Wang Church is an obilgatory stop on the trail for tourist visiting Karpacz. Lovely, medieval church known thanks to its unique construction, and living legends, too. One of them says about an eternal love and happiness of all people who tied the knot there. This way Wang Church attracts the couples from all over the world.
Medieval Vikings in Karpacz
At the turn of XII and XIII in the little village Vang, located in the southern part of Norway, a wooden temple was built, that pleases the eyes of tourists visiting Karpacz. It owes its name to the name of place where it was created. Wang was built as a Christian Church on the Vikings land. It had to symbolise a supersession their pagan beliefs and customs. The temple had to emphasize a duration of new age – Christianity in Scandinavia. Was it successful? Wang is an extraordinary in that respect. This is a building full of contradiction. It links primeval believes with new religion. Skillful observer can find both reference to Nordic Mythology and Christian beliefs.
From Norway to Karpacz
Wang Church served its community this way till XIX century. It turned out to be too small for its believers then. It was decided to dismantle the church and sell it. Money received were given over building of new temple. The beauty of Wang Church would become an history for sure unless Norwegian painter Jan Krystian Dahl. Travelling through Norway, he stopped in Vang where got to know the history of church and its future destiny. He decided to rescue the building from an oblivion. He didn’t have the exact amount that’s why he went to Prussian King , Fryderyk Wilhelm IV, who was known for his fondness for wooden masterpieces. King bought the building for 427 Marks and let transport it to Berlin. At the beginning little church had to be an adornment on Pawia Island. However, at the request of Countess Fryderyka von Reden from Bukowiec, the King gave it to Karpacz. The temple reached Karpacz in 1842. In 1844 it was sacrificed and since then it served for evangelical-augsburg parish.
The Secrets of Wang Church
People say, Wang Church is the oldest wooden temple in Poland. The construction was created using traditional methods of Scandinavian building. It links two architectural modes – Roman and Nordic ones. Church hides some mysteries inside. One of them is its construction – Wang was made with no nails! All joints are connected with wooden pins. The resin of Scandinavian pine that was cut almost 800 years ago, ensures an extraordinary atmosphere. The enthusiasts of the culture of Nordic heros can find numerous sculptures and an artistic themes of these ages inside the church. Roof trusses are beefed up with splines – dragon maw shaped that look like Vikings boats from the movie „ Vikings”. The gate of church is embellished with curled snakes. The entrance is protected by two lions – symbol of strength and victory. There are winged dragons, faces of warlike Vikings and mysterious runes that were used to write a name of Wang architect. Next to primeval symbols there can be seen the symbol of David triumph over Goliat. There is a priceless monument – crucifix from XIX century carved in one piece of oak trunk with linden figure of Christ. There are two candlesticks at the altar picturing swan – the symbol of fidelity, and heart – the symbol of love. They are lighted during wedding days only as the assurance of happiness and prosperity for the young couple while living together. Rock tower standing next to the temple was built to protect it against strong wind from Śnieżka.
Wang and more
At the church courtyard there is a memorial dedicated to Countess Fryderyka von Reden whence spring flows. Throwing a coin in the fountain in front of Wang is a guarantee of luck in love. There is a sculpture – Ressurection of Lazarus, next to the church. Ivy - one of many natural monuments in Karpacz grows behind it. There is a cemetery, too. There were burried: Henryk Tomaszewski – founder of Wroclavia Theatre of Pantomime, famous dancer, choreographer, theatrical director and pedagogue. Tadeusz Różewicz was burried there, too. One of the notable author of literary avant-garde and repeatedly mentioned as a candidate to Nobel Award was known for his love for Karkonosze. Blue Trail starts from Wang Church and leads towards Śnieżka.
Wang Church became an inspiration for the game developers „ The Vanishing of Ethan Carter”. There is Vikings church in game graphic that can be visited in next section. The game developers reproduced the sculpture of Lazarus and temple cemetery.
Daily visit: from 9.00 to 18.00 ( in the following period: 15.04 – 31.10 ) or from 09.00 to 17.00 (in the following period: 01.11 – 14.04).
On Sundays and festive periods: Holy Mass at 10.00 - in that case, Wang Church sightseeing is available after 11.30.