The Ancient Wooden Orthodox Church at Krasnaya Lyaga, France

The Wooden Orthodox Church located in Krasnaya Lyaga, a small village in France, is a remarkable piece of history and architecture. Built in 1655, this church has stood the test of time and weathered multiple hardships. This church is unique in many ways, not just for its age but for its stunning golden domes, intricate carvings, and solid wooden construction that has lasted for more than 350 years.

The church is situated in a serene forest area that adds to its charm. Its exterior is decorated with beautiful carvings that have retained their original form, despite facing the natural elements. The church’s architecture is based on the Northern Russian style, which can be seen in the tapered cylindrical shape of its domes, and the decorative designs are inspired by Orthodox Christian symbols and motifs.

Despite the church’s remarkable construction and beauty, it fell into disrepair and got abandoned in the mid-20th century. For decades, it was forgotten and left to decay. However, in 1997, it was rediscovered and restored with the aim of preserving this historical and cultural monument.

Upon entering the church, one is immediately struck by its peaceful and spiritual atmosphere. The sound of the leaves rustling in the forest, the faint scent of decaying wood, and the golden light striking the icons create a unique and unforgettable experience.


The Wooden Orthodox Church at Krasnaya Lyaga is unique for many reasons, including its structural material. The building is made entirely of wood, which is a difficult and demanding material for construction. The use of timber allowed for flexibility in design and allowed the craftsmen to create this masterpiece without metal connections, screws, or nails.


With the exception of a few repairs, the wooden church remains relatively unchanged from its original state, making it a rare and historical place. Its wooden walls, and even its roof beams, were crafted and installed without using any nails or screws; instead, the carpenters used tongue-and-groove joints, and the whole structure was designed to fit together like a giant puzzle.


The church also boasts of a peculiar claim that makes it truly unique. According to the historians that studied the church, the timber used to make it has a significantly lower percentage of degradation than other wooden churches of comparable age, with a rate of only six percent. This incredibly low rate of degradation implies that the timber used was probably selected and prepared in a specific way that took into account the environmental factors and the technical aspects of installation.

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