About St Bedřich Church in Bílá

Our new paper model, St Bedřich Church in Bílá, is located in Beskydy Mountains, Czech Republic. This model is another one of our Beskydy Moountains collection, together with St Prokop and St Barbora Church in Kunčice pod Ondřejníkem and St. Cyril and Methodius Chapel in Radhošť. St. Bedřich church is the only one of Norwegian Stave church type in Beskydy Mountains. How did this type of church get here?
In 19th Century, timber industry became widespread in Beskydy Moutains. The Archbishop Friedrich Egon von Fürstenberg suggested that the workers needed their own wooden church. The project was given to the builder Anton Kybast, who made two drafts. The first one was a traditional timbered church, rather a costly building, 6000 guldens (the currency of those times, also called “zlatý” in Czech). The second draft was inspired by a Norwegian painter Dahl´s book, showing drawings of three famous Norwegian churches in Urnes, Borgund and Heddal. Besides their beauty, Kybast also appreciated its economical advantages. For a traditional church, 40 large fir-tree trunks would be needed, while for a Norwegian stave type church, only 12 stout fir tree trunks, 8.7 meters high, were needed. Other support parts were made from smaller spruce trees and lumber. The costs of this church would be only 3500 guldens.
In 1872, the Archbishop agreed to have the Norwegian type church built. However, he required to add some Neo-Gothic elements, which was modern at those times. Kybast made new drafts. The biggest change was the tall, prismatic tower in the front. Also, ten posts were added to create more windows (from 16 in the original draft to 30 in the new one), and decorations were added on posts, gables and ledges. With those changes, the final cost was 6800 guldens, but the Archbishop was satisfied and gave his permission on March 31, 1872. On October 3,1875, the church was consecrated to Saint Bedřich (Frederik).
Antonín Kybast also designed the interior of the church including the altar, pulpit, organ case, all worth 1516 guldens. Inside the church, there are tall cylindrical poles with colorful decorations, supporting the ceiling. The chancel is separated from the nave by a wide arch, bearing a cross on its horizontal beam. There is a prismatic tower rising above the gallery, similar to another wooden church in Beskydy, Gruň.
In 1911, St Bedřich´s church became a parish church and some changes were made. A new vestry with a small entrance hall was built, as well as a new music gallery with a spiral staircase. A brick rectory and a graveyard were built by the church. Thanks to five repairs in 20th Century, the church is still in very good condition. Bílá village can be proud to have one of the largest Norwegian stave type churches in Central Europe, perhaps second largest after Hahnenklee church near Goslar, Germany – however, this one was built later, in 1908.
We hope you will enjoy making this model!
For more photos of Czech wooden churches, visit and click on “Seznam kostelů” to pick a church and view its photos.
Text written by Miroslav Konopka, translated by Simona Čechalová

bila Castle
St. Bedrich Church 01
bila Castle
St. Bedrich Church 02
bila Castle
St. Bedrich Church 03
bila Castle
St. Bedrich Church 04
bila Castle
St. Bedrich Church 05
bila Castle
St. Bedrich Church 06

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