The orthodox church of st. Basil the Great
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.
The orthodox church of st. Basil the Great in Konieczna is a branch of the Orthodox parish in Zdynia, the gorlicki dean of Przemysl – Gorlice Orthodox Diocese.
Konieczna is the border village. The local Orthodox Church is located half a kilometre from the border with Slovakia. The area of Konieczna witnessed one of the bloodiest events of World War I, the Battle of Gorlice, called Little Verdun. 365 military cemeteries scattered throughout the area, where 61,000 soldiers rest, keep the memory of the hostilities that took place 100 years ago. One of these cemeteries, which is part of the church cemetery, is located near the temple of Konieczna.
Lemks, including from Konieczna, during the First World War also survived their Calvary. There was a Talerhof concentration camp near Graz. At the beginning of the war in 1914, after a series of lost battles with the Russian army, Austro – Hungarian authorities, obsessed with military psychosis, set up a camp for prisoners of Ruthenians from Galicia and Bukovina, accused of Moscophile. As a result of the decrees of the civil administration, about 14,000 people were expelled to the camp in Talerhof in 1914-1916, 1,800 of them died because of the catastrophical conditions that existed there.
The first written mention of the village of Konieczna in 1581 claims that it was the property of Piotr Gladysz. Orthodoxy on these lands has been erased from the pages of history for several hundred years as a result of the decision of the Brest Union by Bishop of Winnica Innocenty in 1692. The Orthodox priest Maxim Sandovich from the neighboring village of Zdynia, served in the nearby Graba before the 1st world war. After the beginning of the war he was shot without trial in Gorlice, and in 1994 was canonized as a Martyr Priest Maksym Gorlicki.
The present Church of st. Basil the Great in Konieczna was built in the early 20th century on the site of the previous one, which burned down.
In 1912, a unique, stepped iconostasis, which has survived to this day, was brought here from Sambor. In 1938, a modest polychromy of the walls was made.
In 1947, during the tragic action of “Wisla” the Ruthenian population from Konieczna was forcibly resettled on “returned lands”. The liturgical life in the church was frozen. All property, including church property, was confiscated by the state. The temple, left without owners, was gradually destroyed and threatened with demolition.
After 1956, some former residents managed to return to their home lands. After much effort, in 1961, Orthodox liturgical life returned to the church, and after 8 years the church was officially transferred to the use of the parish. Only in 2009 the church became the full property of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
In 1994, the building was entered in the register of monuments.
The church in Konieczna draws attention to itself with its original architecture, which is not found anywhere else in the territory of Lemkowszczyzna.
It is a wooden, oriented temple of log structure at the bottom and pillar – at the top, upholstered with wood. The building consists of three parts, with a square nef and a polygonal enclosed altar, the sacristy and treasury are attached on both sides. The three-level tower is crowned by a large bulbous dome with an Orthodox cross.
Above the nave and the altar are ridge roofs covered with copper sheets, finished with bulbous turrets with deaf drums and crosses.
There is inside an interesting iconostasis with a rare, stepped arrangement of icons.
The polychromy of the starry sky adorns the dome of the nave with the planned arch, and the walls – ornament.
Special attention deserves
In the altar are the relics of the Martyr Priest Maksym Sandowycz.
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.
Since the 1960s, the church has been renovated many times.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the roof was reconstructed and was covered with a copper leaf.
he last, general renovation of the temple, financed from EU funds, ended in 2019. The Przemysl – Gorlice Orthodox Archbishop Paisjusz consecrated the church after the renovation.