|Coordinates:||49.6702 N 21.8897 E|
|No:||380 (list of all attractions)|
|Address:||Europe, Poland, Podkarpackie, Brzozów County, centre of Haczów next to the new church|
|Full name:||Church of the Assumption of Holy Mary and St. Michael's Archangel in Haczów|
|Name in Polish:||Kościół w Haczowie, Kościół Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny w Haczowie|
|Year of construction:||1388 (?)|
|Branch of Christianity:||Catholic|
|UNESCO World Heritage status:||One of six "Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland", 2003, No.1053|
The oldest wooden church in Poland is Haczów Church of the Assumption of Holy Mary and St. Michael's Archangel. This beautiful structure most likely was built in 1388.
Haczów was first mentioned in written sources in 1352, when here was established a settlement. Name of the village originates from the substitution of "Hanshoff" - court of Hans. Initially here lived many Germans.
The small village next to Wisłok stream did not grow into town, but nevertheless it has persisted as a lively village up to this day.
Soon after the establishment of village here was built large church from locally available material: wood. Most likely date of its construction - 1388.
This was quite large building for its time - Haczów Church is the largest Gothic wooden church in Europe up to this day. Church was constructed in the time of Gothic style and its adornment follows the rules of this style.
Next to the church was located the traditional medieval churchyard. Archaeological research shows that people were here buried already in the late 14th century and the early 15th century, burials continued up to the closure of graveyard in 1772.
Initially the church did not have tower. Large, 25 m tall tower in Baroque style was built in 1624, when some more modifications were done. In 1784 - 1789 church got some more additions.
Before the World War II there was built a new church next to the old one and since 1948 services are held in the new church.
Extensive repairs of the old church were done in 1999 - 2000, shingles were changed in 2006, when the dark church turned into light, cheerful building.
During the restoration works in 1956 an important discovery was made - there were found old, polychrome paintings under the layers of later paint. This discovery "extended" the history of the church - earlier it was thought that the Gothic church was burned by Tatars in the time period between 1624 and 1629 and current church was built afterwards.
Paintings were done in 1494 and now represent the largest collection of paintings from the 15th century in Poland.
These old paintings were covered with the next layer of paint in 1864.
There are other valuable details in the church as well - such as Baroque altar from the late 17th century, other Gothic sculptures from the 15th century, Gothic portals with fine iron fittings of the doors. In the new church has been relocated a special value of Haczów - wooden sculpture of Pietà from 1400. According to legends it was brought by waters of Wisłok stream to the village and is now providing divine protection to village.
See Haczów Church on the map of Poland!
The treasure of Poland is its architectonic heritage. In spite of terrible wars Poles have persisted and Poland together with its heritage has reborn as a phoenix rising from the ashes. Most guests would be amazed to learn how many beautiful historical buildings are exact replicas, which were rebuilt in times when the life in Poland was not that easy.
Throughout the history Christian churches have been the epitome of architecture and arts achievements in Western culture.