Church of the Holy Cross Exaltation
We have prepared some practical multimedia materials, which we hope will bring closer to these beautiful historic Polish Orthodox churches. Watching an introductory video with comments from the guide and spiritual guardian of the temple, decorated with moody Church chants, you can emphasize with its atmosphere. Going on a virtual tour, which includes 360 panoramic photos, you can quite imagine yourself inside the temple. For active tourists we have prepared a proposal for a cycling route. We invite you to a virtual tour of the orthodox church, and in the future to visit it in person.
Orthodox church of the Holy Cross Exaltation in Dobratycze – is a parish temple. It belongs to the Terespol deanary of the Lublin-Chelm Orthodox Diocese. Next to the church there is a free-standing wooden bell tower, and opposite, across the road, an Orthodox cemetery with historic tombstones from the 19th century.
The village of Dobratycze, inhabited by the Orthodox population, existed at the beginning of the 15th century. The first wooden church, funded by the castellan of Vilno Mikolaj Sapieha was erected only in 1626, already as a Uniate temple. In 1875, after the Union’s cancellation, the parish returned to the Orthodoxy. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, it had almost 1,900 faithful. Therefore, in 1906, a new stone church was opened in Dobratycze, designed by Vladimir Pokrowski, chief architect of the Orthodox Diocese of Warsaw. Unfortunately, this beautiful temple was completely destroyed during World War I and the Polish-Soviet War. Its existence is commemorated by a cross and a plaque.
According to most historical sources, the temple located today in Dobratyce was built at the beginning of the 20th century in Cycov, where until 1916 there was an Orthodox parish. In 1956 it was moved to the Orthodox cemetery in Biała Podlaska, in place of the church demolished in 1938, where it served as a parish temple. In 1993, after the construction of the stone church of Saints Cyril and Methodius there, it was moved to Dobratycze and concecrated by the Archbishop Abel as a church of the Holy Cross Exaltation.
It is a oriented, wooden temple of log structure, built on a concrete masonry. The four-pitch copper-plated roof of the (square) main nave is crowned by an onion dome, finished with a cross. A similar crown has a gable roof of porch, located on the west side of the temple, finished with a triangular peak. On the east side there is a presbytery, smaller than the nave, with a small side sacristy, covered with a table roof.
The building of the Dobratycze church is proof of the excellent craftsmanship of its builders. Although this wooden building is more than 100 years old and it has experienced many moves, historical turbulence, it has been preserved in excellent condition to this day and this craftsmanship can now be admired.
Here is a proposal of a cycling route for active tourists. To use it, download the file to your computer by clicking the button on the left, unzip it, upload the .gpx file to any GPS device for navigation… and on the road. We wish you a successful and fruitful journey.
The church in Dobratyce has undergone many renovation works in its history. In 2019, a thorough renovation of the temple was completed. The building itself, thanks to the financial support of the European Union, is now in excellent condition. However, the great challenge of restoring its historical interior remains before the faithful. Originally in the church there was more than centennial, double-row iconostasis, eclectic, with both Ruthenian-Byzantine and Neo-Renaissance characteristics. Funds for its restoration are now being raised.