Polish researchers announced last month that they discovered one of the oldest iconostasis in Poland. It was found in a church from Nowoberezowo, the district of Hajnówka, and presented in an event held in Białystok, the city where the most numerous Polish Orthodox faithful live at present.
The discovery was made in the attic of “St John the Theologian” Orthodox Church in Nowoberezowo by Dr. Zbigniew Michalczyk, Piotr Jamski, and Jan Nowicki, during a project entitled “Consolidation of heritage. Inventory and documentation of monuments on the western border of the eastern lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth”.
17 fragments in various states of preservation have been found. “We have absolutely no doubt that this is a unique discovery,” declared researcher Jan Nowicki for the Polish News Agency PAP.
Dr. Zbigniew Michalczyk said there was almost nothing similar to the recently-discovered iconostasis, except for the 17th-century icons from the Supraśl Monastery, found a few years ago in the chapel of the Topilec cemetery.
Historians also emphasised at the event that the Nowoberezowo iconostasis is the oldest such object in the region and that almost all religious objects of this type from the region were destroyed in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The project “Consolidation of Heritage. Inventory and documentation of monuments on the western border of the eastern lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth” is coordinated by researchers from the Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
Photo credit: Polish Press Agency (PAP)