Wooden churches

11. Potoky

The wooden Greek Catholic church of St. Paraskeva, 1773, NKP

The faithful of the village Potoky built themselves on a mild slope above the river a wooden church in 1773, and dedicated it to St. Parasceva of Iconium. This martyr led a silent Christian life, dedicated to prayer and caring for the needy. Her deeds greatly affected many pagans and many of them accepted the faith in Christ. Parasceva was imprisoned, but even during the interrogations she bravely confessed her faith in Jesus Christ, which brought only more unmerciful suffering upon her.

From the exterior view, the church has three towers with three crosses and an entrance from the western side. The structure of the church is a log one, the one of the tower a pillar one. The narthex of the church is directly connected with the nave and has above a massive tall tower, which gives a special impact on the whole structure. Tops of all the towers are all having the same shape. Hand – forged cross above the main tower has two – bars, adorned with lunette, similarly as those above the nave and above the sanctuary.

A characteristic element of the Byzantine church is the iconostasis. It originated from a rail between the nave and the sanctuary. Later on, several depictions of Christ, of the Mother of God and of the saints were added, developing into its present form, usually having five rows of icons. Iconostas could be dated, similarly as the altar, to the middle of the 18th century. The main row of the iconostasis contains four big icons. From left the icon of the holy bishop Nicholas, then the icon of the Mother of God, the Hodegitira, i.e. the one indicating the way. On the right is the icon of Christ the Teacher, inviting all into his kingdom and the patron feast icon of St. Parasceva. The second row contains twelve main feasts of the liturgical year, which describe the most important events in the life of Jesus Christ and of the Most Holy Mother of God. In the middle above the royal doors is the Last Supper. In the third row are depicted twelve apostles, having in the middle the icon of Christ the High Priest – Pantocrator. The fourth row of the iconostasis that of the prophets is missing as well as the ending of the iconostasis in a form of a cross on its top. The fifth row consists of icons below the main row of the iconostasis, following the themes of the main icons. We can see here from the left St. Nicholas, the Holy Family, Christ who sunder the cross and the icon of the Cross. This whole precious iconostasis is in a green color with slight indication of marble pattern. Pillars are adorned with vine and gilded.

The iconostasis was completely renovated in ateliers in Levoča between 2000 and 2007. On the entrance gate and on the interior northern gate of the church are still today remnants from World War II. The whole church with belfry and their surroundings underwent complex renovation in the years 2009 and 2010.


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