Discover Ukraine. Unesco heritage wooden church in the Carpathians
Once upon a time, more than 4 hundred years ago, there was a shepherd named Ivan Struk who lived in Carpathian village. He had a flock of sheep. And one late fall he was taking them through the mountains to the livestock fair.
He crossed the mountains and went down to the Black Tysa River. Here a terrible storm caught him. Snowstorm and terrible snowfall forced the shepherd and his assistants to stop to wait out the blizzard. But the storm continued the next day, and the next... They couldn't move on.
One day, Ivan saw a pack of wolves approaching. He knew they can't defend against hungry wolves. They will all die if they don't leave here. In a hurry, he and his men erected a picket fence from the logs of ash tree around a bunch of animals. Then, the shepherds left the herd and ran toward home. They were sure that their herd has died from the cold and starvation, or was eaten by wolves.
In the spring, Ivan decided to go and check what happened to his sheep. To his great surprise, the herd was not just safe and sound, but he also found newborns! They could only eat ash trees that were around. Ivan realized that this was a real miracle. So this place is holy, and he must thank God for this and build a church. Subsequently, the village grew around the church. It was named Yasinya in honor of the trees that saved the herd.
Of course, this is just a legend. Or not? Anyway, it concerns the first church built in the XVI century. The one that we can see today, was built later in its place, in 1824, and the bell tower in 1813. It remains unknown what happened with the first church. The church has the name Church of the Holy Ascension but people still call it Strukivska.
You will not see the church from the highway. As far as I know, there are no pointers to it. But the locals will happily point the way. It stands on the hill on the other bank of mountain river Black Tysa, and you will have to pass the suspension bridge across the river. The village is very popular among Ukrainian tourists, backpackers and mountain climbers, as it is a convenient start of the ascent and a very picturesque settlement.
This is one of the best-preserved Hutsul churches. Luxurious and at the same time very modest, it captivates with its perfection and simplicity. In Transcarpathia (the most western administrative region of Ukraine), this type of ancient architecture is a rarity. The church was built in the Hutsul style but under the influence of Galicia.
Hutsuls is an ethnic group of Ukrainians living in the Carpathian mountains. Hutsuls are almost the only group in Ukrain for which sheep breeding has always been the leading branch of the economy (Wiki).
As proof of the legend, shepherd Ivan Struk standing by the river with his ships, the church on the hill are depicted at one of the holy artifacts.
At the end of the 19th century, the church began to appear in paintings by Czech artists. In 1918, Transcarpathia became part of the Czechoslovak Republic. Picture of the Strukivska church and its bell tower were printed on postage stamps.
The Hutsul temple was built without a single nail. It is almost entirely covered with wooden shingles. This is a hallmark of Hutsul churches. In 2013, the temple was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Now he is one of the eight Ukrainian temples on this list.
From the place where the church stands, you can admire the picturesque landscape of the Carpathians. Probably, you can see Hoverla, the highest peak of the Ukrainian Carpathians, and other picks.
And this is all. I hope you enjoyed my pictures and the story.
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