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Model of wooden church to commemorate village’s religious past

THE HISTORY of religious life in Kružľová, a village in eastern Slovakia, will be commemorated by a model of a long-since demolished local wooden church. Wooden churches are typical of folk architecture in Slovakia, especially in the east. Locals believe that if the Kružľová wooden church were preserved, it could make it onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

(Source: TASR)

THE HISTORY of religious life in Kružľová, a village in eastern Slovakia, will be commemorated by a model of a long-since demolished local wooden church. Wooden churches are typical of folk architecture in Slovakia, especially in the east. Locals believe that if the Kružľová wooden church were preserved, it could make it onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The model will be placed under a shelter in front of the entrance to a local pension, owned by Anton Sakalík. He received the model as a gift from his relative who is interested in history and likes to work with wood. He worked on the model for six months.

“This is a model made in the size 1:6 compared to the original church that once used to stand here,” Sakalík explained. “It is a real pity that this building was not preserved; it would surely be our big pride.” He added that the wooden model was created based on two surviving photographs, and two sketches. The author also drew on a description written in a book where the church is briefly documented.

“The walls of the model are made of spruce and the roof shingles of fir wood. It weighs about 250 kilograms and the top of the cross of the tallest spire reaches almost three metres in height; its length is around 300 centimetres and width approximately 70 centimetres, Sakalík said.

The TASR newswire quoted historical sources as saying that the original Ss Cosmas and Damian Church in Kružľová, in Svidník district, was reportedly built in the 17th century, but was demolished in the 1930s. By the time it was removed, it was one of the oldest constructions of this type in present-day Slovakia. Although each such wooden building was unique, strict rules applied to all of them. The Kružľová church was specific in that the entrance was located on the side of the church and in the rectangular floor-plan of its main nave. When a church built of stone appeared in the municipality, the old one ceased to be used and gradually became dilapidated. The new church, however, did not last long: during the World War II, it was used to store ammunition, and when German retreated they blew it up. Today, most believers in the municipality claim to be Orthodox and services are held in a new church, completed in 1969.

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