The Icon Route

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Original page in German with photos

This is a computerized translation (by Babel Fish)
The icon route - valley of the Oslawa river Everyone, who comes here into the area of the Bieszczady mountains or into the mountains of the Beskid Niski, meets numerous Greek-catholic churches mainly from wood, which the mountain country shank adapted fantastically on the route of its migrations. Formerly there were many more such churches, at present only a small part of these churches, which experienced a moved post-war period, retained themselves and it witnesses from the work of art and from the culture of the former inhabitants of these mountains. In order to bring to the tourists this infinitesimal culture more near, is the idea developed the "icon route" to base, which the most interesting architecture objects of the Greek Catholic and the that Greek Orthodox church of the country Sanok show. In this area also an excellent didactical route was marked out, which facilitates, to find the objects because their localization and the lack of other moving ways made the entrance more difficult to them. All objects are in the proximity of the main street: Sanok Zagórz Komancza state border with the Slowakei. The moving route was optimally furnished for the Ruecksackwanderer. One needs to buy a brochure and a good map with tourist information in Sanok in order to enjoy the beauty of the timber architecture of the Lemko people from Oslawa.

We begin our trip in Sanok, where one can visit the largest museum for people architecture in Poland with the material culture of the Lemko, Bojko, valley inhabitants and hill land inhabitants, as well as the museum for history, which are in the Renaissance lock, with the also largest collection of the Carpathian icon, the picture gallery of Z Beksinski and other interesting exhibitions. Also the inspection that is worth seeing Greek Orthodox churches of Sanok, and above all the Orthodox cathedral of the Dioezese of Przemysl and Nowy Sacz as well as the Greek Catholic churches in the boroughs Olchowce and Dabrówka, and other objects of interest of the city.

From Sanok we drive about 5 km toward Zagórz, where the Oslawa river flows into the San river. The first part of this locality is called Dolina, here is a Greek Catholic church of the virgin Maria from the year 1836. At present is a Roman Catholic church. That is not from the outside seen a beautiful object, but it is worth mentioning. On the inside a small altar and the icons from that are 19. Jh. of far ones we reach the road crossing in the center of Zagórz, straightforward run the road toward Lesko, but we drive to the south, toward Komancza. On the main street we see on the left side, about 500 m of the crossing from stone bricked a Greek Catholic church of the holy Michael of Zagórz, which originates from the year 1836. Formerly Greek Catholic, is it today of that Greek Orthodox Glaeubigen used. On the eastern side is a semicircular choir area, to which a vestry is in addition-placed. On the western side a high bricked tower, in the top from wood, is at which point with a spherical Pseudokirchengloecklein verziert. On the inside is a present Ikonostas.

The keys are with Mr. Nestor Hlywjak, beside the church - Mlynarska STR. 10. We continue this way and to come at the Pfarr church from that 18. Jh. past, behind the one narrow dirt road to the 500 m removed for pictorial ruins also from that 18. Jh. coming Karmeliterklosters leads. Beside the church the road crossing is, the main road leads straightforward with the zigzags by the Dzial mountain, second leads by Poraz, to the Oslawa river along. Both roads meet one another later in the place Szczawne. Is one to then select which? Both routes are very attractive, although the second more valuable in connection with our topic is. We describe however both, in order to leave to you the decision.

If we turn to the right, then we reach soon the place Poraz. Directly at its beginning the neugotische yard of the family Gubrynowicz, the last owners of the Laendereien lying in the environment is on the left side about 300 m of the road. In the village center we see on the left side on the hill also a bricked church from that to 18. Jh. behind the village is the next crossing, at which we go in south direction toward Morochów. Here a Greek Catholic wood church is from 1837, since 1961 a Greek Orthodox church. The object is not particularly worth seeing from the outside, but its inside earns our attention - interesting from that 19. Jh. coming Iconostas and the equipment with strong neugotischen characteristics. In order to reach the church, we must Greek Orthodox to the right to the soil way at the wood cross turn and about 50 m further drive. One can visit the object with the minister, who lives in the parsonage building. The next village is Mokre. On the left side we see a Greek Catholic bricked church with a red roof. That is a new object. It is 1992 delighted, but on the inside an interesting Ikonostas is from 1900, which originates from the village Stubianka and to which church was behind-put by the museum in Lancut in the depot. The church shows us Mr. Bogdan Mielnik, Mokre 42.

In the village also the singing and group of dances of "Oslawiany" are active, which present the people art of the Lemko and Bojko. The way continues to lead past the pictorial valley of the Oslawa river the oil pit, leaves Mokre and schlaengelt themselves toward Wysoczany along. It schlaengelt itself at one time at the mountain slope between the railroad tracks and the flowing river. The way verengert itself here on the distance of approximately 1 km. In Wysoczany we pass an old Greek Catholic cemetery, on which one set up a new small church. In their inside is an interesting present Ikonostas. The Dorfschulze Mr. Roman Karpa has the keys.

Behind the village are the houses of the former national agriculture, where at present a horse stud develops. Behind the stud the crossing with the road from Bukowsko is alike, where we turn to the left. Behind us the not existing village remains Plonna, in which the ruins of the Greek-catholic church are. After the IITH world war they were used as stockrooms of the national agriculture. In Szczawne are connected again the ways, which formed a Abweigung in Zagórz.

In this moment we return to Zagórz, in order to describe the first route. We drive past at the road crossing in Poraz, to the south toward Tarnawa. On the first hill we drive past at the old cemetery of Zagórz on the left side and come into the village Wielopole, which lies now in the borders of Zagórz. Left we see the ruins of a monastery, and a little to the right a white, behind the river bricked and on the hill standing Greek Catholic church of the Angel Michael, which was built 1939 after the cross plan and decorated with a large domed roof. Unfortunately is inside no Iconostas. In order to reach this church, one must turn to the left, go then over the railroad line and a small bridge. We continue to come into the village Tarnawa Dolna. Behind this village there is a crossing, at which we turn to the right. The road leads to the left to the Kalniczka valley, where itself the Greek Catholic churches in Tarnawa Górna (1817), Olchowa (1877) and Srednie Wielkie (1810) in the ramshackle condition and in Lukowe (1828), which as Roman-catholic church is used now, find.

We drive over Czaszyn and see on the way a bricked Greek-catholic church of the holy Nikolaus from 1835, which is nowadays a Roman-catholic church. Behind the village urge we us by pictorial zigzags after Brzozowiec through, from where one a marvelous panorama picture on the Bukowiec Vorland, which has salt mountains and the Lesko Vorland. The mountain summit is covered with the forest, but if we drive on its southern side, we see again a beautiful panorama picture on the valley of the Oslawa river, which separates the Bieszczady mountains from the mountains Beskid Niski.

We drive downward and on the right side see we the cemetery and the bricked bell tower - remnants in the year 1974 of the burned down Greek-catholic church into Kulaszne. Beside the bell tower a new bricked church stands. We drive into the village Szczawne and meet we on that managing described way here by Morochów. We leave Szczawne and notice on the right side, behind the railroad line a Greek Catholic wood church of falling asleep God nut/mother, (at present Greek Orthodox church), that was built 1888 in the eastern Lemkenstil. On the inside is the Gegenwartsikonostas. At the walls the Figurenpolychromie is from 1925. Beside the church the wooden bell tower from 1889 and the Pfarrfriedhof are. In Szczawne one knows also an interesting bildstock from wood from that 19. Jh. see, which stands at the main street. Mr. Jan Walorny - Szczawne 20 - has the keys a large bricked house on the way after Bukowsko.

After we left Szczawne, we arrive at Rzepedz. In order to see the Greek Catholic church in Rzepedz - one of the most beautiful churches, in this area to be discussed -, one must turn at the beginning of the village to the right. If we drive the Rzepedka brook upward, then we come directly before this object. That is delighted and for 1826 geweiht a Greek Catholic wood church of the holy archbishop Nikolaus in the eastern Oslawa Lemkenstil, 1824. It was reconditioned 1896 and was probably set one then a vestry. During the provisional security 1969 became die Sakristei angerissen.

After the second world war, it was used as church, at present serves it again the Glaeubigen of the Greek Catholic faith admitting. On the inside is the Iconostas, which is adapted to the present appearance of the church. At the walls the polychromie is from 1896. At the church is a dreistoeckiger post framework bell tower made of wood, which corresponds to the present condition of the church. The church is now in principle reconditioned. The object is surrounded with a small steinmauer. Besides is the church cemetery. Mr. Slawomir Jurowski, which lives in the first house behind the curve on the right side, has the keys to the church.

We return to the main street and continue to drive to the south. We drive over the railroad line and the bridge and come to the road crossing to Turzansk. Here it is worth seeing to deviate from the main street and to visit a Greek Catholic church from Turzansk to. Then we drive past at the wood works, over the bridge at the Oslawa river and come directly into the village Turzansk. After approximately 1.5 km we reach a beautiful God house from wood on the left roadside. To this church a long dirt road, which branches from the main street, or small stone stairs, which is in the proximity, leads 50 m. That is a Greek Catholic church (at present Greek Orthodox) of the Angel Michael in the eastern Oslawa Lemkenstil, which was built 1803. On the inside are the Iconostas from 1895 and two side altars at the beginning 19. Jh. beside the church is the post bell tower from wood - the highest bell tower of this kind in Poland. One can admire the object with Mr. Theodor Tchoryk, which lives in the top of the village - Turzansk 63.

We return after Rzepedz and drive the main street toward the south along. From now on we drive the road at the Oslawica river - the left Oslawa tributary along. These rivers flow parallel and to be separated them by the Dyszowa Jasieniowa mountain pass. If we would like to drive the Oslawa river at this distance further, then we would have to turn after Rzepedz toward to the narrow-gauge railway. Unfortunately this route is attainable only to foot or with a jeep, because that is a soil way, which requires the travel in some places over the fords. Here runs also the line of the narrow-gauge railway, which is not for many years in enterprise and thereby one destroys. We leave Rzepedz and drive at the traffic sign with the heading: Jawornik from the past.

Before World War II, there was a large Lemkendorf, brook upward up to the the same village ran here. At present are here only a few houses. Interesting are here the music courses, which are organized by the "orchestra of the holy Nikolaus". During these courses one can learn the culture of the former inhabitants of this region to know. The next village on our route is Komancza, a place, which is because of its pictorial situation and rich history of special importance. We come to Komancza and on the right side drive past we at a quarry out of operation, and soon at the station Komancza Letnisko. Behind the station a track transfer is alike, over which the way to 600 m removed for monastery of the Nazarether medal sisters lead. In this monastery the cardinal Wyszynski was held in the years 1955-56. After we reached the village center, we drive at the station building on the right side and at the small wood church from the years 1949-50 past, behind this church the way continues to lead toward Duszatyn and the small Duszatyn lakes, at the Chryszczata slope (998 m ue.d.M.) lie. We go straightforward and after some tenth meters turn we to the way, which runs over the railway bridge toward Dukla. We are in the valley of the Barbarka brook, in which two marvelous Greek Catholic churches of Komancza are. We see first on the left roadside. That is decorated a large bricked object, in the top from wood, and at the point with a large dome. It was built in the years 1985-88. With its building an interesting history is connected. Since the Glaeubigen of the Greek Catholic church in the old church could not hold a service, they wanted to build a new church. Unfortunately they did not get a building permit, it could only the old abandoned church transfer. They decided for the object in the place Dudynce. The Komancza inhabitants avoided behind-cunningly all difficulties and decided a large bricked church to build, which they decorated with the small Greek Catholic wood church from Dudynce. That had naturally on a untypical exterior appearance an influence. Since 1990 the Lemko museum at the church, which represents the subject of the everyday life life of the Lemko, is.

The object shows us the minister, who lives in the parsonage building beside it. A beautiful Greek-catholic God nut/mother protection wood church continues to stand to about 300 m from 1802 on the hill on the right roadside. After 1836 still the vestry with the next small tower was course-built. That was original the Greek Catholic parish church, since 1963 are it from that Greek Orthodox population used. She was built after the eastern Lemken Oslawa style. On the inside the complete Iconostas is from 1832. Before the church the gate bell tower from wood stands. The object is surrounded with a low steinmauer, besides is the church cemetery. We visit the object with the Orthodox rehearse, which in the private house in the proximity of the Greek Catholic church (Byzantine-Ukrainian church) - Komancza 216 lives.

If one already is in Komancza, one is to drive still toward Wislok Wielki, where a beautiful Ostlemken Holzkirche (at present the Roman catholic church) of the holy Onuphrius is. It was built in the years 1850-53. The church is surrounded with a small bruchsteinmauer, besides is the bricked bell tower. On the inside an interesting Iconostas is to be seen. The minister, who lives in the parsonage building beside it, shows us the church.

To the return to Komancza we drive toward Lupków and reach the village Radoszyce. Here at present a road is built toward the planned border crossing. We drive to the only road crossing in the village and turn to the right. After some minutes we are at the object. That is delighted a Greek Catholic parish church of the holy Dimitri, from wood, 1868. On the inside a present Iconostas and a small Rococo are altar. From the Iconostas became 1991 smaller icons sucked. "prazdniki" stolen. Before the church is a bell tower from stone. Around the church is a church cemetery. The paintings are worth seeing in the choir area, which represent the everyday life life of the village inhabitants. On the one a Lemko woman is to be seen, which goes into the church, on the other one a Lemko man in the Volkstracht, which sows the grain.

Mrs. Zofia Gusztak, Radoszyce 12 - the next house of the church, but best is it, with the minister (Czeslaw Dec - Komancza 88, Tel. NR has the keys to the church. 4677081), which in Komancza lives, a date to specify, it leads even gladly by the church.

Over the village a chapel at a brook, which rises from the "source of miracle", is in the chapel is an interesting present icon, the Christ at the oil mountain represents. After the inspection of the church we return to the main street and continue to drive in southern direction. We drive past at large areas of the former village Oslawica, where there are only abandoned houses the national land managing and a few farmhouses. From the eastern side we drive past at Nowy Lupków and return to the Oslawa valley and turn to the left, in the village Smolnik.

After 1 km we see a beautiful church of Smolnik on the right side. That is a bricked former Greek Catholic parish church of the holy Nikolaus, which was built 1806. The inside accommodates a Gegenwarts Iconostas. Beside the church is a bricked bell tower. At the wall is the Inskriptions Epitaphe. Since 1969 that is again a Roman Catholic church. The church shows us Mrs. Maria Mrugala - Smolnik 18, which lives in the bricked house about 200 m of the church on the right roadside.

Unfortunately that is the last object in the Oslawa valley. In southern direction we continue to reach its sources in the proximity of Balnica, where only an old chapel, which is reconditioned at present with social initiatives, is. We drive past at Wola Michowa, a large and closely settled place, in which Poland, Ukrainian and Jews used live. Today there are winy indications of its past gloss time. But it is worthwhile itself to continue on free field and the voice of the church bell, which comes from the meadows with the Erlenwald, to listen attentively. Therefore terminate dear wanderer your journey at the sources of the Oslawa river, which tells you the history of this marvelous country. Information for the Ruecksackwanderer. One can achieve the objects mentioned also to foot or use the already existing moving ways. They lead by the pictorial areas of the mountains Beskid Niski and the Bieszczady mountains. Their rather close net makes a trip to foot nearly from each more important place for this region possible. From Sanok the blue moving way leads by the Oslawa valley. It runs from the main station/bus station by the village Stróze Wielkie up to the beautiful Lazy Strózowskie Ansichtswiesen. It continues to go through the village Morochów and over the village Mokre goes it upward up to the Dzial Gebirgsmassiv. Then it runs over the Pohary summit (641 m ue.d.M.), the very attractive Sulila summit (759 mue.d.M.) with its marvelous prospect and the Turzansk mountain pass (609 m ue.d.M.) to the Chryszczata summit (998 m ue.d.M.), where it connects itself with the Beskid Hauptwanderweg, which is red marked. From Komancza we can take the red marked Beskid main moving way mentioned above and go it to the Oslawa valley to Duszatyn along. From here one takes the flint way and the tracks of the narrow-gauge railway along comes one to Smolnik. If one takes this moving way from Komancza in western direction, one comes to the Kamien summit 717 m ue.d.M., from where one reaches the waldweg along the Rzepedka valley and to the beautiful church into Rzepedz comes. To Radoszyce and Smolnik one can also come, if one takes that -blue border moving way, which runs the border of Poland and the Slowakei along. Up to the Wisloka river comes the yellow moving way, which runs in the north the Bukowica slopes downward and goes then to Kanasiówka, where it itself with that blue and green moving way connects. The approach road to the described localities makes possible also the public traffic. From Sanok one can drive easily with the penalties of the national traffic from the main bus station, city traffic or the private close traffic, whose station is in the city centre in the Daszynski STR. The cheapest means of transport remain however the railway. The courses toward Komancza and Lupków drive starting from station into Sanok and Zagórz, where each 15. Minute the penalty of the line NR. 5, which place their bus stop in the center of the city Sanok and at the main station have, operates. By the Oslawa valley also the courses operate after Kosice, Humenne and Medzilaborce in the

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