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Wooden churches in eastern Slovakia will be renovated

CARPATHIAN wooden churches, mainly in northern and eastern Slovakia, are very special buildings, and nine of them (Roman-Catholic, Protestant and Greek Catholic, built between the 16th and 18th centuries) have made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

CARPATHIAN wooden churches, mainly in northern and eastern Slovakia, are very special buildings, and nine of them (Roman-Catholic, Protestant and Greek Catholic, built between the 16th and 18th centuries) have made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

However, there are about 50 more wooden churches on Slovak territory, mostly in the northern and eastern part of the Prešov Region in the east of the country. Several peculiar Greek Catholic wooden churches, many of them featuring precious interior design work that has already been damaged by the ravages of time, will be reconstructed in 2015.

Details of the project which has been launched in early 2015 and is financially supported by the Norwegian Embassy in Slovakia, the European Union and the Slovak state, were unveiled in Stakčín in Prešov region in December 2014.

“We’ll renew four wooden churches – in Hrabová Roztoka, Šmigovec, Inovce and Topoľa (all lying in Prešov region) as part of the project,” project manager Daniela Galandová told the TASR newswire. “Further, ten icons from the [wooden] churches in Horná Roztoka, Inovce and Ruská Bystrá will be renovated. The second largest Jewish cemetery in the district of Snina, the one in Topoľa, will also be reconstructed," she added.

In mid January, the reconstruction of a rare iconostasis from the wooden Church of St Michael the Archangel in Topoľa was completed. It is the result of cooperation between the Greek Catholic Archiepiscopate in Prešov with the restoration studio in Bratislava. The Archiepiscopate’s spokesperson, Ľubomír Petrík, informed TASR that the cooperation focused on saving the rare Slovak cultural heritage and its wooden sacral architecture, has been going on for several years.

The late-Baroque iconostasis in Topoľa stems from an older church dating back to around 1700, but some icons date back to the end of the 17th century.

"By ending the sixth phase of restoration works concerning prevailingly the prothesis [which is the place in the sanctuary church where Liturgy of Preparation takes place in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches] and the saving of the altar icon Deposition from the Cross, precious movables have been completely restored,” Petrík told the SITA newswire.

The last phase of the restoration in Topoľa was financed by the Culture Ministry which also contributed to the saving of another rare iconostasis, from the wooden church of St Basil the Great in Hrabová Roztoka. “Saving and restoring the iconostasis from Hrabová Roztoka will also continue in 2015, with its final – fifth phase,” Petrík concluded for TASR.

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