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Latest Articles
... on the UNESCO from Małopolska (PL)... (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

Wooden Architecture Route
Dear Visitor,

   251 most valuable and highly interesting historic wooden buildings form the Wooden Architecture Route in Małopolska. Along the trail are picturesque Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic and Orthodox churches, tall bell-towers, Old Polish manor and detached houses, heritage parks, all of which are considered invaluable legacy of folk culture that stood the test of time.
   The Wooden Architecture Route came into existence in 2001 as a result of the efforts of Małopolska Region. As soon as the design phase of the route was completed and working partnerships established with neighboring regions information boards and way finding signs were put in place.

    In 2003 four wooden churches in Małopolska were entered onto the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. Among them are: the Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Binarowa, the Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Dębno Podhalańskie, St. Leonard’s Church in Lipnica Murowana and the Filial Church of St. Philip and St. Jacob in Sękowa.
   In 2008 route signs were renewed and supplemented.
   We have high hopes that this service will prove informative and help you plan your itinerary for your trip to Małopolska. We also invite your comments and feedback.

 * Lipnica Murowana - 15th
* Brunary Wyżne - 1797
* Kwiatoń - 17th
* Owczary - 1653
* Sękowa - 16th
* Binarowa - 1500
* Powroźnik - 1600

   The Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Dębno Podhalańskie was built in 1490, with a spire added in 1601. The church’s emergence is linked to the activity of the  Cistercians in Ludźmierz, but the first reliable mention dates from 1335. The interior church walls are decorated by unique painting and polychrome work from the C15th-C16th, featuring geometric and floral motifs in a striped arrangement. Inside the church you can see: a late-gothic triptych in the main altar dating from the early C16th, a historical cross from 1380, a unique C15th xylophone and a tabernacle from the early C14th.
Anna, Barbara, Zakapior
   In 2003 the building was entered onto the UNESCO World Heritage List.


The Wooden Architecture route in Dąbrowa Tarnowska (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

   All Saints’ Church - in Dąbrowa Tarnowska (1771) under the patronage of the canon of Kraków, Kajetan Potocki. The three-nave church is an  interesting example of baroque wooden architecture, recalling brick models. This basilica church possesses two chapels which form a transept. The interior, divided into naves by arcades, is covered by false vaulting. There is polychrome decoration in the late-baroque tradition which dates from the second half of the C19th. The majority of the fitting are rococo and date from the C18th. The oldest and most valuable work of art in the church is the C15th/C16th late-gothic crucifix.


The Wooden Architecture route in Wierzchosławice (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

   The “Wincenty Witos House” Museum
in Wierzchosławice is a peasant’s farm house built by the “leader from Wierzchosławice” himself. He built the farm house on land he received with his wife’s dowry. The farm known as the Witos farm by the village inhabitants consists of a complex of wooden buildings arranged in a square: these are, a residence, a stable containing the permanent historical exhibition and museum office, two barns (one has an exhibition of the flags of peasant parties and organizations) and a cellar.


The Wooden Architecture route in Wojnicz (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

   St. Leonard’s Church in Wojnicz dates from the second half of the (C16th) and has come down to the present day almost unaltered. It is a single-nave building built using log construction and covered by a single-ridge roof. In the nave you can see false arched vaulting with coffering, while in the chancel there is a flat ceiling. The interior of the church is decorated by three neo-renaissance altars from the end of the C19th. The main altar contains four copies of C16th renaissance paintings, depicting: The Annunciation of the BVM and St. Leonard with chains, aith on the right St. Catherine, and on the left St Helena.


The Wooden Architecture route in Tarnów (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)


* The Church of the Holy Trinity, 1563 - 89,

* The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
known as “on the Burek” (the church is dedicated to: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the parish is dedicated to: Our Lady of the Scapular) was erected before (1458), on the Wątok stream. It is one of the oldest wooden  churches in Małopolska (Lesser Poland). The pillar spire with a bell house, capped by a spherical cupola and lantern, was added in 1910. Inside, the flat coffered ceilings (in the nave) are covered by polychrome decoration from the 1930s  the work of Tadeusz Terlecki. On the north wall of the chancel you can make out the remnants of late renaissance ornamental polychrome from the C16th-C17th. The rococo main altar dates from the second half of the C18th, and its central panel has a C16th painting of Madonna with Child.


The Wooden Architecture route in Zawada (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

   St. Martin’s Parish Church in Zawada (C15th) stands on the crest of a hill. The church interior has impressive C20th  polychrome decoration figurative on the ceilings and ornamental on the walls. The oldest fitting elements are the four late-gothic bas-reliefs on the choir parapet. Another precious relic is the late-gothic crucifix from the beginning of the C16th. The early-baroque main altar from the first half of the C17th contains a painting of St. Martin which also dates from the same period. A curiosity is the chain, hung between the nave and chancel, which was probably produced by a blind pastor from a single piece of wood.


The Wooden Architecture route in Skrzyszów (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

   The Parish Church of St. Stanisław the Bishop in Skrzyszów was erected in (1517), and in the C18th the nave was enlarged and a pillar spire with  a gallery surrounding the bell house (a hourdis) was added. Towards the end of the C18th two large chapels, female and male, were added to the nave, forming a transept. The church walls and ceiling are covered by art nouveau polychrome from 1907 along with the remnants of older polychrome: late-gothic from around 1517 and rococo from 1777. Among the oldest and most interesting fitting elements are the late-gothic choir stalls in the chancel (turn of the C16th), on which you can make out the Tarnowski crest of arms - the Leliwa.


The Wooden Architecture route the Ropa in Sękówka Valley Route... (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

* Wysowa Zdój
   The Orthodox Church of St. Michael the Archangel (previously a Greek Catholic Church) was erected in (1779) on the site of a previous church which
burnt down in
(1777) during fighting between the  Bar Confederates and the Russian Army. The church belongs to the group of West Lemko religious buildings. Originally it was tripartite but it is now a bipartite building - in 1910 the nave was enlarged to include the porch. The neo gothic polychrome decoration dates from 1912-13. The interior contains a complete C18th baroque iconostasis, while the north side of the nave has a baroque side alter with an icon of Our Lady.
Zakapior, Bohdan Zhukiewicz (photo bo, zakapior)
translated by Justyna Rymarowicz

 * Wysowa Zdój - 18th
* Wysowa Zdój - 1936-38
* Hańczowa
- 19th
* Skwirtne - 1837
* Uście Gorlickie - 1786
* Przysłup - 1756
* Nowica
- 1642

 * Bielanka - 1773
* Męcina - 1638
* Ropica Górna - 1813
* Gładyszów - 1938
* Gładyszów - 1857
* Zdynia - 1786
* Konieczna - 1903

* Kwiatoń
    The Greek Catholic Parish Church of St. Paraskevi (currently a Roman Catholic Auxiliary Church) arose in the second half of the (C17th).  The church is a classic example of Lemko church architecture, and on account of its proportions is considered one of the most beautiful Orthodox churches in Poland. It was erected using log construction with shingled walls and roofs. The interior décor contains polychrome work with figurative and ornamental motifs dating from 1811. It has retained its fittings intact: an iconostasis (screen with icons) by M. Bogdański from 1904, and in the chancel a C19th main altar as well as two side altars with icons of Madonna with Child and the Deposition.

* Owczary
    The Greek Catholic Parish Church of the Protection of the Mother of God
was built in (1653). The church was renovated repeatedly, and underwent a complete overhaul in the 1980s. At that time they restored the shingles on the walls and tented roofs, and the conservation work as a whole was awarded the Europa Nostra international prize. The interior is covered by polychrome decoration from 1938. The complete church fittings consist of: an C18th baroque iconostasis with a rare icon of Christ in the Tomb, two baroque side altars - the north one with an icon of Madonna with Child (C19th), and the south one with an icon of St. Nicholas (C18th).


The Wooden Architecture route in Szymbark (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)


- The Greek Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God - 1790-1821
- The Auxiliary Church of St. Adalbert - 1782
- Kasztel Gładyszów

   The Folk Building Centre in Szymbark, a branch of the Courts of the Karwacjans and Gładyszes Museum, has since September 1987 displayed  an exhibition of the folk building and culture of the inhabitants of Pogórze Gorlickie. It consists of over a dozen buildings dating from the end of the C19th and the beginning of the C20th, which are fitted out with their old furniture and appliances. Other attractions are the windmills from the early C20th, brought from Kryg and Ropa. Next to the renaissance castle stands an early C20th wooden manor house from Gorlice, the so called “drogomistrzówka”, inside of which an exhibition of courtly life has been set up.

Photo (Jan, Zakapior)


The Wooden Architecture route in Bartne end Bodaki (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)


Bodaki - 1902 - the Greek Catholic Paris Church
* Bodaki - 1932 - the Filial Orthodox Church
* Bartne - 1842 - the Greek Catholic Parish Church
* Bartne - 1928-29 - the Orthodox Parish Church 

   The village of Bartne has Lemko buildings
, characteristic for the entire Lemko region. The typical old Lemko house was the so-called “chyża”„,”  which contained the whole household and farm under one roof. The building was divided by a threshing floor; on one side were the living quarters, while on the other was the stable, cowshed or sheepfold. The attics were most often used as places for storing the hay or corn. The houses were usually thatched. The walls were painted sky-blue, the windows decorated by borders with large black or white spots, and the space between the beams was white-washed with lime. The richest decoration is found in the East Lemko region.
Photo (Jan, Zakapior)


The Wooden Architecture route - Pogórzanie (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

 * Ptaszkowa - 1555
* Wilczyska - 1605
* Szalowa
- 1736
* Ropa
- 1761
* Rożnowice - 1756
* Libusza
- 1513

photo -, Bohdan Zhukiewicz (Jan, zakapior, bo)

* Sękowa
 The church of St Philip and St James the Apostles,
- is one of the most beautiful monuments of wooden architecture in Poland. It was erected at the beginning of the (16" century) what is testified by a late gothic baptismal font in the form of a chalice with an engraved (date 1522).  The characteristic silhouette of the church is unique due to the steep roof joining the roofs of the arcading (the so-called soboty) and finally almost reaching the ground. Among interesting architectural details there is a late gothic portal and windows in the choir closed with keel arches. The most valuable furnishings of the church are as follows: panel painting in the high alter depicting saints Nicholas, Anthony and Bernard of Siena dated to the 16" century and an old relief over the mensal with the presentation of Death of Virgin Mary surrounded by the Apostles.
     Since 1883 art historians and conservators demonstrated a great interest in the church. It is depicted in the drawings of Stanisław Wyspiański, Józef Mehoffer, Władysław Tetmajer and other artists of the epoch.
   During the First World War Austrian and Hungarian army devastated the church thoroughly, demolishing it to strengthen the trenches and for making fire; the furnishing were also destroyed completely. Immediately after the military actions stopped senator Władysław Długosz started, and most probably financed, the reconstruction of the church.

* Binarowa
    The Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel was erected
in (around 1500). It is a log building surrounded by a covered veranda (soboty),  with a post-frame construction spire added in 1596. The interior is a decorative art gallery: the ceiling has precious paintings from the beginning of the C16th, while the walls have baroque biblical cycles and in the chapel there is unique polychrome decoration from 1655. The most precious church fittings are the gothic sculptures dating from the end of the C14th: Madonna with Child, and the bas-reliefs of St. Margaret, St. Dorothy, St. Catherine and St. Barbara, found in the side altars. In 2003 the church was entered onto the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Bohdan Zhukiewicz


The Wooden Architecture route in Krynica Zdrój end Tylicz end Powroźnik (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

Krynica Zdrój
   The health resort buildings
date from the second half of the (C19th). They consist of grand wooden villas,  modeled on the architecture of Alpine health resorts and often recalling the so-called Swiss style, but also including features of native building styles. They were built using log-construction or post-frame construction, and possess extensive porches supported on pillars, and balconies with decorative balustrades.
The oldest of the buildings is the pump room.
   The “Romanówka” villa
was built in the middle of the C19th as a holiday guest house in the growing Krynica health resort.  It fulfilled this function for over 100 years. After being moved to its current location and the interior being adapted, the building was opened in 1994 as the Nikifor Museum / “Romanówka” Art Gallery, a branch of the District Museum in Nowy Sącz. In it you can marvel at the paintings of Epifian Drowniak, the famous naive painter and Lemko known as Nikifor Krynicki. The architecture of the villa, built in the so-called Swiss style, is an example of the health-resort’s eclecticism.
* The Auxiliary Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord and Our Lady - 1863
* The Filial Greek Catholic Church of the Protection of the Mother of God - 1887-88
Bohdan Zhukiewicz
Photo (Jan, Zakapior)

* The Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul - 1612
* The Greek Catholic Parish Church of St. Cosmas - 1743

* Powroźnik

    The Greek Catholic Parish Church of St. Jacob the Younger (currently a Roman Catholic Parish Church) was built in 1600 and is therefore the oldest Orthodox Church in the Polish Carpathians. It was repeatedly repaired, and in 1813-14, after a flood, it was moved to its current location. The interior layout is tripartite with square rooms. The walls of the sacristy are covered by precious figurative polychrome from 1607. The rich church fittings include an iconostasis from 1743-44, currently partially dismantled, an C18th baroque side altar with a painting of Christ at the Column, and many valuable icons including The Last Judgment from 1623.

Photo (Jan, Zakapior)


The Wooden Architecture route in Stary end Nowy Sącz (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)
   The Ethnographic Park, District Museum in Nowy Sącz
   The wooden buildings
that have been preserved in Stary Sącz - (1257) date from the (mid-C19th)  they are wide-façade buildings with a manor house feel as well as free-standing rural houses. The latter have interesting gates with an unusual arrangement of planks on the door frame surface, or panel decoration. The buildings on the market square consist of bourgeois brick houses from the end of the C18th, built after the town fire of 1795. Among the most beautiful is the C17th “Dom na Dołkach” (“House on the Pits”), erected from stone and covered by a shingled roof. One precious Stary Sącz wooden building is the Szekler Gate  a gift from the Szeklers of Transylvania for John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of St. Kinga.
Bohdan Zhukiewicz


Zawoja... (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

   The Józef Żak Heritage Park in Zawoja Markowa was set up in 1973 on the initiative of Józef Żak, the long-running  president of the PTTK’s Babia Góra Branch in Sucha Beskidzka. The present plot of land was bought then along with the peasant hut from 1900 which stood there and belonged to Franciszek Kudzia. An exhibition was set up inside devoted to mountain tourism and it was also used as a  Research Station for the PTTK. In the 1980s Stefan Gancarczyk’s early-C20th hut was brought to the heritage park along with the oldest and most precious building in the park, the kurna (chimney-less) hut of Franciszek Stopiak from Zawoja Budzonie, dating from 1802-15. In this, the oldest building, an ethnographic exhibition was set up with characteristic interior fittings for the inhabitants of Babia Góra.

Parish Church of St. Clement the Pope and Martyr - 1888.


Sidzina... (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

  The Regional Museum in Sidzina opened in 1963 to mark the 400th anniversary of Sidzina’s founding. The creator of the  open-air museum is Adam Leśniak. In it you can see an exhibition of traditional buildings from the Orawa region, including the peasant cottage and fittings of W. Banasik from 1806; a granary called “Górka” (hill) from 1897, which houses the Institute of National Memory, dedicated to the memory of September 1939 soldiers and World War II partisans, as well as a smithy transferred from Spytkowice. An unusual adornment to the open-air museum is a wooden Loreto bell-tower dating from 1937.


Sucha... (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

The Rome Inn in Sucha Beskidzka,
- was erected in the mid-C18th, with the consent of the old landlords of the location the Wielopolskis, when Sucha,  gaining privileges and the right to, for example, hold fairs, became a trading settlement. It is a single storey log-construction building, covered by a hipped roof with a characteristic ridge and arcades at the front. The name Rome Inn draws on the legend of Mr. Twardowski (a Faust-like figure) and the ballad written by Adam Mickiewicz. Currently the tavern contains a restaurant serving Old-Polish and regional dishes.


Jurgów... (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

   The Parish Church of St. Sebastian and Our Lady of the Rosary in Jurgów probably dates from the year 1675, and was founded  by the village administrator Jakub Kesz and the miller Mikołaj. The brick sacristy and St. Joseph’s Chapel date from 1935. The walls are log-construction and completely covered in shingles, decoratively carved into a herring-bone pattern. The rococo polychrome decoration with figurative,  geometrical and floral motifs dates from 1813, and during the inter-war period it was repainted by Kazimierz Piętka. The church fittings are mainly rococo (C18th); the main altar is adorned with a figure of Our Lady of the Rosary and sculptures of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The complex of shelters in the Podokólne Clearing - 1879,
The Sołtys Farm House - Spiš Folk Culture Museum - 1861.


The Wooden Architecture route in Krościenko n/Dunajcem end Szczawnica Zdrój (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)
Szczawnica Zdrój - 1413
Krościenko nad Dunajcem - 1251
   The buildings date from the (C19th). The most valuable are those on the south frontage of the rectangular market square - four houses from the first half of the C19th, set gable-end on to the square and sharing common walls. Noteworthy are the houses from the second half of the C19th which are more imposing and have more floors, displaying spa architecture. Whereas in the Zawodzie district on Zdrojowa Street there are a number of 1930s log-construction wooden buildings, built to fulfill the needs of the growing spa. Characteristic of this architecture is the rich carpentry decoration of the porches and columned balconies.
Bohdan Zhukiewicz


The Wooden Architecture route in Sromowce Niżne (Way of Wooden Architecture from Malopolska)

   St. Catherine’s Church in Sromowce Niżne probably arose in (1513). Towards the end of the 1980s a new brick church was erected which took over the function of the parish church. The old church was built using log construction with vertically boarded and molded walls. The nave and chancel are the same width and are covered by a uniform shingled polygonal roof. The interior ceilings are flat. A precious relic is the gothic triptych from the end of the C14th with a copy of a sculpture of Madonna with Child. Two wings of a C15th triptych and a C16th wooden gothic font were moved to the new church.


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