The tserkvas were built by the Orthodox and Greek Catholic communities (you may remember our trip to Przemyśl where I told you more about Greek or Ukrainian Catholics). Today they are mostly either Orthodox or Roman Catholic. This is the case of the tserkva of Saint Jacob in Powroźnik.
It is built with wood only (including the roof and the towers). As in the church of Saint Leonard, the windows are only on the Southern side. Let's enter inside.
The gate is guarded by both Jesus ...
... and Virgin Mary.
Inside, you will surely notice the golden iconostasis. In the original church it was standing in front of the altar. Since now the tserkva is used by the Roman Catholic community, the iconostasis was cut and put behind the altar.
The tabernacle is covered with gold.
We are lucky today as we will be able to enter also the sacristy and admire some amazing wall paintings.
South-Eastern part of Poland includes numerous tserkvas like this one. Only a handful is part of the UNESCO list. But the others can be really beautiful so let me show you two more. Just next to Krynica-Zdrój you can see the tserkva in Złockie.
Again, windows only on the Southern side. This one is also a Roman Catholic church today. Let's come closer.
Inside, the iconostasis is even bigger than the one in Powroźnik, with many paintings of the saints and a scene of the Last Supper just in the middle.
|Source: Drewniana Małopolska|
And finally the third one, this time in Jastrzębik. This one is special because it is still used by the Greek Catholic community.
The tserkva is today closed so we will only look at it from the outside. You can see here how the wooden pieces fit together.
After Second World War, the Lemkos minority, the original builders of the tserkvas, were relocated by the government to other regions of Poland. As a result not many of them live and use their churches. The wooden tserkvas remain a symbol of their cultural influence and the interrelation between the Polish and Ukrainian society.