Church of St. Michael the Archangel
Site entered onto the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List
The Wooden Architecture Route
The church was erected around 1500, and in the late 1500s a tower and then arcades were added to it. From the mid-1800s on, travellers and artists became interested in the church and it found itself presented in drawings by S. Wyspiański, J. Mehoffer and others. In 1908, it was covered with sheet metal, which did not add to its beauty. Restoration of its shingled shell was completed as late as 2008. In 2003, the church was entered onto the UNESCO heritage list.
The church comprises a nave and adjacent chapel of Guardian Angels, a presbytery and a tower topped with a pyramidal dome. It has shingled roofs and walls, which adds scenic harmony to the building.
The prime charm of the interior is the painting decoration tightly covering the walls and the ceiling. The paintings come from various periods, the oldest were made using special templates for adorning the ceiling of the nave and the presbytery of the early 1500s. The polychrome decoration of the nave and the presbytery was executed in the mid-1600s. In two rows in the presbytery a cycle of 21 scenes from The Passion of Christ can be seen, while the nave showcases paintings of The Last Judgement (northern wall) and The Art of Dying as well as The Crossroads of Human Life (southern wall).
The most precious items of the church fittings include a sculpture of the Mother of God with the Child and low reliefs of Sts Barbara, Catherine, Dorothy and Margaret of the very late 14th century, shown in a new altarpiece placed on the nave's wall, as well as a sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the Child of the second quarter of the 15th century placed in the main altarpiece. The stone baptismal font is also Gothic. The other church fittings come mainly from the 1600s: the main altarpiece, a pulpit, confessionals, pews in the chapel of Guardian Angels, and the statues on the rood beam.
Next to the church stands a brick belfry with a 15th-century bell.
Church opening hours: (1st May – 31st December):
Monday and Tuesday: telephone contact.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.,
Thursday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.,
Sunday: 12 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday service: 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11a.m.
Parish telephone number: + 48134476396
When in Binarowa, the visitor cannot miss nearby Biecz frequently called a 'Little Krakow' with a monumental Gothic church, a town-hall with a Renaissance tower, remains of 14th-16th-century town walls and Marcin Kramer's Museum.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sand in Binarowa
A wooden temple in Małopolska is a unique church on a European scale. The history of the building you can see there now starts about 1500. The church in Binarowa was built of fir wood in late gothic framework construction with a characteristic rafter framing roof construction with connecting elements. In 1596 a tower was built on the western side of the nave and between 1602-1608 a turret for a little bell was added to the nave. The first full-scale renovation took place between 1641-1650.
On entering the temple we can admire a beautiful polychrome which covers the whole interior. The paintings were made in the late Middle Ages and in the 17th century. The earliest paintings have been preserved on the ceiling and on chancel walls, they come from the beginning of the 16th century. Walls and ceilings are not the only surfaces covered with paintings with geometric, figural and plant motives, even furniture is covered with colourful polychrome. The decorations of walls, the nave and the organ gallery come from 1641-1643. Chancel walls present New Testament scenes, the founder of the paintings was the parish priest in Binarowa - Priest Jan Kaniowski who founded them in 1650. A late Renaissance main altar dates back to the 17th century. In its central part there is a figure of Our Lady with Baby Jesus from the 15th century, in the top part there is a figure of Michael the Archangel. On the right of the nave there is a baroque altar from the 17th century with a painting of the Flagellation of Christ and a painting of St Nicholas. On the northern side, the altar there is the treasure of Binarowa - the benevolent image of Our Lady of Sand. The fourth baroque altar in the chapel is devoted to Our Lady and the Guardian Angels with a figure-ornament from 1655. On the southern wall of the nave our attention is drawn to paintings: „The Crossroads of Human Life „ and „Learning to Die Well". On the western wall under the organ gallery: „Scene of Sudden Death", above the organ gallery „Triumph of the Church". The oldest sculptures in the church are gothic and come from the end of the 14th century, they must have been a part of the earliest decor of the temple in Binarowa and they are the remains of the Altar of Four Holy Virgins: Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus and the four virgins: Margaret, Dorothy, Catherine and Barbara, which are placed in a gothic altar hanging on a wall near the organ gallery. One should also see: a stone baptismal font from 1522, a magnificent painted pulpit, richly carved benches, confessionals covered with polychrome, celebrant's throne, a gothic bell from the 15th century, wrought iron decorations on doors leading from the vestibule to the nave and from the chancel to the sacristy, 17th-century sculpture of Crucified Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary with St John which are located on the rood beam. In the sacristy there are ornamented architectural paintings from 1670.
These wonderful monuments of church architecture are only a part of very rich and unique interior of the church in Binarowa.