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Wooden Church at Zboj, Slovakia

This church has been relocated to Bardejov Spa to a outdoor Folk Museum.

Zboj Church Description and Photographs from my 2001 Trip

Zboj Web Page

Text from "Drevene Kostoly, Vychodneho Ritu Na Slovensku", describing the architectural detail:

ZBOJ, Gumens'kyi District

 The Saint Myckola (Nicholas) Church of the Byzantine-Slavonic rite was built in 1766. In 1966 they  built a new stone church, and the old wooden church was moved in 1967 to the Bardejovske Kupele resort, where it became part of the exhibition of folk architecture in an open-air setting (Editor Note: Skanzen). The building was moved along with some of the original interior decoration.

 In Zboj, the building was located on the east side of the village. Westward from the church there was a small bell-tower, built in the style of column construction and had a form of a square.  It was enclosed with wooden planks and covered and a small tabernacle roof. There was cemetery near the church. After the building was moved, it was reconstructed on the north-west side (Editorís note: of the Skanzen), near the forest. So it is the main focus of the entire exposition.

 The three segment timber structure in Zboj was built on a stone foundation. The Sanctuary with its polygonal shape is covered with pyramid timbers. It is lighted from three sides through small windows, cut out in the timber structure. The shingle roof is in the form of dome. A small tower in the form of tabernacle ends with a top in the form of onion. The Nave is almost square in its form. It is separated with iconostas from the Sanctuary. It is covered with a tabernacle roof, made of timbers. Nearly in the middle of Nava is an anchoring woodblock. On the upper part of the timber dome are two connecting woodblocks, which are crossed, and fixed which guarantee the strength of the upper part of the structure. On the south side of Nave a four corner window in the form of a rectangle was cut out. Above it there are four windows close to each other, which are separated with small columns. There are also two small square windows in the timber dome. In the west side of Nave there is a gallery to where wooden steps lead from north-west side. The roof ledges of Nave are on the ends of timber construction that are parts of the top and serve as beams. The Nave is covered with a separate top that is similar to the form of a timber dome. It consists of a few gradual eaves with a tabernacle roof and on the very top a cupola in the form of onion. The room under the tower is nearly square with the smooth ceiling, made of timbers. Unlike other things in the tower where the space was used to create another level, it became the part of the entire interior of the church. Several benches are included in the interior of this part of the tower. Outside of the church the architectural and artistic form of the tower combines, as a matter of fact, it forms a covering over the Sanctuary. A one-side slope wraps around the tower dividing it horizontally into several parts. Vertical facing with shingles of the tower are completed with one-side slope eave, which has a helmet-like end. This monumentally formed architecture of the exterior is stressed by unusually strong long profiled wooden beams, accentuating the corners of the structure.  Large protrusions from the roof made by the overhangs serve as an awning for a good length of the structure. In spite of small size of the building, it appears to be a monumental structure. The gradual towers peculiarly stress the principle of tripartite (Editorís Note: symbolizing the three parts of the Holy Trinity) and have simple forged metal crosses atop them.

 The overall design was traditional and in accordance with iconography requirements, which are shown in the four of the main icons: "The Lord's Supper" and the icons with events from the New Testament, interpreted individually with the comprehension of the composition and narration of some scenes, often painted in the Baroque style. Some figures of the apostles were depicted comparatively statically (motionless). The color design of the iconostas is very interesting. Green, golden, red colors are dominant. On the throne of the main altar from the 20th century is a tabernacle of late Baroque and the portrait of Saint Joseph, on canvas from the 20th century.

 The frame of the icon is richly decorated with ornamentation. In the Sanctuary there is the remainder of the small Altar from the end of the 17th century. Apparently it once was a part of the main Altar with the icon "Deposition" with the gold neutral background. The church interior was adorned also with other icons. Some of them were moved to the new stone church. Some of them were left in the old church after it was moved. The icon "Calvary" ("Golgotha"), showing Christ on the cross and four figures under the cross, are contrasted against the decorative background. This icon was produced in the 17th century. The composition "Domesday" (Ed. Note: God's final Day of Judgment was divided into two separate sections and was situated on the north and south walls of the nave. It was made in the 17th century also. The image of Saint Nicholas was from the end of the 17th century. Earlier this image was a part of the iconostasis, apparently was installed in another church building. The icons "Our Lady", "Christ is Blessing", "Golgotha" (Crucified Christ) are from the 18th century. A movable Cross with the Calvary on one side and Our Lady on another side is from the 19th century. The large ornamental chandelier is from the second half of the 18th century.

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Last Update: 15 November 2020                                                    Copyright © 2003-2021, Bill Tarkulich