The Wooden articular church in Kežmarok was built by the local Lutherans during a period of religious persecution, when they were allowed to erect only wooden churches. That is why even nails were made exclusively of wood. The construction was financially supported by Protestants from various countries, including Sweden and Denmark.

The only stone part of the church is its sacristy, originally built in 1593 as a pub outside the city walls. In the 17th century, the Roman Catholic dynasty of Habsburgs persecuted Protestantism in the Habsburg Monarchy, which included territory of present Slovakia at that time. The number of churches was limited to one in each free royal town, Kežmarok being one of them. The construction material had to be the cheapest possible (wood at that time) and a church had to be completed in 365 days. Furthermore, the site of a new Protestant church had to be chosen by a royal commission. In Kežmarok, a royal commission deliberately chose an ancient pub as a place of worship, in order to humiliate the local Protestant community. The pub was subsequently incorporated into a hastily constructed religious building as a sacristy.

The oldest parts are an epitaph from 1688 and a Renaissance baptistery from 1690. They are the only remaining parts of the first church. The second wooden church, erected in the Baroque style in 1717, completely replaced the first building. It has the shape of an equal-armed Greek cross. The space can accommodate 1,541 worshipers. According to a legend, circular windows were made by Swedish sailors contributing to the construction. The organ, completed in 1729, is known for its perfect sound despite having only wooden pipes.

The church is one of only five Lutheran wooden churches remaining in Slovakia. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountain Area.

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Founded: 1593/1717
Category: Religious sites in Slovakia

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User Reviews

Stanislava Šulcová (19 months ago)
Krásný kostel, který je zapsán do dědictví UNESCO. Z vnějšku je hezký a odmítnutý, ale ve vnitř je ještě hezčí. Celý interiér je dřevěný, s krásnými malbami... Vstupné 3€ a za focení dalších 2€, paní "průvodkyně" je velmi příjemná, škoda... kazí to celý dojem z návštěvy... :-( #UNESCO #DrevenyKostel
H.S KIM (19 months ago)
유네스코 세계문화유산으로 지정된 목조교회. 내부 사진촬영은 불가능하고 설명도 슬로바키아어로만 이루어짐. 대신 영어 팜플렛 나눠주니 그거 보면됨.
Tomáš Kuruc (19 months ago)
Bol som v ňom iba raz ale viem že v ňom vôňa história a preto sa vyplatí si ho pozrieť v celej svojej kráse.
Zuzana Kolníková (2 years ago)
Krásny drevený kostol. Oplatí sa vidieť. Za príspevok či dar na jeho obnovu a údržbu dostanete aj výklad od miestnych.
Franz Kunz (3 years ago)
A very impressive wooden building but the entrance fee is a bit annoying.
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