During the Austrian and Hungarian Empire in the 18th century, a renewed religious movement within the Lutheran church necessitated the building of a large church to accommodate those who wanted to worship. In 1773-74 in the town of Paludza, a wooden church of great magnitude was designed by Jozef Lang. When construction was completed in 1782, the Baroque style church, was able to hold 6000 members. In 1978, due to construction of the dam Liptovský Mara, the church was taken down to be rebuilt on the outskirts of the village Svätý Kríž.
Even though it is not immediately obvious, when approaching the church take notice of its shape. The church has a floor plan in the shape of a cross. Walking into the sanctuary, a person doesn't know where to begin. The ceiling and wooden beams take your breath away as arches connect from one place to the next forming a dome in the center.
A balcony surrounds three sides facing the head of the cross, and in some places there is also a second even higher balcony. The balconies can be reached at the foot of this cross-shape on either side, but watch your head, the ceiling is low and the steps are steep almost resembling a fat ladder.
Paintings from various artists are located all around the church. Emperors portraits have been painted on the altar or along the balcony's edge. While at the head of the building are pictures of the 11 disciples. Because Judas betrayed Jesus, he was not included here.
The other balconies have captivating paintings depicting the popular clothing, or from the burghers and the aristocracy from the 17th and 18th centuries. In between each picture is a plant or floral motif extending to the ceiling. One painting to be pointed out is that of Johannes der Tšufer showing Jesus with a lamb.
The pulpit of dark wood with intricately detailed carvings and additional paintings is held in an elevated position by an angel that strains beneath it. A picture of King David playing a harp is positioned on the balcony just below where an ornately designed pipe organ sits majestically waiting for those who will offer up songs of praise with him. The wooden church can be opened by request in the parsonage next door, or you can go and join the services on Sunday at 9:30. Either time you go, plan some time to absorb all of the little details.
24. Sep 1996 at 0:00 | Kim Briggs