and Carving School of Ivan Rutkovych in the beginning of 18th century. The iconostasis is made from linden wood carved by Ign ...
Founded: 1720 | Location: Zhovkva, Ukraine

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

Descent of the Holy Spirit Church

Wooden Descent of the Holy Spirit Church was built in suburb of Potelych, Ukraine in 1502 on the place of a church that was burned down by tatars. It is the oldest wooden church in Lviv Oblast. The structure consists of three wooden naves and a brick sacristy. In 2013 Holy Trinity Church was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List among 16 wooden tserkvas of Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine.
Founded: 1502 | Location: Potelych, Ukraine

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. Dmytro's Church

Matkiv village boasts the St. Dmytro"s Church, built in 1838, in 2013 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with other wooden tserkvas of Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine. In 1831 Wooden Church of Synaxis of Blessed Virgin Mary which already existed in 18th century was in pretty poor conditions. In its place in 1838 masters Ivan Melnykovych and Vasily Ivanovich built a new wooden church of Boik ...
Founded: 1838 | Location: Matkiv, Ukraine

Nyzhniy Verbizh Church

Wooden church of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1788 (1808) and belongs to the well-preserved five-domed church of Hutsul style.There are preserved iconostasis of early nineteenth century with magnificent carvings of rococo painting and ancient icons. The church was covered by tin in 1990. In the late 80's - early 90's when in Soviet Union ruled barter tin to Western Ukraine imported from Russia and Eastern ...
Founded: 1788 | Location: Nyzhniy Verbizh, Ukraine

Church of the Archangel Michael

St. Michael Church was built in suburb of Uzhok, Ukraine in 1745. The structure consists of three wooden naves and a brick sacristy. In 2013, Holy Trinity Church was added to the UNESCO World Heritage. It was among 16 wooden tserkvas of Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine to be added.
Founded: 1745 | Location: Uzhok, Ukraine

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.