Evangelical 'Articled' Wooden Church at Leštiny

Evangelical ´Articled´ Wooden Church at Leštiny (photo by Ľubica Pinčíková)
Evanjelický drevený artikulárny kostol v Leštinách
Contact: Evangelical Parish Office
Leštiny, 026 01 Dolny Kubin, Slovakia
Mailing address: 
Evanjelický augsburského vyznania farský úrad Leštiny, Leštiny 67, 026 01 Dolný Kubín, Slovakia
421 (0) 43 589 5156
10am-5pm daily except during church services

Evangelical ´Articled´ Wooden Church at Leštiny (photo by Ľubica Pinčíková)

UNESCO World Heritage - logoOne of five 'Articled' evangelical churches, so called because they were built under the article of the law issued in 1681 by Emperor Leopold I in an attempt to halt the spread of protestantism. As such they had to be built at the edge of a village with the entrance facing away it and to be constructed only from wood with no foundations, towers or bells. It was originally planned to build 38 wooden articled churches in Slovakia but only nine were built and of these five have survived. All of them were designed in the form of a 'Greek cross'.

The wooden church at Leštiny dates from 1688 and is relatively small and unsophisticated in design, with a wooden belfry. Construction was restricted by the terrain, hence there ios only a hint of the shape of a cross. The interior of the church is noteworthy for its richly-decorated sacristy, painted marble ceiling coffers and illusory architecture on the walls. Also of interest are the main altar from the beginning of the 18th century, the church pews with their coats of arms, the burial flag of J Zmeškal and the epitaph of M Meška of 1753.

The church at Leštiny, along with seven other wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area, has been included on the UNESCO's Word Heritage List.