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Religious Architecture /

Orthodox church in Smolnik near the San river

Orthodox church in Smolnik near San – originally Greek-Catholic church of Saint Michael the Archangel, it is the oldest and most beautiful church architecture in Bieszczady.

It is a tripartite building of carcass construction, where each of the three parts is topped with a  hipped roof with the bend. The inscription carved on the lintel above the entrance to the temple says that it was built in 1791.

In 1939 Smolnik came under the Soviet occupation and after the war it was incorporated into the Soviet Union. In 1951 – as a result of border regulations – it was returned to Poland, but without its residents, which were moved and resettled. After 1951 the land and buildings were given to the public holdings. Gradually, the buildings were demolished, apart from the temple, in which hay was stored seasonally. In 1956 the church was placed on the list of historic churches, and in 1969 it was added to the register of historical monuments, which allowed for carrying repairs from the public funds in the years 1969-1970. During many years when it was left without anyone looking after it, the temple was repeatedly devastated.


The temple gained new keepers in 1973, when it was passed to the Roman-Catholic parish in Lutowiska. In 1974 it was consecrated into the branch of the Latin rite church of the Assumption of the Holiest Mary. In 2004-2007 the parish conducted a throughout renovation of the church, during which the foundation was raised and levelled, the shingle roof was changed, and the roof trusses were repaired. In 2009 the maintenance of the murals were held in the interior. Currently the church is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The time of visiting the church should be agreed in advance with Mr Adam Bartnik, tel. +48134610212.
Every Sunday of July and August, the church is open between 9am – 5pm.


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