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Gothic, Baroque, half-timbered houses, built of wood, brick, or filled with clay or plastered – only Pomerania offers such a diversity of religious buildings. The rich interior decor, the wall paintings and incredible stained glass windows, give the finishing touch to the structures.
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church in Leśno
In their external form, wooden churches are not as majestic as brick edifices, but their interiors provide the atmosphere of a place intended to serve concentration and prayer.
The church in Leśno is one of the best-preserved wooden temples in Kashubia. It was built during the years 1634-1687. According to the Parish Chronicle, the temple was founded by Queen Marie Louise Gonzaga (the wife of two Polish Kings - Władysław IV and John II Casimir). Due to this fact, the building was under royal auspices from the beginning of its existence.
The present appearance of the temple is the result of constructing the church in several stages. The temple has a framework structure from pine wood. It is distinguished by a tower, which narrows towards the top, and an upper floor characteristic of southern Poland. Both the walls of the tower and its top are covered with shingles. The height of the bell tower is 32 metres. It is the tallest wooden structure in Poland. It is older than the church, as it was initially a free-standing bell tower in the cemetery.
Due to its unique architectural style and preserved historic furnishings, the church in Leśno is a very valuable monument of wooden sacral architecture. It is the only three-aisle Pomeranian wooden temple. The main entrance is located in the north wall, abandoning the tradition of placing entrances in the south of west facades.
The Baroque interior of the church is worthy of attention; particularly the classicistic baptism font from the beginning of the 19th Century and the 17th Century Baroque Crucifixion Group situated on the beam (the artistic depictions of the Crucifixion Group present the crucified Christ accompanied by biblical figures gathered at the foot of the cross, often in the form of sculptures). The church is also equipped with two bells from 1902 and one from 1939, as well as the magnificent organs and 17th Century altars.
The wooden church, which is full of charm, part of the village and making time seem to stand still, is a must for everyone visiting Leśno.