The church of St Nicholas the Bishop in Ruská Bystrá.
Photos by James Thomson
The Greek Catholic church of St Nicholas the Bishop in Ruská Bystrá (part of Košice Region) nestles in a fold of the Vihorlat Hills close to the Ukrainian border.
The church dates from the beginning of the 18th century and is notable for its unusual shape. The building consists of a nave, a tower space and a polygonal altar room and has something of the air of a farmhouse because of its characteristic shingle roof.
The icons inside were sent to Prague for restoration in 1989 and, after the turmoil of that year, locals wondered whether they would ever get them back. But return they did, restored as hoped, and after a series of visits from French, German and Finnish representatives over recent years, the church was among the eight listed by UNESCO in 2008 (see also article about Wooden churches in Slovakia).