The church of St Michael (Uzhok village)
Velyky area Church

The church of St Michael (Uzhok village)

Uzhok village

The church of St Michael in Uzhok sits on a knoll close to the road. It is said to have been built higher up on the slope but it proved to be too long a walk uphill for older people of Uzhok and the church was moved downhill, much closer to the village.
The carved inscriptions on one of the walls of the church inform us that the church was built in 1745 by “masters Pavlo from Btlya (the neighboring village) and by Ivan Tsyhanyn from the village of Tyhe (pronounced Te-hei). Carved inscriptions at other places provide some more information about the church. One of such inscriptions reads: “1895 Hyrych Petro kurator vazhyv” — literally: “Petro Hyrych, supervisor, weighed.” Which means that under the supervision of this Petro the church was lifted by hoists and winches off the ground and new timber was laid into the foundation.
The exterior of the church is in a very good condition but the interior gave us another unpleasant surprise — parts of the walls are covered with disfiguring plastic sheets. Luckily, the iconostasis has not been subjected to such barbaric treatment and it reveals beautiful wood carving.
Because of its dark color (the wooden shingles were some time in the past coated with protective oil) the church is locally referred to as “the little black ship.” The church which is of a relatively small size, is one of the most attractive wooden landmarks that I’ve ever seen. Its intrinsic handsomeness is much enhanced by the amazing beauty of the surrounding landscape. No wonder that the church features on the Welcome-to-Zakarpattya tourist picture postcards; many a painter set their easels at various spots around the church to paint it against the background of the glorious Carpathian views which become breathtakingly gorgeous in the fall which paints the mountains in vibrant autumnal colors.

     

Velyky area

Church Velyky area