The Greek Catholic wooden church of Ladomirová, located 40 kilometers east of Bardejov, belongs to one of the most iconic and architectonically precious churches of eastern (Byzantine) rite in Slovakia. Built in 1742 it is dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel. The building, along with seven other wooden churches, was recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

The exact year of the church’s construction can be discerned, among other evidence, from an engraved date at the entrance.

The church is a three-part structure with three towers and crosses. The baroque style towers betray Western architectural influence. A robust wooden bell-tower, located next to the church, originally contained four bells – the oldest dated to 1742. At present, however, only three remain.

The interior of the building is dominated by an iconostasis composed of five rows and dated to the middle of the eighteenth century. The first row contains icons depicting Saint Nicolas, Hodegetria, Christ the Teacher as well as Saint Michael the Archangel. The royal doors are adorned by six medallions. Four of them depict the individual four evangelists. The two remaining medallions depict scenes from the Annunciation.

The second row of the iconostasis comprises icons depicting liturgical feast days. The middle of the row is divided by the icon of the Last Supper. The third row contains icons of apostles as well as the icon of Christ the High Priest located in its middle part.

The fourth row comprises six medallions, each depicting two Old Testament Prophets. The middle of the row is filled with the icon of the Crucifixion which includes the figures of Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist. The fifth row contains the icon of The Resurrection of Christ and the icon of Saint Constantine and Helen. The iconostasis is richly adorned by ornamental patterns in the shape of grapevine tendrils and leaves of acanthus.

The interior is predominantly baroque in style and dates to the middle of the eighteenth century. The church’s walls hold several other stand-alone icons distributed throughout the nave and the sanctuary. Other remarkable objects include four precious rococo candleholders made out of a single piece of wood.

A partially preserved cemetery belongs to the church’s premises. It contains intriguing crosses made of wrought iron and wood. Another interesting feature is a later-built independent bell-tower.

The three bells inside the tower are manually operated by pulling on the ropes. The entry gate to the church’s area sports a roof with an onion dome. An original wooden fence covered by roof shingles is partially preserved at the frontal part of the area.

The church, several precious icons, the local clergyman's house as well as the village of Ladomirová itself were significantly damaged during the Second World War. Restoration of the church took place in 1946 and again in 1958 because the church was damaged by a storm a year earlier. The iconostasis underwent gradual restoration between the years 1996 and 2006.

Mass is held every Sunday at 9 AM and every Saturday at 8 AM. During weekdays the scheduled time for a mass is 5 PM.




Translated by:
Mgr. Samuel Beňa, M.A.


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