After a good night rest following an exciting Day 1 Travel in Krakow, refreshed, we are all ready for our exciting Day 2.
We engaged Poland Active for our Wooden Church Tour, a day excursion visiting 4 exciting and beautiful Wooden Churches of Poland that are filled with many different history and culture.
Our day started with our private tour pick up by our friendly and passionate tour guide of the day from our apartment. Because it was journey out of Krakow, we started the day early at 730 am.
Our first stop is about 1 hour drive from Krakow. Along the way, we enjoyed beautiful countryside view.
There are many centuries-old wooden churches that are surviving in Malopolska (Lesser Poland), a province that is part of Krakow. There are a total of four of them that are located in villages of Sekowa, Binarowa, Lipnica Murowana and Debno Podhalanskie – that are part of UNESCO List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
These wooden monuments are indeed fascinating remnants of the rich history of Poland. Most of these churches located in Malopolska are Catholic and Orthodox churches. These domes and turrets adorn the beautiful countryside of Poland yet at the same time, gives a total different picture.
Malopolska is one of the larger province, making up part of Poland’s larger historical region that borders on the Ukraine to the east while Slovakia to the south, and on the Polish regions of Slask to the west and Mazowsze to the north. The area is charming and beautiful with copious medieval towns and castles dotting the hillsides with the Carpathian Mountains covering the lush vegetation.
Our journey of the day covers : Kraków – Racławice – Paczółtowice – Wygiełzów – Mętków – Kraków.
Our first stop….. St. Leonard’s Church, Kosciol Sw. Leonarda in Polish that is located in the village of Lipnica Murowana about 50km southeast of Krakow.
Lipnica Murowana is a village in southern Poland. The town prospered due to the strategic location of the busy merchant route from Krakow to Hungary. In the 16th century, Lipnica Murowana is the 19th largest town in the province of Malopolska, despite having burned in the 1520 fire.
Taking our refreshing and cooling morning walk to St. Leonard’s Church, we managed to see the modern church that is widely use by the villagers today.
There is also an old school…. not sure if it is still in use today though.
After a short 5 minutes walk (slow walk), we finally arrived at St. Leonard’s Church, is a Gothic, wooden church with modest single-nave with a shingled ridged roof that is back to the end of 15th century.
The interior has a baroque decor with the ceiling paintings back to the 15th, 16th and the 17th centuries. The interior were decorated with: The Crucifixion, The Last Supper and the Last Judgement while the nave has scenes from The Passion and The Ten Commandments.
Some of the precious fittings visible in St. Leonard’s Church are the rare processional feretrum with a bas-relief of The Holy Trinity and a music box that is still working today.
It is said that in tradition, the church was built on the site of a pagan shrine around the four-faced God Swiatowit that is now props up at the back of the altar in St. Leonard’s Church.
Indeed a very beautiful church… inside although the outside was a little simple. We had a lovely time learning about the culture and the history behind this church thanks to the passionate Tour Guide and also the caretaker of the church.
Ending our exploration of St. Leonard’s Church, back into the van we go…. for our 1 hour journey to our next destination….. St. Michael Archangel’s Church located in Binarowa.