Bełżec – Greek Catholic St. Basil the Great Church
21 January 2013
Bełżec is usually associated with the Memorial Site of the former Nazi death camp from the Second World War. However, the most important monument in this village in Roztocze is the wooden Greek Catholic St. Basil the Great Church.
Since 1756 the church was situated in Lipsko, in Zamość Region, but in 1838 it was moved to Bełżec where it replaced a church that, although built a year earlier, burned to the ground. Local Greek Catholic parish was founded in 1755. The church was taken over by the Orthodox Church after 1875. The temple served its purpose until 1947 when Orthodox residents were displaced. It was turned into a storage and the building was gradually perished. It was renovated in 2002.
The temple is not big but it has fine proportions. Its log construction uses pine logs set on stone fundament. The roof consists of wooden shingles. The Church has three parts: a presbytery, the main aisle and a small narthex. The presbytery is connected to the vestry. The square aisle is wider that the narthex and presbytery. A single octangular dome with a lantern and cupola is also a part of the building.
Unfortunately, the temple's furnishings were not preserved to this day. A couple of Maltese crosses, that stand next to the Orthodox Church, are what has remained of an old cemetery. 200 meters further, a Roman Catholic cemetery is located. It was previously Greek Catholic and antique gravestones can been found there. Many of those tombstones were made in ethnic stone masoneries in Stare and Nowe Brusno villages that are situated on the Southern Roztocze [Roztocze Południowe].
Tourist Information Centre in Bełżec (in the seat of the Commune Office)
tel. 84 665 24 45 ext. 21