Pruchnik is the most beautiful wooden town in the Podkarpackie Region. This is not only because of its architecture but also for its picturesque location on a tall elevation towering over the valley of the Mleczka River.
Awarded with municipal rights in 1436, in the past it was a privately owned town, and an important trading and craft centre.
Around 40 historical houses have been preserved here, most of them featuring characteristic arcades. In the past these held craftsmen’s lodgings, workshops and trading stands. The oldest buildings date from the 1700s.
The urban layout, based on a medieval checkerboard-type spatial arrangement, is as old as the town itself. In the late 15th century, the town had a central square, church, castle as well as municipal ramparts. In the late 18th/early 19th century there were only wooden houses except for one which was partly made of bricks. Today, around the square and along the streets starting in its corners we can see wooden houses with arcades and tall steep roofs covered with shingles. Originally the arcaded areas were used for displaying merchandise during trade fairs. Later they were retained as a decorative feature. The houses mainly represent post-and-plank or mixed log-and-framing types of construction. The walls of the houses were made of hewn logs or half-round logs. Various cut-out patterns can be seen between the pillars of the baluster in some of the houses. The posts supporting the arcades are of various shapes, and sometimes are embellished with carvings.
In the town we can also see a 300-year-old building of “Galeria pod Gontem”, angular obelisk-poles from the times of Tatar invasions (used as call to arms in the medieval times), the Parish Museum and a 17th century brick church.
Mieczysław Orłowicz, a renowned expert in the regional lore, grew up in Pruchnik.
Photo: Krystian Kłysewicz
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