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

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.

Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.