Church interior

Dębno (also known as: Dębno Podhalańskie) is an old mountain village of about 700 in the district of Nowy Targ in the Malopolskie region.

Get in

Dębno is located 12km east of Nowy Targ. Driving is the only way to get in; via rented car from Kraków, Nowy Targ, or Zakopane, or on bus as part of a tour.


Dębno is world-famous for its spectacular medieval wooden church, one of the protected UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The church, dedicated to Archangel Michael, is first mentioned in chronicles from 1335 AD, but the original wooden church is known to have burned down; its present form was rebuilt in the early baroque. The structure was built entirely from wood, without metal nails or fasteners. The architecture and proportions are a great example of a wooden Gothic church, with some elements unique to the Podhale region. Interior walls are covered in Gothic polychrome decoration from around 1500 AD, and decorated with paintings that date as early as 15th century. The main altarpiece is an elaborate triptych from mid-16th century. The oldest piece in the church is a crucifix dated at around 1380, saved from the fire, and now seen hanging from the ceiling. (An even older piece, a late Romanesque painting from 1280, had since been moved to the Museum of the Archdiocese of Kraków.)

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