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 survived World War II and the subsequent Polish population transfers. The tserkva had undergone numerous renovations and was reconstructed in 1733, 1858, and 1925. After the 1947 Operation Vistula (displacement of Ukrainian minorities out of the Polish People's Republic), the tserkva was closed, and transformed into a Roman Catholic church. In the 1980s, the tserkva was closed due to its poor structural state. In 1990, the tserkva was taken back by its previous owner and re-transformed into a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church tserkva. Between 1991 and 1994, the tserkva underwent a complex renovation, mainly by the help of the local parishioners.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.