Wooden churches

02. Dobroslava

The wooden Greek Catholic church of St. Paraskeva, 1705, NKP 


The Greek Catholic wooden church of St. Parasceve was built in 1705. Parasceve was a daughter of rich Christian parents in Iconium. After the death of her parents, she inherited great fortune, which she distributed among the poor. Because of her wovs of chastity, she refused all those aspiring to marry her. During the persecutions under the emperor Diocletianus she was accused as a Christian and thrown into a jail. After many tortures she was murdered by a sword.  .

Towards the end of the WWII, the village was destroyed and the church was damaged. When being renovated its architecture was enlarged by two side chapels, thus giving to the church a ground – floor in a shape of a cross, being unique in the Eastern Slovakia. The last renovation took place in 2001 – 2002, when the coat and the roof were replaced.

The church has five parts, five spaces, built on low stone foundation. It is adorned with three towers and five crosses. The body of the church and the walls of the towers are cased with vertically laid panels and boards. The whole church is covered with wooden shingles. According to the inventory from 1915 were here originally four bells. Presently only one bell, casted in 1790 hangs in the tower.

After entering the church, we found ourselves in the narthex. One can see here a date 1705, meaning the year of the completion and dedication of the church. From the narthex it is possible to access the choir loft, located on the western part of the nave.

The iconostasis of this church has its architecture of five rows. It is an National Cultural Monument with icons displayed on five levels. It dates to the second half of the 18th century. The main row contains from the left the icons of: the holy bishop Nicholas, the Mother of God the Hodegetria, Christ the Teacher and the patron feast icon of St. Parasceve. In the middle are two – winged royal doors with six medallions, four of them conatining Evangelists and two the depiction of the Annunciation. On the door case on the norhern side is depicted St. Basil the Great on the southern side St. John the Chrysostom. In the arch above the doors is the Divine Incarnation, with angels – heavenly hosts on sides.

The second row of feasts, contains starting from the northern wall following icons: The Nativity of the Mother of God, The Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple, the Nativity of Christ, the Baptism of Christ, the Annunciation, the Entrance of Christ into Jerusalem. The row of feasts is divided in two parts by the icon of the Last Supper and then resumes with the icons of: the Resurrection, the Ascension of the Lord, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, the Transfiguration of the Lord, the Protection of the Mother of God.

In the third row one can see above the royal doors the icon Small Deesis, depicting Christ the High – priest, accompanied by the Mother of God and St. John the Baptist. From the icon of Deesis towards the northern wall are the icons of: St. Peter with keys and reversed cross, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Andrew, St. James the Zebedee and St. Thomas. From the middle towards the southers wall resumes the row of apostles with the icons of St. Paul, St. John, St. Luke, St. Simone, St. Bartholomew and St. Phillip.

The fourth row, of prophets, is more difficult for identification. It contains six round medallions, each having a pair of figures in special extensions. From the middle towards the northern wall are the prophets Moses and Aaron. Remaining four prophets is impossible to idetify. From the middle towards the southern wall one can see kings David and Solomon, two unknown prophets with general prophetic attribute – a scroll, and then prophets Isaiah and Daniel.

The top of the iconostasis is finished by a three – bared cross with Crucifixion and the Mother of Godf and St. John on its northern and southern side, resepctively. The preserved fifth row – located on the bottom of the iconostasis contains from the left the icons of: the Flight into Egypt, Ss. Peter and Paul, the Divine Incarnation (Oranta) and the icon of St. Parasceve.

Precious are also solo icons in this church. Among them are the icons: Man of Pain, located on the preparatory table; Holy Trinity on the main altar in the sanctuary. Striking is the icon of the Last Judgment, sizeable icon of St. Parasceve with scenes from her life and other icons in the nave of the church.

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