Wooden churches

05. Kožany

The wooden Greek Catholic church of the Meeting of Our Lord with Simeon, 1760, NKP

   

This wooden Greek Catholic church in Kožany is dedicated to the feast of the Meeting of Our Lord with Simeon. This elder, who brings into his lap the young Christ, represents the Old Testament that yearns for the salvation and arrival of the Messiah, who is Jesus Christ. Simeon after meeting Christ proclaims that now he is ready to die, as he met the One, whom he was waiting for his whole life, the only One, who is giving sense to life and death.

The church has according to the architectural point of view three parts, three spaces and three towers. It is built on a low stone foundation. The whole church has a log structure. The tower that rises from the wagon – headed roof gets narrower upwards, and is of pillar structure. On the top of the tower is a pyramidal roof with simple cross. Already in 1915, the tower had three bells, still preserved today. One of them is an extraordinary rare gothic bell from the year 1406, unique among the bells of wooden churches.

Iconostasis in this church dates to the 18th century. It has preserved design of five rows and belongs to the so called Balkan form, as it is missing the southern deaconal doors. The royal doors in the middle of the iconostasis are double – winged, set with six medallions. The royal doors are lined with the icon of St. Basil the Great on its northern side and that of St. Gregory of Nazianzus on the southern one. Above them in the arch is the icon of Divine Incarnation -. Mother of God as Oranta, with a Christ on her bosom, and two archangels on her sides. The main row of the iconostasis consists of the largest icons, starting from left: Holy wonderworker Nicholas, Mother of God the Hodegitria, Christ the Teacher, and the patron feast icon of the Meeting of the Lord with Simeon. When looking at the iconostasis, the mix of its colors evokes a real pleasurable esthetic experience. In the sanctuary it is worth noting the altar with the icon of Pieta from the 19th century.

The atmosphere of this church is amplified by exceptional mural paintings in the whole nave as well as in the sanctuary dating back to the 18th century, creating amazing figural composition. In the western part above the door is preserved the old icon row of apostles. In the nave of the church are the Fathers of the Church who look down upon us, four Evangelists and myriads of angels, who glorify God with us in the liturgy. We can see here also the coronation of the Mother of God, in front of the iconostasis on the southern wall is also the scene of the Protection of the mother of God and on the opposite northern wall also the Calvary with crucified Christ, Mary and John. Next is a sizeable icon of the Last Judgment from the 18th century. Last major renovation of the church took place between 1965 and 1970. Thanks to its rich interior decoration, beautiful iconostasis and rare gothic bell, represents this church one of the most precious objects of the wooden sacred architecture in Slovakia.

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