Slovak Heritage Live


You will find every town and village in the
Slovak Army 
Auto Atlas

Genealogical research

Ancestral Village Videos

Ancestral Village Photography

Folklore traditions are featured in book

European Contexts of the Folk Culture

Journey Through Slovakia Videos

Folklore Videos

All photographs
are for sale

Get the history of any
village or town in Slovakia




004.jpg (14555 bytes)

008.jpg (9559 bytes)

009.jpg (15389 bytes)

010.jpg (14759 bytes)

All photographs
are for sale




002.jpg (16046 bytes) 001.jpg (15498 bytes) 003.jpg (10498 bytes)

About 14 km from Liptovsky Mikulas on the Northern side of the Low Tatra Mountains lays a small village Svaty Kriz (Saint Cross) and Lazisko. It is here, where due to the building of the hydro-electric dam at Liptovska Mara and flooding of one of the most beautiful valleys in Slovakia, the authorities moved and rebuilt, now a National treasure of the Slovak Republic, the Articular wooden Lutheran church from the village of Paludza. It is perhaps the most interesting wooden church in the World and certainly it belongs to the brightest wood buildings in the Central Europe.

The choice of material and techniques used in the construction of this church wasn't determined by the primary conditions laid down by the natural development of material culture, but by anti reformation measures taken by people in power at that time. In 1678 the absolutist regime of the Habsburgs, intolerant towards non Catholic faiths caused a great uprising. It was supported by the Turks too, at the time occupying part of What's Slovakia now. The emperor Leopold I was first to give in. In 1681 he called the assembly in Sopron at which he repealed his extremely anti reformation decrees of 1667 and 1670. In accordance with the law, articles 25 and 26 passed by the Sopron assembly, the Hungarian Protestants could build 38 places to worship. The names of these churches were called by the articles too. The articles laid down that they should be build only on the outskirts of the villages, outside of town walls, the whole church must be made of wood, hard materials as nails could not be used in the construction. The churches were not allowed to have bell towers, and their main entrances had to be situated on the side facing away from the road. They must be built in the period of one year.

005.jpg (17575 bytes) 006.jpg (15114 bytes) 007.jpg (16239 bytes)

In Liptov region, there were two wooden churches built. One in Hybe, was destroyed by fire in 1823. The second church was built in Paludza by this article 1693. The original church was rebuilt in 17 century by 1774 by the carpenter Jozef Lang, with a group of helpers. Although the leader couldn't write or read, he was the main architect of this church. Mr. Lang didn't build this one by using any paper plans, but he created this project right on the building site. The building was finished in 1774 on the day of Martin, November 11.

The tower with bells was built later in 1781, after the reforms of Joseph, and although it stands separately, conforms a harmonic path with the church.

The church has central ground plan in the shape of Greek Cross. The length of the church together with the tower is 43 meters. The disposable area is 1150 square meters. The capacity of the church is about 6000 visitors. The church has 12 doors and 72 windows. The difference of heights between the main, East and West entrance is 1.30 meters. The church is interesting not only for its surface, but for baroque interior. The basic material used is wood. The chandelier hanging inside is quite emotional. Among the most impressive parts of the interior belong wooden polychromed baroque altar to the holly trinity, who came from original church in 1693 and it was renewed in 1753. Very interesting for visitors is the polygonal wooden polychromed pupil with pictures of evangelist and with angel atlands from base of Pulpit. The angel is made of polychromed wood by Jan Lerk from Kezmarok as well as the altar. The organ is made by J. Podmanicky from Banska Stiavnica in 1760. The chandelier from 1780 was made of Venetian cut glass.

The character of the interior of the church is defined by the two tiered pictorially designed choirs. The pictures were drawn by unknown folk artists. There are legends and evangelists from the Testament, the cycle of musical scenes, Prophets, but there are many animals and flowers too. The pictures are very simple, but perfectly colored. The wooden bell tower is 19 meters high. There were 3 original bells from the end 18 century, but they were used in the World War 1. Today, the bells are dating from 1921 and 1922, their names are: Love, Hope and Belief. This church is a cultural product of a concrete social environment whose character has been formed by concrete condition of historical development. This shows us how the local talent among the poor people, who didn't have an opportunity to develop their talents as a whole and its details are an interesting example of overlapping borders between profession and folk art. I strongly recommend on your next visit you come to see it for yourself.


Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 1, No. 4, Winter 1993
Copyright Vladimir Linder 1993
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder
. All rights reserved.