Wood is a unique raw material, serving man for many hundreds of years as fuel or construction material. It was from wood that buildings of various purposes were erected, often rising to the heights of carpentry craftsmanship. It was no different in the picturesque corners of the Low Beskid, among the Subcarpathian hills and forests, where to this day wooden masterpieces of the building art delight the eye of locals and tourists. And some of them are of exceptional value awarded the UNESCO label.


UNESCO-listed wooden churches in the Low Beskids


Among the treasures of wooden architecture in the Beskid Niski region of Podkarpackie, two churches in particular are worthy of note: the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of St. Peter and Paul. The Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Haczow, and the Church of All Saints in Blizne with a complex of buildings. Both have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an indisputable confirmation of their importance and uniqueness.


08 Haczów Stary kościół parafialny pw. św. Wniebowzięcia NMP i Michała Archanioła fot. Krystian Kłysewicz.webp [671.82 KB] UNESCO wooden church in Haczów, photo by K. Kłysewicz

The church in Haczow is the largest wooden Gothic church in Europe. Whether it is due to the elaborate, soaring structure, or the qualities of the place that affect the other senses - the aromatic smell of centuries-old wood, the play of light inside the building - people experience the rapture of the soul in the Haczów temple.


The temples in Haczów and Blizne are impressive not only for their history, but also for their size and interiors bearing unique sections of painting and sculpture art from different eras. There are interesting stories associated with some of them. Such is the case with the more than 600-year-old Gothic Pieta in Haczów, brought by the waters of the Wisłok River, as well as with the miraculously surviving statue of Our Lady Queen of Full Grace in Blizne.

06 Blizne kościół parafialny pw. Wszystkich Świętych fot. Krystian Kłysewicz.webp [672.88 KB] Wooden church in Blizne - UNESCO, photo by K. Kłysewicz


What also distinguishes the temple in Blizne is the 17th-century polychrome, which tells biblical stories. The Biblia pauperum - for it is the Bible in question - funded here in great majority by the peasants of Blizno - is an undeniable decoration of the temple. It was, among other things, the richness of these paintings that determined the temple's inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage List.




Subcarpathian Route of Wooden Architecture in the Low Beskid Mountains

It is impossible not to mention the Subcarpathian Route of Wooden Architecture - on the route of the trail located in the Low Beskid, next to the temple in Haczów or Blizne, there are several peculiarities


_DSC6941_Świątkowa Wielka_Michał Bosek.webp [376.13 KB]

Among them you can find a real jewel - a temple painted in bright colors - St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. The church of St. Michael the Archangel in Świątkowa Wielka has a distinctive green and blue facade. This charming building is a living reminder of the Lemko community, which inhabited the area in large numbers years ago.

Colorful here is not only the exterior of the temple, but also the polychromes preserved inside, with an eye-catching painting of the prophet Elijah driving a horse-drawn chariot, whose cult - due to the lordship over lightning attributed to him - was particularly vivid in Russia. The rushing chariot of Elijah was explained in folk tales by the sound of thunder.




While the magic of wooden architecture - with its fragrance of resin and aromatic oils, its tender textures and its eye-pleasing details - is best admired in person, awakening one's senses, in a situation of all sorts of limitations, comfort and a substitute for sublime sensations can be brought by technology. It is thanks to it - with the help of the Internet we can visit some of the temples of the Low Beskid, including the one in Świątkowa Wielka or Lutcza at any time of day or night. And with the help of special accessories (VR glasses, cardboards), literally move inside them!

EXPLORE ONLINE Orthodox church in Świątkowa Wielka

You can read more about the wooden architecture of the Beskid Niski in the Podkarpackie region on the pages of the Wooden Architecture Route.

the Wooden Architecture Route






map of attractions of the Low Beskid