The Uniate church with three “towers” in the village of Michale on the Bug

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Abstract

The specificity of cultural tradition of the Uniate Church in the Commonwealth [Republic] of Poland was the integration of elements of the Eastern and the Western Church tradition. This process intensified throughout the 18th century and was observable first of all in the church interiors as well as in architecture. The result of assimilation of Latin elements was inter alia similarities in the appearance of Uniate and Catholic churches - more often in the western and northern regions of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kiev. In the church interior, the iconostasis was replaced by a set of Baroque altars - the main and usually two side ones. Pews, pulpits, confessionals and even pipe organs appeared. In the Eastern-Church architecture the three-part layout (the chancel, nave, and women’s section) was replaced by the two-part layout (the chancel and the large rectangular nave covered by gabled roofs with an ave-bell turret). The richest form of the Latinized Uniate church body was the churches with the two-tower front facade (inter alia Buśno, Kodeniec, Dywin [Dzivin], Hołoby [Goloby], Olble). After the Partitions, new patterns of Orthodox Church architecture were introduced in the Russian partition, in particular after the liquidation of the Uniate Church (in the Russian Empire - 1839, in the Kingdom of Poland - 1875). Uniate churches were replaced by Orthodox churches built in the Russian “national” style. After the devastations caused by the two World Wars, after the practice of demolishing Orthodox churches in the Lublin region in 1938, and after demolishing them under the Soviet Union and People’s Poland, there are very few Uniate churches left. In order to have a complete picture of the Uniate religious tradition, archives have to be searched (records of inspections, and inventories). The inspection records of 1788 describe the Uniate church (built in 1751) in the village of Michale on the Bug as one with “three towers”. The records show a similar description of the no longer extant Uniate church in Wielka Hłusza (Velyka Hlusha) in Volhynia: according to a later description it had two towers with a prominent ave-bell turret. It could be assumed that the Uniate church in Michale had a similar appearance. This church, converted in 1881 in the Russian “national” style”, completely lost its former appearance.

Annales UMCS, Artes

The Journal of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University

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