Wooden Tserkvas of Poland
I visited this WHS in September 2014. I only visited the 4 out of the 8 tserkvas of Poland but I think I got the gist of the OUV of this transnational WHS. That said, I’d really love to visit the tserkvas of Ukraine as well as the remaining tserkvas of Poland as their architecture and location make them truly hidden gems. I had put a lot of preparation work prior to visiting this WHS. From the UNESCO website I got the coordinates of the 4 tserkvas I wanted to visit and saved them on my navigator. This turned out to be a very wise decision as sign posts are non-existant while most of them are hidden by tall trees and are quite isolated. The tserkva of St. Michael the Archangel in Brunary Wyzne was closed when I visited so I took some quick pictures knowing that it wasn’t the most beautiful tserkva. Next I visited the tserkva of St. Jacob the Younger in Powroznik where I was welcomed by a young priest. Entrance was free and shortly after I went inside the church, the priest showed me the way to the small sacristy with incredibly beautiful paintings on the wooden walls. Of all the tserkvas I visited this one had the best interior by far. The exterior was really beautiful too but it was almost impossible to take photos of it as it hidden behind the tall trees that kept it hidden well and always in the shade. Perhaps visiting on a sunny day in Winter or Autumn would be the best bet for photography as the surrounding trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves seasonally, revealing the lovely tserkva behind. Before leaving I went back inside for one last quick peek and luckily I noticed a frame on the dark church wall. Upon closer inspection I realised it was the UNESCO WHS certificate! Next I visited the small tserkva of St. Paraskevi in Kwiaton. Its architecture is harmonious and really photogenic but its best feature is the iconostasis inside. The last tserkva I visited was the Tserkva of Our Lady’s Protection in Owczary. It has a smaller iconostasis inside which is still worth visiting. Again entrance is free so I felt compelled to buy a small souvenir. I bought an interesting booklet on The Wooden Architecture Route in the Malapolska Region for only 10 zloty with detailed information and pictures of several wooden churches, most of which are not inscribed on the WH list. My favourite tserkva exterior is the one in Kwiaton although it’s quite hard to take good pictures because of the tall trees. The tserkva in Owczary isn’t surrounded by trees which makes it the ideal tserkva for photography in summer especially at sunset (picture).
Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine – Poland