Evangelical 'Articled' Wooden Church in Svätý Kríž

Evanjelický drevený artikulárny kostol vo Svätom Kríži
Contact: Evangelical Parish Office
032 11 Svätý Kríž, Slovakia
Mailing address: 
Evanjelický augsburského vyznania farský úrad Svätý Kríž, Svätý Kríž 251, 032 11 Svätý Kríž, Slovakia
421 (0) 44 559 2622
1 Oct-31 May: 9am-3pm daily except during church services; 1 Jun-30 Sep: 9am-5pm daily except during church services

One 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'.

One of the largest wooden buildings in Central Europe, the wooden church at Svätý Kríž was originally built in the village of Paludza from 1773-4 and was moved here between 1974 and 1982 when the Liptovská Mara Dam was built.

The ground plan of the church is in the shape of a 43 metre-long cross and the church can accommodate almost 6,000 persons. The wooden Baroque furniture together with the remarkable wooden Baroque altar from 1693 with the painting of Christ's Transformation were designed to inspire awe. The pulpit, which stands on log foundations supported as if by a Baroque angel, is unique both in terms of visual impression and acoustics. Both the altar and the pulpit were made by woodcarver J Lerch of Kežmarok. The two-storey choir stalls are adorned by Biblical paintings. Also of note is the large chandelier of Venetian glass. The independently standing wooden tower which functions as a belfry was a later addition to the church.