Wooden churches

08. Lukov - Venécia

The wooden Greek Catholic church of the Ss. Cosmas and Damian, 1708, NKP


The wooden Greek Catholic church of Ss. Comas and Damian in Lukov – Venécia was originally in Nová Ves, near the Nový Sonč in Poland. From there it was bought, dismantled, transferred here and built again by the people of Venécia. Their efforts finished in 1708, when the church was dedicated and entrusted to new patrons, physicians and wonderworkers Ss. Cosmas and Damian. An inscription from 1654 on the icon of the Mother of God, located on the southern wall of the church confirms the past and the original dedication of the church.

The church is of a log structure, placed on a stone sustaining wall that flattens the slope terrain. Division into three spaces is stressed by three towers, which are getting higher westwards. Each is finished with an original forged cross. Most of the walls are covered with boards. Cleft shingles are used for roofing. On the west is a massive tower of pillar structure with two bells from 1755 and 1886. The bottom of the tower is atypically open and accessible on the south. This open space under the tower continues around the church’s perimeter and is covered with special extended side roof, atypical for most of the churches. From the tower to sanctuary stretches a simple saddle roof, out of which rises massive tent roof with two bigger windows on the mezzanine. The roofs above the narthex and nave are in a shape of a prolonged pyramid with eight sides. Above the sanctuary is only a small round tower, adorned with an onion dome. Rarity of the church is a basement underneath the sanctuary that does not exist in any other wooden church in Slovakia.

The iconostasis has architecture of four rows according to the canons. The main part is the basic row with four main icons and three doors. The royal doors are adorned with vine ornaments and six medallions. Two side deaconal doors are without actual doors. On the icons of the first, main row are depicted from the left: Saint Nicholas, Mother of God, Christ the Teacher and patrons of the church, Ss. Cosmas and Damian. Twelve greatest feasts of the church year are displayed in atypical medallions on the second row. However, some of them are missing. In the middle is the icon of the Mandyllion, so called an icon “not painted by human hands”. This is rare, as mostly here is the icon of the Last Supper. The third row has a name of the Deesis, meaning an intercession. In the middle is the icon of Christ the Pantocrator, sitting on a throne. On its sides are pairs of apostles, turning into supplicant prayer towards the Christ. The fourth row is divided into two levels, depicting notable personalities of the Old Testament, such as patriarchs, prophets, judges and kings. The iconostasis is finished with the Calvary, with Mary and John. The iconostasis is of predominantly blue color. The royal doors, frames of the icons and whole stands are gilded with gold.

Several icons are hanging on side walls of the nave. On the southern wall is the 17th century icon of the mother of God, the Hodegetria – the one showing the way. The Mother of God holds her son Christ, and with the right hand points to him, the only true way for a human life. Opposite side has an icon of Small Deesis, where Christ sits on a throne, and next to him is the Mother of God and St. John the Baptist. Next is a precious icon of the Last Judgment from the 16th century. It is a spacious composition, consisting of six horizontal registers. Next are two small icons on glass, remembering with nostalgic those famous times already passed of the local glass – makers. They depict the Christ on the cross and the Mother of God breast feeding. In the sanctuary is also a baroque altar with the depiction of the Holy Trinity. Decoration of the bottom part of the altar depicts on the front side Noah, who offers votive sacrifice after the flood. On the right is depicted the Copper snake and on the left Melkizedek coming to meet Abraham. In 2005 – 2008 a complete renovation of the church took place.


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