Some of these wooden churches are on our wish list for Slovakia. And there are many of them. We visit the first one in Hronsek.
When we arrived, a bride and groom were just coming out with the whole wedding party. So we waited a little, but then had to secretly take a photo of the bridal couple in order to be able to enter the still festively decorated but empty church a little later.
The beams creaked, the sunlight conjured up a mystical but also cosy light on the wooden benches. And so we enjoyed the warm afternoon in the church, all alone. And we are looking forward to the tour to Eastern Slovakia, because another of the historic churches is waiting for us there!
The church of Hronsek has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008 and its history reflects the religious tensions of the region. In the late 16th century, the majority of the population in Upper Hungary was Protestant. However, the authorities tried to return people to the Catholic faith and suppressed the Protestant community.
In 1681 the situation changed. Emperor Leopold had to grant the Protestant Christians more freedom. A treaty allowed the building of two churches in each district, but under strict conditions. The churches had to be outside the towns, built entirely of wood and without nails. They were not allowed to have a tower or direct access from the street.
Hronsek's church was built under these special conditions and consecrated in 1726. It is remarkably large and has 1100 seats. The arrangement of the seats is reminiscent of an amphitheatre, so that everyone has a good view.
The interior is simple, the altar is decorated with six paintings that are changed according to the church year. We also admire a special interior panelling, similar to that in Scandinavian stave churches. Another special feature is the wooden bell tower in baroque style, which stands a little apart. Two old lime trees in front of the church complete the picture and are as old as the church itself.
We look forward to many more wooden churches, although we admire them more architecturally than religiously.
Merci for "travelling with us
These weeks we are travelling through Iran. It's possible that we won't be writing posts or that they will be delayed. We first have to see whether we have enough internet or reception and whether it is suitable for us to publish from the country. And whether we will even manage to write down all the fantastic impressions in time.
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