Hutsul wooden churches

Among the mountain people of Ukrainian Carpathians, hutsuls are distinguished by its originality and depth of traditional folk culture, art, life especially. Rich woods and pastures of mountainous region Hutsulschyna impacted on economic activity of mountaineers. Hutsuls are born loggers and carpenters. They intuitively sense aesthetically expressive and structural wood quality. Therefore Hutsul building quality and strong, have a clear structure of planning and spatial proportions and exquisite. Significant achievements have Hutsul masters of the traditional temple buildings, most of which is attributed to the national cultural heritage.

The traditional Hutsul church

The traditional Hutsul church is five edged church, cruciformed in plan, one floored. The central element is square, a width of the pews and altar or extended, always crowned by an octagonal tent on the drum. Side arms of the cross are overlap by vaults covered in gable roofs. To protect the lower rows from log wetting around buildings they always set a wide shelter.

hutsul church plan

Plan of Hutsul church

model hutsul wooden church

Model of Hutsul wooden church

Under this scheme in XVIII – XIX century in Hutsulschyna there were created many variations of church architecture. Based on investigations of Hutsul church building it can be managed to detect five types of plans cruciform churches in Hutsulschyna and trace patterns of construction. In all cases, the temple parameters were derived from the size of the central frame: side and diagonal of a square nave underlying proportional building architectural form of all church buildings.

Hutsul wooden church of Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Vorokhta

The most perfect by proportions is the Church of Nativity in the village Vorokhta. Originally the temple was located in the village Yablunytsya, which was built in 1615 in 1780 it was moved to Vorokhta and set on a hill, where it is today. Church has five edges, cruciform in plan, has one floor. Central square frame is tall, tapering upwards, enters the octagon and crowned with a tent covering a small flashlight and a cross. Almost equal arms inferior spatial cross central frame height and end gable roofs with gables and onion-domed small crosses. The entire structure is surrounded by developed shelter, leaning on brackets formed as releases crowns framework. In the western wall of the pews and the south wall of the nave there are arranged door. The central element is discovered in the side chapels, which enhances interior space, and the slope of the walls of the nave gives the impression of dynamic forms.

hutsul wooden church vorokhta

Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Vorokhta

Overall, the building is quite compact and compositionally collected, impress with refinement relations side branches and the central volume, the harmony of forms and raises a number of points of attraction works of Ukrainian folk architecture.

Hutsul wooden church of the Annunciation in Kolomyya

Ancient temples of Hutsul school can be applied the Church of the Annunciation in Kolomyya as well.. There are several points of view regarding the dating of construction – 1587 and XVII. Given the presence of traces of an extension to the central frame of the northern and southern sides, at the first church had three edges and one floor. Extensions probably appeared in the XVII century and therefore the church became five edged, cruciform in plan.

kolomyya anunciantion church

Hutsul wooden church of the Annunciation in Kolomyya

In a reconstructed Church of the Annunciation of planning by-space structure does not differ from the church in the village Vorokhta. However, their proportional system has differences. If the shape of the Nativity of the Virgin in the village Vorokhta develops vertically, then house in Coloma is squat by proportions, like creeping on a small hill. This is especially conducive to low central compartment, squat octagonal drum that turns into a tent covering, and elongated arms of the cross, which respectively form altar and closures from the north and south sides of the nave, covered in boxlike vaults gable and finished by roofs with gables. Reinforces the impression of lowness of the church is developed shelter on the brackets.

The bell tower of the Church of the Annunciation, built in the XVIII century is typical for Hutsul School. It is square in plan two-tier structure, in which the first tier carcass construction, the second – frame; completed construction rectangular tent covering. Wide shelter bell tower not only emphasizes the horizontal structure form structures, but also its composition in common with the church, forming a coherent ensemble.

Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in the village Bili Oslavy

Consistent with the Church of the Annunciation in Kolomyya is architectural image of the temple Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village Bili Oslavy, built in 1746. This is also a five-edged one floored developed building with arms, where the central, square in plan completed frame tent to cover octagon, and the side branch – three hills roofs. Widespread increases shelter lengthy track volume of facility.

bili oslavy wooden church hutsul

The temple Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village Bili Oslavy

An interesting fact is the reduction in the village in 1835 by master S. Kostivym of Dmitrov church, which is characterized by slender forms. Despite the considerable chronological distance between the construction of churches, they observed stability of Hutsul traditions of church building school.

Hutsul wooden church of St. John the Merciful in Yaremche

Similar in structure to the considered churches is the Church of St. John the Merciful in Yaremche. The central square cruciform plan of the church is also formed section equally wide rectangles, but side arms are shorter.

yaremche church

Hutsul wooden church of St. John the Merciful in Yaremche

The church was built in the XVIII century in the former village of Yamna, which later became a city limit. The square central compartment, raised high, and enters the octagon is crowned with a tent covering interception and the feet of the cross. Due to the short side branch, central high volume and attic that goes around the whole building, the church is perceived compact and slim. Vertical shape the development of the Church of St. John the Merciful largely in common with the church in Vorokhta, which probably served as a model for development.

Tradition in the construction of the bell tower is old as well, which is two-tiered with a tent on completion.

Hutsul wooden church of Nativity of the Virgin in Kryvorivnya

Among Hutsul churches you can not miss the Church of Nativity in the village Kryvorivnya. Picturesque countryside land attracted at different times many artists and writers, famous personalities. Among them were Ivan Franko, G. Khotkevych. Kotsyubinsky. Fedkovych, A. Oles, V. Shefanyk, Ivan Trush, I. Severin, M.Grushevskiy and many others. Of course, they couldn’t not attend church, built in 1818.

Hutsul wooden church Kryvorivnya

Hutsul wooden church of Nativity of the Virgin in Kryvorivnya. Photographer Igor Melika.

Nativity of the Virgin in the village Kryvorivnya as well as other Hutsul churches cruciform in plan, has one floor. Side log on north and south sides of our shorter than the pews and altar high end tent on the central octagon frame and short lateral branches, covered with gable roofs, despite the widespread shelter, creating from the main entrance impression compact and slim shape of the church, harmoniously combined with the surrounding mountain landscape.

As village Kryvorivnya and many other villages and towns in Hutsulschyna widely known in Ukraine and abroad thanks to advanced crafts. In particular city Kosiv is known as a center of traditional pottery, carpet weaving, carving, leather and metal. It has developed a school known Kosiv ceramics and one time received wide praise stove tiles by the local Oleksy Bakhmatyuk.

Hutsul wooden church of St. Basil in Kosiv

In Kosiv remained Basil Church, built in 1895 by local craftsmen. It is  traditional for Hutsul school five edged, cruciform, one floor temple. To the altar from north and south sides there are attached low auxiliary facilities. High octagon crossing over with a tent covering and decorative tops of Eastern and Western blockhouse slightly violate the scale facilities. Later tin roofing and shelter don’t add for temple architectural and artistic sophistication.

kosiv hutsul churcu

Hutsul wooden church of St. Basil in Kosiv

Thus, the main achievements in Hutsul school in Carpathian sacred building was the development and assertion-based traditions of Halychyna’ school of cruciform or five edged church tent with the completion of the crossing.

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