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Worship wooden architecture (17th -18th centuries) in Polesye

Date of Submission: 30/01/2004
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Délégation Permanente de la République de Bélarus auprès de l'UNESCO
Ref.: 1901

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Wood was the main building material in Belarus up to the end of the 19th century. Artistic styles of stone architecture influenced greatly the development of worship wooden architecture. The process of the form development in wooden architecture was more complex than in stone architecture, for it presupposed not just renewal but also a return to the cultural roots. Therefore, in 17th and 18th centuries, two types of the Polesye architectural schools emerged - those of the Western Polesye and of the Eastern Polesye. The Western Polesye school has formed itself in the territory between Brest and Pinsk. The typical edifices of the zone are marked by the peculiar construction, planning design, organizational pattern of the yard and architecture. Typical for the school temples were frames, different in size and form, united under a single plastic shingled roof (St. Nikita Church in Zditovo). In addition, churches were constructed with pyramidal tower roofs, with their upper parts cut off (Spasopreobrazhenskaya Church in Otlusha), temples with steeples built to the main facade etc. This architectural school has common features with the architecture of Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland. St. Nikita Church in Zditovo is a monument of wooden architecture. It was constructed in 1502 in the village of Zditovo of the Zhabinka Rayon on the right bank of the Muchovets River. The temple sizes 9,40 x 15,65 x 6 meters. The Church has three right-angled frames and the apses, covered by a joint pent roof. In the 19th century a frame tambour was attached to the entrance. The walls are covered by vertical wooden planks, 2 The ensemble approach to the architectural design of the avenue, including squares, parks, public gardens, main public buildings has contributed to the enlargement and development the city center. All its elements feature the same concept, style and spatial The Skaryna Avenue, which crosses the city from North to East, being a part of the Berlin-Warsaw-Brest-Minsk-Smolensk-Moscow highway, is of great town-planning importance as it compositionally combines the parts of the Belarusian capital, which differ in their function and construction style. The architectural composition of the ensemble is based on the contrast between the two main parts - a built-up clearly defined part of the straight broad street and the parkland area alongside the river Svisloch. The ensemble buildings are diverse, but have common features. They are nearly of the same height, of similar horizontal dimensions and situated along the red avenue lines. Street light posts, benches, and refuse bins were designed and manufactured following the ensemble concept of the avenue. The squares and crossroads along the ensemble form a homogeneous architectural line. The Victory Circus, with a monument to soldiers and partisans who contributed to the defeat of fascism, is one of the principal sites of the avenue. The construction of the ensemble was completed in late 1950's. At present all buildings which form the Skaryna Avenue Ensemble are inscribed on the State List of Historical and Cultural Values of the Republic of Belarus. The architectural ensemble itself, with its buildings and structures, the lay-out and the landscape is protected by the state and inscribed on the List as a complex of historical and cultural values. In 1968 a National Prize in architecture was introduced and it was won by a team of architects representing architectural schools of Moscow and Minsk, (M.Parusnikov, G.Badanov, I.Barsch, S.Botkovsky, A.Voinov, V.Korol, S.Musinsky, G.Sisoev, N.Trachtenberg, and N.Shpigelman) for the design and construction of the Skaryna Avenue Ensemble.