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Wooden Churches

Beskydy is a mass of mountains that stretches to form an arc on the territory of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia from Moravská Brána (Moravian Gate) to Kurovské sedlo (Kurovské saddle). In the Czech Republic you will find Moravskoslezské (Moravian-Silesian) and Slezské (Silesian) Beskydy, in Slovakia Beskydy mountains are titled Kysucké, Oravské and Nízké Beskydy and in Poland we know nine mountainous blocks named Beskid.

The Beskydy landscape has had the power to enchant people with its picturesque beauty since the time out of mind. The first inhabitants, as the archaeology unveiled, were dwelling here already in the Old Stone Age. They were coming to these places for ages in order to settle here and create a community of people with characteristic culture and folk customs that have been preserved until today. The extensive region of Beskydy has got plenty of forms, ranging from deep forests, steep hills and wild natural sceneries up to urban landscapes of Frenštát, Rožnov pod Radhoštěm or Frýdlant nad Ostravicí.

The first historical mentions about the settlement places in Beskydy are usually associated with the construction of religious objects, chapels and castles. Let?s go and have a look at these picturesque constructions that were left to us by our ancestors. Let?s examine this extraordinary set of churches built by the hands of folk wood carvers and architects from the best available construction material, i.e. wood.

Wooden churches in Beskydy constitute a part of a unique set of sacral folk constructions. This set of wooden churches built in the course of five centuries is with regard to the concentration, variability and good state of preservation of individual constructions considered absolutely unique in Central Europe.

The typology of the Central European wooden churches is associated with bricked churches. Single-aisle type of church is predominant, but exceptionally we can encounter also three aisles (Polish Mogila). When talking about the structures of the churches, the oldest one was probably the palar structure. Another technique was the grooved structure with wooden panelling and mesh.

These techniques are followed by traditional technique of timbering or logging, which survived more or less until today. Another important structure that came to the Central European region from the West was so-called Western frame. Its principle consists in frame structure with panelling inserted to the beam thickness. In 16th century the churches are enriched with a porch along their perimeter that protected the beams of the church walls against rotting and concurrently it also protected parishioners against unfavourable weather. The ceilings of the wooden churches are usually flat, with filler blocks, but we can encounter also characteristic arch imitations (Hervartov, Gůty). Roof timbers were also an important structure. The oldest and the simplest type of roof timberwork is the so-called ridge purlin. A new type of roof timberwork appears in gothic period, i.e. collar beam roof. A new type of roof timberwork called studded timberwork appeared in the 16th and especially in the 17th century, which survived until 19th century. The towers of the wooden churches appear in the 16th century, by that time their function was substituted by individual standing belfries. The towers are not logged and therefore they have a lightweight, static and economical structure that resists well to the wind. Architectonic form responds to the contemporary period-style architecture, though usually with substantial delay. Especially those elements are received that can be easily transformed with carpenter?s tooling into the wooden material.

The typology of portals with medieval churches in Central Europe includes almost all the types known from the bricked architecture (keel arch, saddle portal, canopy arch, lancet arch, rectangular) especially in the neighbouring Poland. The exterior of the wooden churches is very simple and modest. The situation in the interior of the churches is considerably different, as it is the most representative part of the church. The flourishing era of wooden churches was in the 16th and especially in the 17th century thanks to the Protestants. The most complicated churches were born in hands of trained architects and under supervision of relevant lords of the manor. The most progressive features taken over from the period-style architecture appear especially in these churches within the wooden architecture.


Therefore Beskydy mountains are a real fairytale paradise not only for the wood carvers. There is no other place with such concentration of wooden constructions. These wooden religious constructions, churches, chapels and belfries are completely exceptional and today unique constructions. A visit to Beskydy mountains will allow you to see with your own eyes these unique constructions and make yourselves acquainted with the heritage of folk constructors, carpenters, wood carvers and painters, which they left to further generations.

kostel svatého Michaela Archanděla (St. Archangel Michael?s Church)

49°44?11.03?,18°19?7.49? google maps

Site Řepiště

History The opinions on the foundation of the church in Řepiště in various sources differ. They say that it was either in 1484 or 1485. The church of Řepiště was originally a parish church. Since 1652 it belonged to the Protestants (Lutherans), from whom it was sequestered in 1654 and assigned to Šenov. Already in 1688 the church was consecrated to St. Nicholas, it was all wooden, it had a board ceiling and floor. On the external side of the church there was a gallery covered porch (similarly to the church in Sedliště, where it remained preserved until present). In 1785 the church was removed from the parish of Šenov and was assigned to the parish of Vratimov. According to orally spread information the church went through big changes between 1867 and 1891, both in its interior as well as exterior, which underwent partial reconstruction. Further adjustments were performed in 1931-1932 (tower) and others in 1950. Last adjustments were made in the church interior (new plasters, painting, new benches) in 1995 ? 1996. The church is wooden on the brick and stone substructure. The roof, both towers ? the main and small spirelet and side wall are covered from outside by shingles. The slender spirelet was built only in 1865. Its bulb is high, covered with shingles and supported with six columns, that are covered with plate. It has got a metal apex with a ball and single arm cross. The church has got only one aisle with main altar towards east. . There are two iron bells in the tower that were hung in 1918 to the place of original two bells sequestered for military purposes.

Masses Mass is said each Sunday at 10.45 and on religious feasts. Visit can be organized at the parish office.

Contact Roman Catholic Parish Office Vratimov, tel. 596 732 155, 602 726 432.

Access The place lies at the 2nd class road no. 477 connecting Ostrava with Frýdek-Místek



Kostel svatého Prokopa a svaté Barbory (St Kunčice pod Ondřejníkem Site. Prokop?s and St. Barbara?s church)

49°32?7.16?,18°18?10.14? google maps

History Sub-Carpathian wooden church consecrated to St. Prokop and Barbara stood originally in Hliňanka in Carpathian Ruthenia. It was built at the turn of 17th and 18th century and there is a mention about its repair in Hliňanka village in 1735. In Carpathian Ruthenia it originally belonged to the Greek-Catholic church. It was transported to Kunčice pod Ondřejníkem thanks to the director of the Mining and Metallurgical Company in Ostrava, Ing. Šebela. He had it dismantled, loaded onto several wagons and taken to Kunčice. After necessary repair of some parts the church was rebuilt. Also the church tower, which had before been destroyed, was reconstructed. In 1931 the church was consecrated to St. Prokop and barbara, the patrons of the Miners. In 1963 an urn grove was established and opened around the church. Though the church is made of oak beams, it was in an bad state of repair in the 1920s. It originally missed superstructure and also the wooden floor outlived its usefulness. Only with serious difficulties the corresponding wood was obtained, dried and cut by local inventive craftsmen and lifted and equipped with superstructure and the rotten beams were replaced and 15 years ago it was given a new roof.

Contact Kunčice pod Ondřejníkem 739 12

+420 556 850 380 (Parish)

Access The church is located in the northern part of Kunčice pod Ondřejníkem at the right river bank of Tichávka, approximately 1 km from the railway station in the direction from Kunčice pod Ondřejníkem to Čeladná. GPS: 49°32'7.16"N,18°18'10.14"E


Kostel Všech svatých (Church of All the Saints)

49°43?6.24?,18°22?3.11? google maps

Site Sedliště

History The biggest magnet of Sedliště, which can not be overlooked in the centre of the village, is the wooden Church of All the Saints built in 1638 in the place of the old wooden Church of 1447. But it was not the original one, because its predecessor was built already in 1305. The existing church has got a shingle roof and around the main aisle there is a sheltered porch. Sacristy is annexed from the side. Beautiful internal scenery reflects past centuries most intensively. There is an old shriving pew and rostrum of 1680. The organ was made in 1862. Around the church there is an old cemetery that is no longer used, with a number of old cast iron crosses. On the cemetery there is a memorial of the writer and cultural worker Bohumil Marek, great friend of Sedliště. The memorial is only symbolical, because he himself wished that his ashes were scattered under Beskydy. The main path leading from the church entrance was decorated on 24th September 1994 on the right by a modest wooden cross with Crown of Thorns. I t is consecrated and has got inscription ?To the victims of communism?.

Masses Mass on Sunday and on Thursday at 8:00 and on Wednesday at 16:00 (in winter) and at 18:00 (in summer), fair on Sunday at Feast of All the Saints (1st November), another fair takes place on the feast of St. Antonius of Padova (13th June).

Contact Roman Catholic Parish Office Sedliště, tel. 558 658 168. The visit is possible upon agreement in the Parish Office.

Access You can reach the church on the 2nd class road no. 473 from Frýdek-Místek in the direction to Šenov and Ostrava
GPS: 49°43'6.24"N,18°22'3.11"E


Kaple svatého Cyrila a Metoděje (Chapel of St. Cyril and Metoděj)

49°29?30.97?,18°13?21.91? google maps

Site Trojanovice, Radhošť

History The foundation stone of the chapel of Radhošť was consecrated on 5th July 1896. The finished chapel was then consecrated on 11th September 1898 by Archbishop of Olomouc Theodor Kohn. The chapel was designed by architect Skibinský in the Byzantine style to symbolize the Byzantine origin of both saints. It was decorated with marble altar of Cyril and Metoděj of the sculptor Neumann of Kroměříž and the right side altar for the picture of Liebsher?s Walachian Madonna was built in it in 1904. The original of the picture is currently replaced with a copy of Painter Otakar Pavlovský. The mosaics in its eight windows portrait the scene from the life of Cyril and Metoděj, St. Hedvika, St. Ludmila, St. Wenceslas and St. Jan Nepomucký. The longing for unification of the Christians of the western and the eastern ordinance is symbolized by the inscription over the entrance in the chapel ?Slavonians, love thine neighbours and get unified in faith that was preached here by St. Cyril and Metoděj". An extensive reconstruction of the chapel was carried out in 1924-1926. The construction adjustments were organized by the constructor from Rožnov František Bayer and they were carried out by carpenters under the lead of master Michal Fabián of Zubří. They mortared the chapel, lined it with shingles and then added the belfry in Greek-Uniate style. The chapel went through the last renewal in 2000, when the entire belfry was reconstructed. Everything was managed by Matice Radhošťská community, which has been taking care for the chapel since its consecration in 1898.

Masses Holy Mass: at 11:00 o?clock, initiation of fair season on the day of St. Cyril and Metoděj (5th July), Holy Mass: at 9:30, 10:00, 11:00 a 14:00. Then until the second Saturday in September the Masses are celebrated on Saturday at 11:00.

Arrival You can reach the top of Radhošť, where the chapel is built, in the easiest way following the blue tourist mark from Pustevny, where you get in funicular from Trojanovice, by bus from Rožnov p. R. or you can use your own car. GPS: 49°29'30.97"N,18°13'21.91"E


Kostel svatého Antonína Paduánského (Church of St. Antonius of Padova)

49°38?12.04?,18°28?57.47? google maps

Site Prašivá

History Wooden church at the top of Prašivá hill (704 m above the sea level), in the neighbourhood of later built tourist hut (y. 1921), it is a typical example of folk architecture of the Beskydy region. The Church of St. Antonius of padova was built in 1640. Originally it was a simple little church, the sacristy was annexed in 1799. In 19th century it was enriched with a tower with bell, new altar with picture of St. Antonius and organ. Then it became a place of pilgrimage for Silesia but also Moravia and Slovakia. In 1939-1945 it was already behind the borders of so-called protectorate and the Czech pilgrims were disabled to access it. In the course of hundred-year existence the church (originally without gallery and sacristy) was gradually enlarged. Its structure is composed of massive beams, the aisle is of square ground plan, the presbytery has three sides, the windows are with 5 sides and shutters. Over the entrance there is a small tower, which is similarly to the walls of the church covered with shingles. The interior is simple; the ceilings are flat, and the triumphal arc is polygonal. Central altar is with the picture of St. Antonius by the painter Vanke of Těšín. The decoration of the church also includes a picture of the Virgin Mary the Helper. In 1990 the church in Prašivá celebrated 350th anniversary of its origin.

Contact Pastoral care: Roman Catholic Parish Dobrá

+420 723 559 319 (Parish Dobrá)

Arrival It is possible to reach the place in Prašivá from Frýdek-Místek across Dobrá towards Morávka behind Vyšní Lhoty ? 1 km ? turn left on the rod behind Prašivá, 4 km.

GPS: 49°38'12.04"N,18°28'57.47"E



Kostel svatého Mikuláše (St. Nicholas? Church)

49°39?25.01?,18°45?35.73? google maps

Site Nýdek

History The church of St. Nicholas in Nýdek was built in 1576 by local inhabitants on the basis of privilege in order not to have to come, as before, to the distant church in Vendryně. It was founded by Valentin Rykala and his brother Tomáš, who were Evangelics, as predominant part of than Silesia. Only in 1654 the church in Nýdek was transferred to the Catholic Parish. In 1798 the church in Nýdek was so dilapidated that it had to go through a general repair and in this occasion it was rebuilt. After several partial repairs in the following years it went through another thorough repair in 1894. Subsequent repairs were then made in 1910 and in 1934. Only in the half of 1990s the church was carefully repaired again. The wooden bailey fence was renewed and the concrete substructure was adjusted. The church was preserved and the original shingle roofing was renewed.

Masses Sunday at 11.30, (one week in Polish language and the following week in Czech language) Contact Possibility to look into the church after mass or upon agreement over phone ? tel.: 558 350 230, 608 466 595

Access You can reach the church following the red tourist mark (Třinec-Velká Čantoryje-Nýdek-Bukove-Mosty u Jabl.), green tourist mark (Bystřice-Nýdek-Jawornik PL) or on the road from Třinec - Mosty u Jabl., turning in Bystřice to Nýdek (road no. 11, 468, 11 and local road)

GPS: 49°39'25.01"N,18°45'35.73"E


Kostel svatého Cyrila a Metoděje (Church of St. Cyril and Metoděj)

49°31?16.78?,18°50?2.32? google maps

Site Hrčava

History Hrčava lies in the most eastern tip of the Czech Republic, where our border touches Slovakia and Poland. It is a historical place, because already in 1645 there were defensive points protecting the entire region of Těšín against the Hungarian invasions, however the village started its history within our country only since 1924. After interruption of relations with close Jaworzynka the people of Hrčava were missing a church. It was built in 1936 beside the road leading to Jaworzynka at the highest place in the village. Today it is covered with buildings from one side, so its position is not so significant. Close to the entrance there is a board with a date (5th July 1936), when the church was consecrated. It is also a date of regular village fairs, which is visited by people from distant surroundings. The church is made of squared beams, it has got three-side presbytery and a small tower. Sacristy built behind the presbytery is accessed directly behind the altar, which is a rather untraditional solution. Right at the entrance you can climb up the stairs to the balcony with harmonium. The church is decorated with gifts, which is typical of folk village churches. The statuary of the Holy Family is a Tyrolean wood carving, it was dedicated to Hrčava from the conventual church in Jablunkov, where it got as a present of local pharmacist. Another interesting article are the mass dishes, which is a copy of the mass dishes from the Comenius? Museum in Naarden, The Netherlands. The most precious piece is the baptismal font that was carved by local native Ondřej Zogata, an apprentice of one of the legendary Czech sculptor Leoš Kubíček.

Masses Regular masses are celebrated only in Czech language in Hrčava every Wednesday at 11 o´clock

Contact Roman Catholic Parish Office Jablunkov, tel. 558 357 698, church administrator, tel. 558 331 997

Access You can reach the church from Frýdek-Místek across Třinec, Jablunkov to Mosty u Jablunkova, from where you can deviate to Hrčava on well identified road. Distance from Frýdek-Místek is 54 km.


Kaple svatého Cyrila a Metoděje (Chapel of St. Cyril and Metoděj )

49°25?1.405?, 8°22?14.921? google maps

Site Hlavatá

History It is a small pseudofolk chapel of Scandinavian type. The logged chapel with a rectangular ground plan was built in 1922 and was consecrated to Cyril and Metoděj. The main portal has a small roof above in the form of reduced undergable known from folk constructions. Supporting columns are decorated with wood carvings, exactly as the flat panel framing of the windows. The gable above the entrance contains a folk wood carving of the Virgin Mary. In the interior your eyes will be caught by the window vitraille with figures of chapel patrons.

The entire architecture already at first sight reminds of the architectonic autograph of Dušan Jurkovič, which we can encounter not only in well-known objects of tourist shelter huts at Pustevny, but also in the wooden chapel in Horní Čeladná or wooden belfry in Trojanovice - Bystré.

Access You can reach the chapel from the railway station of Ostravice close to the crossing of the red tourist mark Hlavatá, bus and green tourist mark Bedřichův splav on the 1st class road no. 56 Ostrava - Frýdek-Místek - Frýdlant n. O. - Bílá, 1st class road no. 35 Rožnov p. R. ? Bumbálka.

GPS: 49°25'1.405"N, 18°22'14.921"E


Kostel Božího Těla (Church of the Corpus Christi)

49°39?46.8?,18°35?57.86? google maps

Site Guty

History In the middle of a small cemetery, encircled with towering trees there is one of the oldest (1563) and the most picturesque wooden churches in the region, the Church of Corpus Christi in Guty. The visitor finds this unique monument in local part called Zápolí. The church is formed by a simple single-aisle building made of very massive beams (many with a diameter reaching up to 60 cm), with which it forms one whole linked to a slightly narrower presbyterian part. Both parts are covered with split shingles. In the face there is a belfry connected with the aisle of the church, which was originally separate and serves as roofed galilee in front of the entrance to the separate aisle. The tower of the belfry is topped with a quadratic bell part and pyramid roof with a small cupola with cross. In general the church resembles the object of the Church of St. Catherine in Ostrava-Hrabová. This similarity consists in separate belfry and porch that is led around the entire construction of the church. There is a wooden cross with a statue of Christ in front of the entrance to the church.

Masses They are celebrated on Sunday at 11 o?clock and on Wednesday at 16 o?clock. (winter period) and at 18 o?clock (summer period)

Access You will follow the blue tourist mark from the station in Střítež across Smilovice to Javorový hill (1031 meters above the sea level) or it is possible to easily reach the place on bike on the mountain path verging the Beskydy mountains from Frýdek-Místek to Třinec. GPS: 49°39'46.8"N,18°35'57.86"E


Kaple svatého Kříže v lese Hájku (Chapel of St. Cross in Hájek forest)

49°42?41.44?,18°20?46.32? google maps

Site Lískovec u Frýdku

History The place was named according to former archduke forest, where there was a spring well, which was a point of destination of pilgrims from basilica of the Visitation. These people believed that the water from the well has got magic power. In 1786 the forester Michal Hirschheimer erected a wooden cross at the well rising from the sidehill. The priest of Frýdek, duke Justus Vilém Pražma, had this cross sheltered. His successor Josef Karel Schipp built in 1834 today?s wooden chapel of the St. Cross and the priest Pavel Prutek had in 1840 made a stone well. The priest Karel Findinský provided for a cement water reservoir, in which the pilgrims could wash their legs, he repaired the well, and in 1871 he consecrated the chapel with Calvary statuary.

Access You can reach the chapel on the way from Frýdek-Místek to Lískovec, in Lískovec you turn to the centre of the village and continue on the 3rd class road in the direction to Sedliště. There is a bus stop at the edge of the forest ? approximately 150 meters from the chapel. The bus stop is titled ?K Hájku?.

GPS: 49°42'41.44"N,18°20'46.32"E

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