True gems of church architecture in the Bieszczady on the UNESCO list! The diversity of styles and forms, while being interconnected and coherent, makes them some of the most sought-after attractions in the Bieszczady. Discover what is worth seeing in the Bieszczady by exploring these remarkable places.


The churches in Smolnik and Turzańsk – both wooden, unique, and yet so very different from each other. When visiting the churches in the Bieszczady, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the fleeting history and the intricate meanders of life in the beautiful surroundings of nature.


Greek Catholic Church in Smolnik - Pearl of the bieszczady


35 Smolnik Cerkiew greckokatolicka pw. św. Michała Archanioła fot. Krystian Kłysewicz.webp [2.46 MB] Smolnik - Greek Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel, photo: Krystian Kłysewicz

A unique and the only one in Podkarpacie Orthodox church in Boyko style! The church is unique in the world. It towers over the area, and the surrounding trees, which are several hundred years old, could certainly tell many stories from the time when Smolnik used to be a populous and bustling village. In its heyday, there were two steam sawmills, a brickyard, a tannery, an oil mill, a dairy and two water mills.


The Orthodox church was built in 1791, and unfortunately history has not spared it. After the displacement of the Boyko population, it became redundant and abandoned. It was even used to store hay for a few years. It wasn't until the church was converted into a Roman Catholic church in 1974 that the shrine was appreciated anew. In the interior, the original furnishings have not been preserved, yet it has been decorated in a beautiful contemporary way, and these furnishings include e.g. the magnificent chandelier made of deer antlers, which is particularly impressive.


Turzańsk - Orthodox church complex - Greek-Catholic church of  St. Michael the Archangel


Built between 1801-1803 for the Lemko population. After the displacement of the population until 1961, the church served Roman Catholic faithful. Upon the return of the Lemkos in 1963, the church once again became a place of prayer in their native language, highlighting the cultural richness of the Bieszczady.


There is a legend associated with the Turzańsk church, which says that it was the Mother of God who chose the place for the new church when, during a fire in the older church, an icon of the Mother of God flew out of a broken window and fell right on the site of the current church.


The interior of the church deserves special attention. The prominent polychrome features a painting depicting St. Olga instructing St. Vladimir and a Lemko sowing grain, and the artist depicted a typical Beskid landscape in the background. The paintings also include a depiction of Christ with a Lemko family in a highland cottage. The south sacristy had a unique feature. It was used as a candle store (parishioners did not have to bring them from home).

Jan_Ulicki_Cerkiew_w_Turzańsku_5710.webp [1.03 MB] Turzańsk Orthodox church complex photo: Jan Ulicki


Be sure to visit these and other sites on the Wooden Architecture Route in the Bieszczady!




Orthodox church in Smolnik

Address/Driving Directions: 38-713 Smolnik

Taking the road No. 896 from Lutowiska in the direction of Stuposiany, in Smolnik we turn left and enter the access road to the temple.


Turzańsk - Orthodox church complex

Address/Driving Directions: 38-542 Turzańsk

Driving along the road No. 892 from Szczawne in the direction of Komańcza, 5 km after the intersection with road No. 889, in Rzepedź we turn left on the local road to Turzańsk. After driving 1.5 km, on the right you will see an Orthodox church, approximately 100 m from the road.

For more information on other wooden architecture, visit:



Map of Bieszczady attractions