Friday, November 25, 2011

Lukov-Venécia, Slovakia

This unique church dedicated to Saint Kosmos and Saint Damian stands on the top of a hill at the edge of the village of Lukov-Venécia in north-eastern Slovakia, not far from the city of Bardejov. The village was a regional centre for glass production throughout the centuries, first mentioned in records in 1410. Construction of the church started in 1708 and finished the following year.
The structure features a tall bell tower placed above an entrance area with a porch on the front and sides set on vertical pillars. The tower contains several bells cast between 1755 and 1866. The central tent-roof covers the nave which has an unusually elongated shape for a Greek Catholic church. A large stone foundation allows the structure to sit level on the side of the hill, with enough space below that a cellar is included, making it the only wooden church with a cellar in Slovakia.
Most of the interior design is influenced by the baroque style. The iconostasis contains sections painted in different periods, with the upper part dating from 1736 and the lower part from the late 18th century. A number of the icons in the nave are older than this, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The key to the church is kept by the local priest who lives in a house on the opposite side of the village on the road into Lukov. On weekdays a few buses run to the village from the city of Bardejov, but hardly any on Saturdays or Sundays. It is possible to take one of the frequent buses travelling on the main road between Bardejov and Stará Ľubovňa and then get out in the village of Malcov, which is a two-kilometre walk from Lukov-Venécia.

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