Wooden churches

05. Kežmarok

Evangelical wooden church, 1717, UNESCO

The first articular church was built by the Evangelical believers outside the city walls in 1687 and 1688. As the size was insufficient, they decided to build a larger church. After the Rákóczi Uprising in April 1717, they dismantled the existing building and started construction work on a new church. In the same year, a log-structured church was added to the older brick building of the inn, which began to serve as a sacristy and school. The builders were inspired by traditional folk architecture and used mainly a gabled roof shape and shingle roofing. Probably for aesthetic reasons, the log cabin was painted on the outside with a lime-clay plaster, evoking the splendour of stone architecture. Inside the temple, over 1,500 seated worshippers can pray together. The original clay and flagstone paving has been replaced by newer stone paving. In the altar part of the church, it includes the remains of older tomb epitaphs from the 17th to 19th centuries. The church is dominated by a vault with a painting of the sky, the figures of the twelve apostles and the four evangelists, and the motif of the Holy Trinity in the altar section. On the side walls are scenes from the Old and New Testaments, figures of angels and musicians. This painting is probably the work of the Levoca painter G. Krammer and his son. The core of the church's artistic decoration is an exceptional early Baroque altar and pulpit made between 1718 and 1727. The centrepiece of the altar is the Crucifixion scene with the figures of Moses and Aaron. In its superstructure is a sculpture of the Holy Trinity. The central orientation of the pulpit in the space testifies to the importance that the Protestant Church attached to the spoken word and preaching. Only the stone baptismal font from the late 17th century survives from the older church. The original organ with twelve registers was enlarged and improved by the master M. Korabinský from Spišská Nová Ves. Thus a completely new instrument was created, whose pure and magnificent sound is still used during many concerts of classical, especially church music. The wooden articular evangelical church in Kežmarok can be regarded as a real gem of wooden sacral art in Slovakia. The church is still functional and services are regularly held in its premises. After several years of efforts, in 2008 the church was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Contact for individuals:
Hanzelyová: 0902 167 975
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Priest Roman Porubän: 0918 828 321

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