Binarowa – St Michael’s Church

History

   Church of St. Michael Archangel in Binarowa is dated to about 1500. In 1596, a tower was added to the nave, and at the beginning of the 17th century, the church was surrounded by arcades and a ridge turret was erected on the roof of the nave. In the years 1641-1650 the music choir was transformed, the windows were enlarged, a new polychrome was made and in 1844 the Guardian Angels’ Chapel was added. In 1908 the roofs of the nave, chancel and upper parts of the tower were covered with galvanized sheet, and the shingle formwork was replaced with planks. From the 90s of the twentieth century works are underway to restore the church’s appearance from before 1908.

Architecture

   The church was built of fir wood, as a structure orientated towards the sides of world, with a log structure (erected without nails), aisleless, with a tower added from the west. A narrower, rectangular chancel with a sacristy added from the north adjoins the nave of the church. In the 17th century, a large chapel of Guardian Angels was added to the nave from the north, and a porch from the south. The tower is of a pillar-frame structure, with strongly narrowing walls, with a suspended porch topped with a helmet. The interior was covered with flat ceilings, in the nave with extension of the upper logs of the side walls of the presbytery throughout the entire length of the nave. Inside, the temple is decorated with beautiful, historic polychrome from the 16th and 17th centuries, showing scenes from the New Testament and views of the then Biecz town.

Current state

   The church in Binarowa is one of the most valuable timber, late-gothic churches in Poland and Europe, thanks to which it was added to the UNESCO List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage. It boasts, among others, the oldest preserved wooden church tower. Of its original furnishings, the main altar with the figure of the Virgin Mary from the second quarter of the 15th century, the stone baptismal font from 1522 and the Gothic bell from the 15th century have been preserved.

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bibliography:
Brykowski R., Kornecki M., Drewniane kościoły w Małopolsce południowej, Wrocław 1984.
Cisowski B., Duda M., Szlak architektury drewnianej. Małopolska, Kraków 2005.

Krasnowolski B., Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013.