Friday, December 3, 2010

Frička, Slovakia

This church stands on a small hill in the centre of the village of Frička, in a remote corner of eastern Slovakia close to the Polish border. The church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, who is present in several of the icons that grace the interior. The iconostasis dates from 1830, while most of the icons are from the late nineteenth century. The ceiling of the nave is decorated with a colourful painting of St. Trinity, completed in 1933 by a local artist from the city of Prešov. The tower contains three different bells, the oldest from 1697.
The church is surrounded by a low wooden fence and contains an entrance gate which is typical of the Rusyn churches of the region. The church was fully renovated inside and out in the spring and summer of 2010, returning the structure to its original appearance. The use of a coating of protective varnish on the wood surface of the exterior has been criticised by some historians as not in keeping with the pledge to preserve the original integrity of the building, and this coating will not be used in other renovation projects of Rusyn churches in Slovakia (although it has already been used in the restoration of the church in Potoky). However, the varnish does give a very impressive appearance to the wood because of its shiny finish.
Frička is one of the most isolated villages in the region, but it can be reached by bus from the town of Bardejov with a few connections per day. It is also possible to follow a trail that leads up and over the hill into Poland, as the border is less than one kilometre from the village.

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