About a 40-min drive northeast is the wooden articled Hronsek Church made an UNESCO World Heritage Site together with seven other wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area. An articled church means that to build a Lutheran church during the rule of the pro-Catholic Austro-Hungarian times, a specific list of guidelines based on the articles of a treaty must be strictly followed. In 1681, the Assembly of Sopron had declared that all churches of other creeds must be built within a year, entirely of wood without a single iron nail, with no tower, the main entrance could not be made directly from the street, and it must be outside of the village boundaries. In addition, only two Lutheran churches could be built in a county and in this county stood two articled churches, one in Ostra Luka which wasn’t preserved and this one in Hronsek. Hronsek church was built between the fall of 1725 and completed by the fall of 1726. The church has the shape of a cross and is clearly influenced by Scandinavian architectural styles leading to speculation that craftsman from the north such as Norway or Sweden could have participated in its construction. There are 1,100 seats in an amphitheatre style so that everyone can have a clear view of the altar and there are 5 doors for easy access to the church. The altar has 6 tables above which are angels holding the coats of arms of Lutheran noble families from the surrounding area. There is also a baroque organ from 1764 by Master Podkonicky. Since the church is not allowed to have its own bell tower, there is a separate bell tower constructed at the same time and in the same style in front of the church.
I didn’t have time to visit all the 8 UNESCO wooden churches since they are all quite spread out. But I am glad I stopped by Hronsek Church which is probably the most unique given its Scandinavian appearance.
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