March 26, 2013

0576 POLAND (Lesser Poland) - Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland (UNESCO WHS)

As I wrote when I presented the Wooden Churches of Maramureş, in a wide area in Carpathians, which transcends the countries borders, the ethnic affiliation and religious beliefs, the locals have developed the craft of building wooden churches. Now is the time to write about Wooden Churches of Southern Lesser Poland, included in 2003 among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This site contain six churches, located in Binarowa, Blizne, Dębno, Haczów, Lipnica Murowana, and Sękowa, representing "outstanding examples of the different aspects of medieval church-building traditions in Roman Catholic culture."

The style of these buildings originated in the late 16th century, and began with Gothic ornament and polychrome detail, but the structure, general form, and feeling is different from the gothic architecture in stone or brick. Later constructions have Rococo and Baroque ornamental elements, and also Greco-Catholic and Orthodox influences.

The church from the postcard, dedicated to Saint Leonard, is in Lipnica Murowana willage, which lies approximately 48km south-east of Kraków. Built at the end of the 15th century outside the defensive wall of the township, on the site of a pagan shrine, it had the function of a cemetery church, a function that it still fulfils. Its interior boasts mostly baroque decor yet the ceiling paintings date from the 15th, the 16th, and the 17th centuries. In the 17th century also wooden arcades have been attached on the outside. Actually it has been renovated many times, but this has not significantly affected its form or spatial arrangement.

About the stamp
The stamp, depicting the convent of Jasna Gora, is part of the Polish Cities series,  about which I wrote here.

Wooden churches of Southern Lesser Poland - Wikipedia
Wooden churches of Southern Lesser Poland - UNESCO official website
Krakow's Wooden Architecture - Krakow info

sender: Mircea Ostoia
sent from Oświęcim / Auschwitz (Lesser Poland / Poland), on 11.10.2012

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