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Wooden churches

Treasure of vernacular architecture in Slovakia are wooden churches. Based on Church, wooden churches either belong to Western Christianity or Eastern Christianity. Roman Catholic Churches and Protestant Churches are included into Western Christianity.


The oldest churches were built at the end of 15th century and at the beginning of 16th century. The disposition of those bulidings is based on principles of Gothic and Baroque architecture, the tower is located in the same axis with the building, interior walls are painted.

Two of these churches are inscribed on World Heritage List UNESCO:

- Roman Catholic Church of All Saints in Tvrdošín

Wooden Church, Tvrdošín

- Roman Catholic Church of Saint Francis from Assisi in Hervatov



After the Concil of Trent (1545-1563 with interruptions) the Catholic Counter Reformation has been started, primarily in countries, where the rulers were from the House of Habsburg. The protestant churches were seized by Catholic Church. The Catholic Revival culminated in the middle of 17 th century. At that time were 888 protestant churches seized.

In 1681 the King of Hungary and Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. was forced by count Imre Thökoly at the meeting of Parliament of Hungary in Sopron to grant some freedoms to the Protestants. These were contained in Articles  25 and 26 of the treaty signed there. The Protestants should get back the originaly by them built churches, but only in that case, if the church was not Catholic dedicated already. As compensation for seized churches the Protestants were allowed to build in 2 localities of each county a new church under following conditions:

- the whole building of church had to be built only from wood, without iron nails

- the church had to be built outside the village

- the building had to be completed within 1 year

- no direct access from the street was allowed

- no tower was allowed

Only 5 lutheran articular churches still exist in Slovakia, three from them are inscribed on World Heritage List UNESCO:

Holy Trinity Church in Kežmarok (UNESCO)

Késmárk (83)

Lutheran church in Leštiny (UNESCO)

Artikularkirche Lestiny

Lutheran church in Hronsek  (UNESCO) - see Wooden Church in Hronsek

Monumental is also the Church in Svätý  Kríž (originaly in Paludza) - although it is not on the UNESCO List, it is for sure worthy to visit it.

Other lutheran wooden church is located in Istebné.


They belong to the Eastern Christianity group. Three of them are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List:


Church of St.Nicholas in Bodružal

Bodruzal cerkov sv. Mikuláša severná strana ZeliP 1658


Church of St. Nicholas in Ruská Bystrá

Cerkov Prenesenia ostatkov svateho Mikulasa Ruska Bystra okres Snina


Church of Archangel Michael in Ladomírová

Ladomirova cerkov






Map showing places, where the churches inscribed on the UNESCO World Heitage List are located:

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