Friday, November 25, 2011

Wooden Churches of the Carpathian Mountains # 15 - Hoszów, Poland

This formerly Greek Catholic church sits on a hill above the village of Hoszów in Bieszczady county in the south-eastern corner of Poland, not far from the Ukrainian border. Dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the current structure is of 20th century origin, though it includes some of the building materials used in an 18th century wooden church which originally stood on this site.
Construction started in 1939, and it was not yet completed when World War Two began. The structure was used by the Germans as an ammunition storage site, and a major explosion occurred which seriously damaged the building. Construction continued after the war, and the church was completed in 1948.
However, by 1951 the building had been abandoned due to pressure from the new Communist Polish government. For the next decade it was used as a barn for keeping sheep in, but in 1971 it was given to the Roman Catholic church who began renovating it.
In 1977 the decaying wooden shingles on the roofs and the dome were replaced with tin roofs since they would last longer and protect the rest of the structure.
The floor plan of the church is laid out in the shape of a Greek cross. Above the nave the large dome rises above a supporting octagonal base. Unfortunately the interior no longer contains any elements of the original Greek Catholic design and has been fully converted to a modern Roman Catholic style. Behind the church several grave stones from a 19th-century cemetery have been preserved.
The village of Hoszów can be reached by bus from the town of Ustrzyki Dolne (six kilometres away), which has regular bus connections to the north to cities such as Sanok and Rzeszów.

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