The Temple of St. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa in the village of Chernavchitsy

Chernavchitsy

Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

The Temple of St. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa constructed in Chernavchitsy (Brest district, Brest region). It is considered to be a monument of folk architecture of the XVIII century. It is one of the few authentic Bishop’s temples which made of four log-houses that have survived to our days. Such erections were widely spread in the territory of Belarus in the past.

The wooden temple was built in 1733 and rebuilt in 1860. The building is enclosed with a stone fence with arched two-tiered belfry gates. The temple was affected by fire in 1987: the fire destroyed a polygonal dome, roof and iconostasis of the 1830-s. A polygonal dome is a semicircular or circular roofing that crowns a tower or building. It differs fr om a classical onion-like element in the architecture of Moscow orthodox temples as it has a more complicated silhouette and, in most cases, presents a polyhedron.

There was installed an elegant tented roof instead of the destroyed by fire dome. It was distinctive from large baroque shapes of the rest parts of the building.

What other architectural features does the Temple of St. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa have?

The building has the numerous characteristics of baroque style. The cross-like log-house is rather oblong in longitudinal due to a five-sided apse with the low vestries at the sides, and also a small porch under a gable roof. The apses have been known as elements of basilicas since the time of Ancient Rome. These low corbels of main walls adjoin to the catholicon and have semicircular, sometimes more complicated design. In most cases, in orthodox temples they are used to install an altar. A vestry is a small room wh ere clerical vestments and other things for worship are kept.

The prayer hall is wider than long as one of his parts presents a small transept marked from the outside with shields. A transept is a cross aisle of a bishop’s temple that cuts across its pivot space at a right angle. Its side elements form additional apses. The need of constituents of the temple appeared as early as during early Christianity, on account of more complicated ceremonies that caused the need to enlarge the space in front of the altar. A shield is a triangular or polyangular fronton that was widely spread in traditional Belarusian folk architecture. It was used as a decorative fixture of a facade and gave some architectural attractiveness to the building.

The crossing of gable roofs is crowned with the figured multitier dome. It was created in later time as the temple had only a Cross at the top in the XVIII century. The vertical directivity of the building is underlined also with finishing, connecting bars, corner rusticate pilasters imitating large masonry and double rectangular windows. The triangular fronton of the main facade was designed with the help of figured finishing.

The choirs under the porch open to the prayer hall covered with a flat ceiling. The apse is distinctive for a wooden carved iconostasis of 1987. The icon “Saint Genus and the Dragon” is kept inside the temple.

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