RYCHVALD (OVCHARY)

1853

St. Luke the Apostle

Rychvald (Owczary)
Rychvald was the name given to the settlement of German colonists in the 13th century. The local Lemkos also used the name Ovchary. Here we see the full beauty of a stylish tserkva of Lemko wooden architecture. We have been observing the restoration of this object for three years, and must admit that there are still artisans that are equal to those that built it 300 years earlier. Prior to restoration, most of the structure was covered with tin. This has been ripped off and replaced with cedar shingles according to the original custom. Only the top domes are now covered with copper sheeting. To what use will the structure be put is not known - a museum or a Roman Catholic church? The inside of the tserkva was empty. The artisans were saying that the ikonostasis and other fixtures were removed and warehoused elsewhere during the renovation period. Prior to WWII the tserkva was used by a large parish that numbered in excess of 1000 souls.