My Unesco collection has been growing slowly. This is one of the cards I've received this year.
The wooden churches of southern Little Poland represent outstanding examples of the different aspects of medieval church-building traditions in Roman Catholic culture. Built using the horizontal log technique, common in eastern and northern Europe since the Middle Ages, these churches were sponsored by noble families and became status symbols. They offered an alternative to the stone structures erected in urban centres. The churches are located in Gorlice, Nowy Targ, Bochnia counties (Lesser Poland Voivodeship or Małopolskie), and Brzozów County (Subcarpathian Voivodeship) and are in Binarowa, Blizne, Dębno, Haczów, Lipnica Dolna, and Sękowa.
The wooden church style of the region originated in the late Medieval, the late sixteenth century, and began with Gothic ornament and polychrome detail, but because they were timber construction, the structure, general form, and feeling is entirely different from the gothic architecture or Polish Gothic (in stone or brick). Later construction show Rococo and Baroque ornamental influence. The form of these Roman Catholic churches is deeply influenced by the Greco-Catholic and Orthodox presence in the region. Some display Greek cross plans and onion domes, but the most interesting of the churches combine these features with the Roman forms with elongated naves and steeples. Other collections of wooden churches of the region are in the open-air museums in Sanok and Nowy Sącz.