Each part of Slovakia has hidden jewels, which are
characteristic for that area and are incomparable with others. Wooden churches
and belfries are such jewels of Eastern Slovakia, as they are unique and
typical especially for this territory.
Those churches reflected the fragility and misery of man,
but on the other hand reflected the unbreakable and unshakeable trust of man
towards God, who is often the only and last hope in life. Man wanted to thank
God as much as possible, and thus built a church as a place, where he could
celebrate God properly and with reverence. Only humble and available material to be used by man for
building was the wood. Whole interior and exterior, even the smallest details
were made of this material. Curiosity of these buildings is the fact, that they
were built without using any nails.
Majority of these wooden churches were built in eastern
Slovakia on places, where Catholics of the eastern rite settled. Especially in
the North of Slovakia are preserved till this day approximately 40 wooden
churches and several belfries, many of them on the original spots; where they
were built between 17th and 19th century. Luxuries and panache are not dominant
in these churches, but rather simplicity and truth.
Each of these churches is unique and special with something
else, but all of them have the interior division in three basic parts, narthex,
nave and sanctuary. Dominant of each church is the iconostasis, which on one
hand divides the nave and the sanctuary and on the other hand connects two
worlds, earthly and heavenly ones. This is a “wall” consisting of several rows of icons,
displayed according to an exact liturgical canon. Each icon is characterized by
being painted on the wood and that it contains deep symbolic meaning. Symbolic
is exactly the dominant thrust of the whole eastern rite, not only in painting
the icons, but also by celebrating of individual celebrations and various
We can be justly proud on what our ancestors created and left for us. These
cultural and spiritual monuments deserve our protection and care in order to
pass this beautiful heritage of our fathers to our children.