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 Guardian Angels’ Chapel was added, the music choir was transformed, the windows were enlarged and a new polychrome was made. 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 temple is made of fir wood, orientated, log construction, single-nave, with a tower added from the west. Tower is in a pole-frame construction, with walls strongly narrowing towards the top, with an overhanged porch, topped with a helmet. This is the oldest known wooden church tower. A narrower, rectangular chancel with a sacristy added from the north, adjoins the nave of the church. From the north to the nave a large chapel of Guardian Angels was built in the 17th century, and a porch from the south. The interior of the temple is covered with flat ceilings and decorated with a beautiful, antique polychrome from the 16th and 17th century, showing scenes from the New Testament and views of the then town of Biecz. The church is equipped, among others, with the main altar with a statue of the Virgin Mary from the second quarter of the fifteenth century, a stone baptismal font from 1522 and a gothic bell from the 15th century.

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.

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bibliography:
Krasnowolski B., Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013.
Szlak architektury drewnianej. Małopolska, Cisowski B., Duda M., Kraków 2005.