Wooden churches

12. Príkra

The wooden Greek Catholic church of St. Michael the Archangel, 1777, NKP 


The wooden church of St. Michael the Archangel in the village of Príkra was built in 1777. In 30’s of the 20th century it was transferred from the original spot to a new place, several tenths of meters above. The church was damaged during the war, but renovated again in 1946-1947. Since 1968 it is on the list of the National Cultural Monuments. The patron of the church is St. Michael the Archangel, in Hebrew Mich-a-el, what means “Who is like God?“, the leader of the heavenly hosts. Together with his feast day, also other heavenly hosts are commemorated on November the 8th. The Archangel Michael is depicted as a leader of the hevenly army, as a soldier with a sword in his hands.

The church has three parts, three spaces and three towers, which have decorated forged crosses. It is of log structure, built on massive stony foundation, which copies the declination of the terrain. The tower is of pillar structure. Inside the tower, that arises from the narthex are three bells, the oldest one being from 1759.

From the outside is the log struucture protected by wooden boards, the roof is covered traaditionally with shingles. The roof is of pyramidal form and has three towers, each being a bit higher, than the previous one, and finished with little poppy head. Thus is the church dominant in the village and completely in harmony with the nature. On the top of the tower is an onion dome with a cone and decorative three – barred cross. Interesting elements are the coverings of the roof spaces between the tower, nave and the sanctuary.

The original iconostasis and the main altar with the depiction of the Crucifixion date to 18th century, although some of the icons are even older. The iconostasis is of mixed baroque – roccoco classical style. The older icons were probably transferred here from another older church. The first and a main row consists of icons of: the Holy bishop Nicholas, the Mother of God with Jesus on her hands – the Hodegitria, Christ the Teacher and of the patron of the church, St. Michael the Archangel. Royal doors with two wings are richly carved and contain six icons: the upper two are the icons of the Annunciation, below them are icons of four Evangelists. The second row of the iconostasis contains twelve icons of the greatest liturgical feasts, so called “prazdniks“. Those are based on the Christ and Marian cycle of the Church year. From the left are following icons: Annunciation, Dormition of the Mother of God, Ascension of the Lord, Circumcision of the Lord, Resurrection, St. Joachim and Anne. In the middle, above the royal doors is located the Last (Mystical) Supper and then the row resumes with the icons of: The Entrance into Jerusalem, Nativity of Christ, where the shepherds are dressed in contemporary folk costumes, Transfiguration of the Lord, Baptism of the Lord - the Epiphany, Descent of the Holy Spirit and the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple. The third row consists of the icons of twelve apostles with the icon of Christ the Pantocrator in the middle. Above this row is a row of the Old Testament prophets. It consists of decorative round medallions with icons. Depicted from the left are following prophets: Aaron, Jacob, Daniel, Gideon, Jonah, Nahum, Moses, Zephaniah, David, Abraham. The top of the iconostasis is finished with the three – barred cross, on sides with the Mother of God on the northern side and St. John the Evangelist on the southern side.

In this church are together four icons of the holy bishop Nicholas, favorite saint not only of the local people, but of the Eastern Church in general. The most precious icon of St. Nicholas is from the 16th century and belongs among the most precious monuments of all the Slovakia. Besides these icons, there are also icons of St. Michael and Christ the Teacher frm the 17th century and a processional cross. Worth to mention is also the icon Mandylion – An icon not made by human hand, i.e. face of Christ on a cloth, located on the northern side of the sanctuary. In the sanctuary is also the side table for preparatory rites with the icon of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. The exterior and the interior were completely renovated in 1999 - 2001.


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