This blog is dedicated to the wooden churches and other forms of traditional folk architecture found throughout the Carpathian region in Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic. My eventual goal is to visit and photograph all of these churches, and I will post the photos and a description of each of them here.
Friday, December 3, 2010
This formerly Greek Orthodox church located in Poland's far south-eastern corner sits on a steep wooded hillside above the small village of Ulucz. Thought to be one of the oldest Eastern Rite churches in the country, the tserkva was constructed in 1659 as part of a monastery complex with surrounding fortifications. The monks closed the monastery and left the region in 1744, but the church continued to serve the local Orthodox population until the 20th century.
At the end of the Second World War, the Boyko ethnic group who lived in the village were forcibly resettled to other parts of Poland, and Catholic Poles were encouraged to settle in the region. As a result, the Greek Orthodox church was converted for use as a Roman Catholic church for the second half of the 20th century. It has recently been taken over by the Museum of Folk Architecture in the nearby town of Sanok and is now used only as a museum. A mass is held in the church just once each year, on Ascension Day (40 days after Easter).
The church interior is nearly empty, as the Greek Orthodox iconostasis and icons are now on permanent display in the Sanok museum. A few badly faded painted frescoes can be seen on the wooden walls, including one depicting the crucifixion of Christ. The key to the church is kept by the family who live in house number 16 at the opposite end of the village. They are happy to come and open the church for visitors who come by car, as the distance to the church is about two kilometres along the road.
The village of Ulucz is best reached with your own transport, though there are infrequent buses which run to the village from the town of Sanok. Another excellent option is renting a bicycle in Sanok in order to travel to Ulucz and to have the opportunity to visit other villages in the region as well.