Eastern Slovak wooden churches

Slovakia as a whole holds a unique treasury of various cultural sites representing various ages and architectural periods. Wooden churches indisputably are one of the most important parts of this heritage. They are sacred buildings which have primarily served, and still serve, as places of religious services. At the same time they are a remarkable example of folk architecture as the designers of these masterpieces are mostly anonymous. These churches can be found in northeastern Slovakia.

Eastern Slovakia was a significant crossroads in the past. More than in any other part of Slovakia, influences from east, west, north and south have met and intermingled there since ancient times. This territory was influenced not only by a wave of German colonisation but also by colonists settling here between the 14th and 17th centuries. This led to a rich cultural mix of Slovaks, Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Jews, Romenies and Ruthenians, which latter group originated wooden church architecture in eastern Slovakia.

A population's denomination is another factor which has influenced considerably the architectural and artistic character of the wooden churches in the East Slovakia. This region is not only ethnically but also religiously very diverse. Eastern and western Christians alike, of Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic (Uniate Church) and Rusian Orthodox and Protestant churches, have lived here for many centuries. Numerous Jewish comunities have also contributed to the religious and ethnic diversity of the region in the past.


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