Church of St. Philip and St. Jacob the Apostles, Sękowa

Drewniany kościół widziany z zewnątrz, z boku.

The little church in Sękowa is one of the most valuable and oldest wooden churches in Małopolska. Located on the Wooden Architecture Route, it is called the ‘Pearl of the Low Beskids’ because of its history and untypical appearance. It was built around 1520 and owes its contemporary appearance to reconstructions in the 17th and 18th centuries when the church was surrounded by undercuts and the tower was added. This picturesque church was immortalised in the works of Włodzimierz Tetmajer, Teodor Axentowicz, Józef Mehoffer and Stanisław Wyspiański among others.

During the World War II, the church was almost completely destroyed. The initial damage was from gunfire and the timber from walls and the roof was later used for the construction of trenches and as firewood. Unfortunately, the polychromes and the majority of furnishings were irretrievably destroyed (e.g. two late Renaissance altars and the pulpit). Efforts were made after the war to reconstruct the former appearance of the church.

The building received a prestigious international aware ‘Prix Europa Nostra’ in 1994. It was entered on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in 2003.

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