Orthodox Icons from Bardejów in Poland

This extraordinary exhibition is titled “Between the East and the West.” The collection is on loan from the Icons of the Saris Museum in Bardejow, Slovakia.

Bardejow is a place inscribed on the UNESCO list of world heritage of culture. It is situated in eastern Slovakia near the Polish border and at the intersection of the culture of the East and West.

Thus the churches there are Gothic, Renaissance and Orthodox. The museum in Bardejow has been accumulating religious icons from the beginning of the 20th Century. The first icon exhibition occurred 100 years ago, in 1907.

The museum’s collection of Orthodox pictures increased greatly after World War II when Communist rulers closed some Orthodox churches. Fortunately, the priceless icons were spared.

Today Bardejow boasts 240 works of Orthodox sacred art ? one of the most interesting collections in this part of Europe.
The museum in Sosnowiec is a partner with the Bardejow Museum. For some of these masterpieces, it is a return to their place of origin.

For example, “St. Michael Archangel,” “Mother of God Hodegetria” and “St. Paraskiewa” were painted by monks in the monasteries of Lviv and Przemysl in the 16th Century, said Bozena Kostrzejowska, the curator of the exhibition. Most of the pictures on display in Sosnowiec come from the later centuries. Visitors can also see a 19th-Century iconostas, which is an altar screen decorated with icons.

The iconostas separated the altar from the faithful in the Orthodox church. The icons from Slovakia will also be displayed in Warsaw and Suwalki next year.

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