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.



Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 1593/1717
Category: Religious sites in Slovakia


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hluboká Castle

Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.

The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.

The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.