The nominated wooden churches are situated in Southern Poland, in the area of a historic region of Little Poland, being included to the Małopolskie voivodships or Podkarpackie voivodship. The Church authorities represented by Archdiocese of Cracow and Archdiocese of Przemyśl, as well as by Rzeszów Diocese and Diocese of Tarnów - also constitute an important part of the administrative structure that is responsible for protecting these historical monuments.

Numerous mediaeval wooden churches persisted till the present day in the wastes of Little Poland Province. They all take there a part of "The Wooden Architecture Route", but only few of them preserved their full core authenticity, and as such they represent a unique phenomenon on a scale of whole world. The nomination of 9 churches in the Western Carpathian Mountains of southern and southeastern Poland was submitted by the Government of Poland to the June 2001 Bureau of World Heritage Committee. But at that time, the Bureau, while recognizing the great interest of the heritage concerned, firstly decided to defer the nomination to await the outcome of a comparative study. In consequence, only 6 of nine proposed at the beginning mediaeval wooden buildings were identified finally as a heritage considered to be of outstanding universal value of humankind. According to general principles concerning the "Criteria for the inclusion of cultural properties in the World Heritage List", the churches discussed here fulfilled the criteria - 3,4, and became a part of World's Heritage of UNESCO, on 3rd July 2003.

Criterion 3

The nominated group of 6 Gothic timber churches is unique sacral relict of mediaeval church building traditions, only dying out in our times. They bear an outstanding testimony to a vanished historical period in which they were constructed. By the fact of their localization at the cultural boundary between East and West, they constitute an exceptional symbol of safeguarding the liturgical and cult functions of the Roman Catholic Church despite of other ideological influences from central and eastern part of Europe.

Criterion 4

The mediaeval wooden churches of Little Poland inscribed on the World Heritage List are the most outstanding examples of surviving mediaeval sacral edifices in horizontal log technique - that was unknown in the Western Europe. They are distinguished as exceptional not only because of their artistic and technical execution, but also because of the fact that noble families founded them, and as such they became a symbol of social and political prestige.

Name of property: Church of the Archangel Michael

Localization: the property is located in the Małopolskie voivodship (The Voivodship of Lesser Poland), in the administrative structure of the department (powiat) in Gorlice and commune Biecz, in the central part of Binarowa village, on the north of the main road from Biecz to Tuchów.


Category of property: cultural property

Nominated area: the strict conservation protection zone border line encompass the church, and its associated buildings, with the cemetery and the surrounding complex of mature trees. The whole nominated area covers 1,8 ha, and it is situated between the main road from Biecz to Tarnów and the Sitniczanka River.


Legal situation:

legal provision (status): the property of Roman Catholic parish of the Archangel Michael in Binarowa;

responsible administration: Biecz deaconate. Essential supervision of all work carried out on the monument is conducted by the Provincial Commissioner for Historical Monuments, as well as the Service for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Cracow.

Justification for inscription on the World Heritage List

The Church at Binarowa is one of the oldest existing examples of horizontal log construction, preserved in its historical form.

The interior mural decorations and paintings are considered among the most valuable examples of wooden sacral monuments. The Church is distinguished as exceptional because of the application of rare iconographic and ideological principles, considered to be of outstanding value from the scientific and didactic point of view. At the same time, its particular value lies in the artistic expression, reflected in a great collection of XIVth century's sculptures and bas-reliefs, which are the best-preserved achievements in the region of southern Poland.

There are no translations available.

Średniowieczne Miasto Toruń, Stare Miasto w Zamościu, Puszcza Białowieska, Kościoły Pokoju w Jaworze i Świdnicy, czy kopalnia soli w Wieliczce, zajmują honorowe miejsca obok takich osobliwości, jak paryskie wybrzeża Sekwany, Wielka Rafa Koralowa w Australii, Tadż Mahal w Indiach, czy egipskie piramidy.