Wooden Church of St. Nicholas, Bodružal

The church is part of a unique urban complex located in the center of the municipality. In addition to the temple, it also consists of a separate bell tower, an adjacent cemetery and a wooden fence with a shingled roof and an entrance gate covered by a conical roof with an onion dome. The temple itself is a prototype of the church built in the style of Lemkos. It dates from 1658 and is one of the oldest wooden sacral buildings of the Byzantine rite in Slovakia. The church was built from logs and has three towers. The floorplan is typical for this kind of building – three squares arranged on one axis from east to west. In the exterior, the church is covered by vertically placed wooden boards. Logs were also used in the construction of transverse arches in the sanctuary and the nave. The arrangement of the individual parts of the church symbolizes the Holy Trinity.
The roof is made of shingles. The nave is topped by short square structures on which conical bodies with baroque onion domes and small shingled conical extensions with forged metal crosses are anchored.
The turrets increase in size, starting from the small turret in the east above the sanctuary (presbytery), continuing with the middle-sized turret above the nave (with an open dome made of logs) to the highest turret in the west (above the matroneum) featuring bells.

The log crossbeams are laid on stone foundations (masonry), the highest ones (35-40 cm) being located below the sanctuary. In the past, the foundations were made of sandstone without any binder (technique widely used until the end of the 20th century). Today, the gaps between the stones are filled with concrete mix. The floor inside the church has a gravel-sand base, on which oak prisms with wooden boards are placed.

At the beginning of the First World War, the smallest and largest bells of the church were used for military purposes. The bells were replaced by the locals only in the second half of the twenties. The largest bell was made by the local forester Michal Zelizňák, and the smallest bell was bought by the locals. The oldest bell dates back to 1759, as evidenced by the inscription on the outer wall of the bell.

The Baroque interior decoration of the nave is complemented by murals on wood from the 90s of the 18th century which depict scenes from the Bible – Apocalypse (Last Judgment) and the Crucifixion. The Rococo three-tier iconostasis dates from the same period.

The exterior of the church was influenced by Byzantine sacred art. In the interior, the iconostasis and altar are characteristic of the Byzantine rite, but some paintings and icons also testify to the influence of the Latin rites.

The church area is surrounded by a log fence with a shingled roof which was restored in 2008. The wooden bell tower, which has a conical roof and dates from the 19th century, forms an entrance to the church.


How to get there

The church is located on the highest hill of the municipality, overlooking other buildings and residential houses.