Wooden churches in one place

Prešov Region wants to invest more into religious tourism.

The miniatures in LutinaThe miniatures in Lutina (Source: TASR)
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The border area between Slovakia and Poland is full of natural and cultural monuments. One of the most significant features of the two nation’s common history is wooden sacral architecture.

The wooden churches across the Prešov Region were reconstructed and promoted in cooperation with the Polish partner by using the financial support of the European Union, which also helped tourism in this border area, said spokesperson for the Prešov Self-Governing Region Daša Jeleňová, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Read also:Slovakia’s wooden treasures (Spectacular Slovakia - travel guide)Read more 

Since the wooden churches are scattered across the region and hidden in small villages outside the tourism centre, tourism organisations decided to put the replicas in one place. Thanks to the activities of the Greek Catholic Church, the miniatures of 20 wooden churches are now situated in the village of Ľutina, in the Sabinov district.

The project was carried out in two phases and financed via the 2007-2013 Poland-Slovakia Cross-Border Cooperation, TASR reported.

The small open-air museum in the Ľutina church officially opened in autumn 2011, containing 10 replicas from churches situated close to Snina and Sobrance. In the next phase another 10 miniatures were added, mostly from the area close to Bardejov.

The complex is now surrounded by a fence, with the addition of new paths, lights and information boards. The project included the printing of publications about the museum, a guide about wooden churches and promotional materials.

As for the Polish side, the project was attended by religious institutions, cultural organisations and charity trying to save and preserve sacral architecture, TASR reported.

The small open-air museum in Ľutina has already been visited by many people. Moreover, the international painting plenary is regularly held here.

The Prešov Region also wants to focus more on religious tourism. It has become a coordinator of the international St. Mary's Pilgrimage – Light of the East project, whose ambition is to create a new pilgrimage route on the Slovak-Polish borderline and complete the missing infrastructure at the existing pilgrimage sites in Ľutina, Levoča, Litmanová and Gaboltov, TASR reported.

The project is inspired by the best-known pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. It will cost about €4.3 million, financed via the 2014-2020 Interreg V-A Poland-Slovakia cross-border cooperation programme. Slovakia will pay more than €2.1 million of the sum.

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