The wooden houses on both sides of the street looked quite old. They were made in a particular style, typical of Zakopane region. The road was cleared of snow but the parked cars and pathways were still covered with tons of it. So were the fences along the road and the cute lampposts with sloping roofs. A dreamy surrounding, I must say. It looked like as if I was walking along a wooden trail. 🙂
I was in the old part of Zakopane passing through a street called Koscieliska, heading towards an old church.
Many guests to Zakopane limit their visit to strolling on the town’s main streets such as Krupowki Street. While I do not discourage them from doing so, I also recommend taking a slight detour and visiting this interesting ‘wooden’ place.
Old wooden Church at Koscieliska Street
This oldest church Stary Kościół (Old Church) on Koscieliska Street was built between 1845-1851 and was consecrated in 1851. Built by Paweł Gąsienica, it was the first sacred building in Zakopane.
What is more interesting is that this chapel’s all interiors including various sculptures such as Black Madonna and Christ are made of wood! It also has charming carved wooden decorations and pews. The Stations of the Cross are painted on glass on the windows.
Saw dust between the thick wooden planks.
The design of the church tends to follow a pattern. The walls are made of wooden thick planks without the use of nails. Each plank is carefully fitted with pegs and gaps between them are filled with saw dust. The fully airtight walls also help in keeping the chapel warm in sub zero temperatures. The body of the building rises into a steeply pitched, shingled roof with a single bell-tower.
Sculptures, altar, walls, pews… all interiors are wooden.
Old Stone chapel besides the wooden church.
There is also a stone chapel standing beside this Old Church which is said to be about 30 years older and is in fact the oldest existing structure in Zakopane. It is very small in size just like a single room with high sloping roof and a bell tower which looks like a chimney. I guess it is not in use anymore.
Zakopane is only four centuries old and was founded as a farmers and shepherds’ settlement. Legend is that one day a man called Gąsienica came here with his sons Paweł and Jędrzej and they built a mill here. For more than two decades Zakopane remained a godforsaken village. In the middle of the 18th century, a steelworks was set up to process iron ore mined in The Tatras in nearby Kuźnice. There were also the owners’ manors that welcomed travelers visiting the mountains.
How could, then, the beauty of the nearby sunny valley of Zakopane left undiscovered? Soon people started thronging it. It was then Paweł Gąsienica was requested to build a church in Zakopane.
Do you have a similar story to share ? 🙂
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This was a Great read about the Village of Zakopane. There is a lot of history there. It must have been an amazing visit to Zakopane.
Yes, it was. The more I read or write about this place, the more I am fascinated by it. 🙂
Looks very earthy indeed and amid all the snow cover and tall towering trees, the place looks divine. Wood reminds me of Japan, the temples I visited in Nara town had a lot of woodwork especially.
Japan is one place that I want to visit. In my bucket list since ages. But I heard it’s quite expensive?
This is so interesting! Looks so close to humanity and it tells so much how they used what was available to them.
I am writing a mail to you asking the details abt Poland.
Replied to your mail. 😛
The history of this place is amazing, how & why they used wood. 🙂
Thanks so much.
What an amazing blog! You are going to see me very often. Nice write-up about a place that I have heard of until now.
Welcome and thanks.
As you said, I am expecting me you here more often. 😛
What a lovely church and that stone chapel is gorgeous!
Thank you. That was so different from normal stuff.
The Black Madonna is just beautiful.
The best part is even after After 150+ years . It is still looking great and probably still services are being held.
All the sculptures & paintings looked beautiful there. And the church is quite interesting.
Lovely to read. Nice pics 🙂
Never seen one like that. Looks beautiful.
It is one of those unusual things I like. 🙂
Very Nice Blog..! Thanks 4 sharing.
And Thank you. Hope to see you again. 🙂