Synergy of architecture and theology on the example of wooden Orthodox churches in the Podlaskie Voivodeship with blue façades

Katarzyna Woszczenko, Adam Musiuk



The article presents research results regarding the importance of the synergy of theology and aesthetics of the architecture of blue Orthodoxchurches in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. The research was conducted using manuscript sources, subject literature, private communications and Internetsources. Photographic inventories of the sacred buildings under study were also carried out.The Podlaskie Voivodeship has the largest number of Orthodox churches in Poland. Due to the good availability of wood, these areas are associated with wooden construction. A characteristic feature of wooden Orthodox churches located in the analysed area is the colourful finish of theirfaçades. Colours have rich theological symbolism, especially visible in icons. Blue is often associated with the Theotokos, but also universally withdivinity. The study covered 17 parish churches that currently have blue façades in the following towns: Augustowo, Bielsk Podlaski, Dubicze Cerkiewne, Koterka, Kożany, Narew, Pasynki, Ploski, Puchły, Podbiele, Rajsk, Rogacze, Saki, Stary Kornin, Suwałki, Szczyty-Dzięciołowo, Werstokand 4 facilities with blue façades in the past – in Kuraszewo, Malesze, Milejczyce and Orzeszkowo. The churches were described in terms of the dateof construction and the colour of the façade finish. The majority of the buildings are oriented, have a tripartite interior visible from the outside andwere built in a log construction. Exceptions to these rules are included in the text.Our research has shown a connection between the blue colour of the façade and the Mother of God and theological symbolism. When designingnew churches, the use of blue should be taken into account in accordance with the symbolism adopted in the Orthodox Church and the traditionprevailing in a given area.

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