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Project of the week - WoodenTreasure

15 / 02 / 2021
Category: Project News

The project “Wooden Churches — the hidden giants of common tourism destination Carpathians” (acronym WoodenTreasure) aims to promote and preserve the wooden sacral architecture of the Carpathians. The Lead Beneficiary is Agency of Regional Development and Cross-border Cooperation “Transcarpathia” of Zakarpattya Oblast Council (UA), and the project partner is Museum of Eastern Borderlands in Lubaczów (PL).

More about project you can find in the Projects tab on our webpage.

Wooden sacral architecture has always been a part of the Carpathians landscape, to the point that we often associate particular places with the shapes of their temples. Besides being the places of worship, these churches reflect different stages of cultural evolution, keep a record of histories and significant events. But these buildings are a fragile resource, being non-commercial and almost entirely dependent upon voluntary effort. If they do not receive the support and promotion to help them open up, welcome visitors and tell their stories, a vital part of the Carpathian culture and history could be irretrievably lost.

The implementation of the project began on 1st November 2019, but the actual activities started in 2020. On 24th January, the Lead Beneficiary organized an Opening Conference in Uzhhorod to inform about the project's objectives and goals, to present the objects of religious architecture in Ukraine covered by the project and their role in the cultural landscape of the region. A similar event was held by a Polish partner - press conference for media representatives in the museum building of the Orthodox Church Complex in Radruż. Among the participants, the organizers distributed also the maps with locations and descriptions of sacred architecture objects in Poland.

In the period from February to September 2020, the pandemic had a significant impact on the project implementation. However, despite restrictions, many tasks envisaged in the project were successfully carried out. The Museum of Eastern Borderlands in Lubaczów and the Agency of Regional Development “Transcarpathia” have signed contracts with photographers responsible for creating photo documentation of 10 Polish and 10 Ukrainian churches located in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship and the Zakarpattya Oblast. Subsequently, the Lead Beneficiary conducted a workshop on: "Problems of preservation and using of objects of sacral wooden architecture" which took place in Uzhhorod at the beginning of March. The event was aimed at informing and raising awareness on how to maintain the wooden sacral, also concerned issues related to the conservation and management of such objects. Among the interested were the conservators of wooden churches. The experts from Ukraine and Poland discussed the problems of preservation of wooden churches in the Zakarpattya and Podkarpackie Voivodeship. As an output, the handbook was developed. The handbook was disseminated among regional and local authorities, conservators of the wooden churches (museums, religious communities). The manual contains examples of preserved wooden churches in Zakarpattya Oblast and Podkarpackie Voivodeship and the way of preserving them as well as the most important problems and threats that arise in this regard.

On 15-18th June 2020, the Photo Art Atelier in Uzhhorod was organized for representatives of project’s target groups, project staff and photographers from Poland and Ukraine, who during bilateral workshop via Zoom exchanged experiences and shared best practices in the field of photography architecture, including sacral. In the course of the meeting, artists presented their works. On 25th September, the second Photo Art Atelier was organized, this time on the Polish side. During the meeting, participants had the opportunity to familiarize with the photographs of the selected Orthodox churches, as well as carry out their evaluation and select them for the exhibition.

These photographs are definitely worth seeing. To check the results follow these two links:

Now the project partners will intensify their promotional activities including the exhibition and its catalogue and the preparation of panoramas of the Orthodox churches, which will allow everyone to visit these objects without leaving home. Here is the link to opening event of that exhibition.

According to the grant contract, the project should be completed by 30th April 2021.


WoodenTreasure_Project of the week

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