The Church of the Nativity of B.V.M., Nyzhniy Verbizh

Wooden church of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1788 (1808) and belongs to the well-preserved five-domed church of Hutsul style. The uniqueness of the church not only in the rare design but that in the old cemetery just meters from the curch buried master-carpenter who built it. Gregory Semeniuk at the time of completion of construction of the church was 102 years old!

According to legend Gregory Semeniuk was in the platoon of Oleksa Dovbush - famous Ukrainian outlaw, leader of opryshky who became a folk hero often compared to Robin Hood and built Wooden church of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary on treasure stolen of Oleksa Dovbush. It became a local legend.

Once opryshok Gregory Semeniuk who had special confidence of Oleksa Dovbush disappeared with part of treasures. Later that opryshok and Oleksa Dovbush met during the festival in Nyzhniy Verbizh. Seeing the opryshok Oleksa Dovbush angry with him but Gregory Semeniuk led him to the church and explained what was spent stolen treasure. Oleksa Dovbush said that if Gregory Semeniuk let him know about his plan to build the church - he also give even more money.

Gregory Semeniuk lived 114 years confirming the inscription on his tomb near the church. He settled in Nyzhniy Verbizh in 1732 and hired to serve miller until married his daughter and soon he became the owner of the mill. Gregory Semeniuk (Miller) was a talented carpenter. First he built a wooden bell tower. In 1756 began construction of the church which was completed in 1808 (1788). Wooden church of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary was built of spruce and covered with shingles. Obviously Oleksa Dovbush could not be in church built by Gregory Semeniuk as he was killed in 1745. Apparently it was the bell tower which stood at the previous older church.

In the church preserved iconostasis of early nineteenth century with magnificent carvings of rococo painting and ancient icons.

  • Деревяна церква (Нижній Вербіж)
  • Церква в селі Нижній Вербіж