Religious sites in Belarus

St. Joseph Church

St. Joseph Church is a former Roman Catholic church. The building, which is an example of the Baroque architecture style, was completed in 1752. The church was named after the monastery to which it belonged. It was closed in the 1860s and became an Orthodox Church. Since the late 19th century, it has been used to store archives.
Founded: 1752 | Location: Minsk, Belarus

Holy Spirit Cathedral

Holy Spirit Cathedral was built in Baroque style between 1633-1642 as the main temple of Catholic Bernadine convent. During the 1700-1800s it was reconstructed to the present architectural shape. In 1852 the convent was closed, and its nuns were sent to Nesvizh town. In I860 the former monastic church was turned into the orthodox church. After ten years an orthodox monastery was opened here. In 1918, after the closing of ...
Founded: 1633-1642 | Location: Minsk, Belarus

Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary

Cathedral of the Holy Name of Mary is a Roman Catholic Baroque cathedral. It was built in 1710 as a church for the Jesuit house. In 1793, after the Russian conquest of Belarus, the Jesuit order was banned and the church got a local status. Soon, after creation of the Minsk diocese, the church became the local cathedral. The Cathedral was heavily damaged in a fire in 1797, but was later fully renewed. In 1869, the Minsk d ...
Founded: 1710 | Location: Minsk, Belarus

Church of Saints Simon and Helena

Church of Saints Simon and Helen, also known as the Red Church, is a neo-Romanesque church designed by polish architects Tomasz Pajzderski and Władysław Marconi. It was built between 1905-1910. The bricks for its walls were sourced from Częstochowa, whilst the roof tiles came from Włocławek. Its construction was financed by Edward Woyniłłowicz, a prominent Belarusian civic activist. The ...
Founded: 1905-1910 | Location: Minsk, Belarus

Peter and Paul Cathedral

SS Peter and Paul Church is one of the oldest stone buildings in Minsk, constructed on a narrow street Rakauskaja and remained up till now as a monument of architecture of the 17th century. The building was started in 1611 and was finished after two years. During wars and religious conflicts the church served as a fortress. It explains the thickness of its walls, a high arrangement of windows above the ground and presence ...
Founded: 1611-1613 | Location: Minsk, Belarus

Sviato-Dukhov Monastery

Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Sviato-Dukhov Monastery) is a female Eastern Orthodox monastery in Vitebsk. The monastery was founded in the 1380s by Duchess Uliana of Tver, wife of Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. Algirdas ordered to construction of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in this monastery. About 1392–1393, after Algirdas" death, Uliania took the vows of schema in her monastery. From mid-17th centur ...
Founded: 1380s | Location: Vitebsk, Belarus

Holy Trinity Church

Church of Holy Trinity was consecrated in 1864. In the 1930s, the church was closed and the valuables removed by the Soviet authorities. Renovation of the church started in 1983.
Founded: 1864 | Location: Minsk, Belarus

Corpus Christi Church

Niasvizh Catholic Corpus Christi church was built in 1587–1593 according to the design of the Italian architect Giovanni Maria Bernardoni at sponsorship of Mikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł. The Jesuit church in Niasvizh was the first construction in Baroque in the whole territory of Rzecz Pospolita. The temple interior is richly decorated with paintings. The frescoes were performed in 1750-1760s with part ...
Founded: 1587-1593 | Location: Niasvizh, Belarus

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Hrodna (Grodno). The construction of the church started in 1687. The completed building was consecrated in 1705 to St. Francis Xavier. The monastery was dissolved in 1773 and the church became a parish one. In 1990 it was granted the title of Minor basilica. Originally a Jesuit church, it became a cathedral in 1991, when the new diocese of Grodno was erected.
Founded: 1687-1705 | Location: Hrodna, Belarus

St. Sophia Cathedral

The Cathedral of Holy Wisdom in Polotsk was built by Prince Vseslav Briacheslavich between 1044-1066. It is first mentioned in the Voskresenskaia Chronicle under the year 1056. It is probably the oldest church in Belarus. The cathedral is, like the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, named after the Holy Wisdom of God. After building his own cathedral, Vseslav tried to seize the Kievan ...
Founded: 1044-1066 | Location: Polotsk, Belarus

Kalozha Church

The Kalozha church of Saints Boris and Gleb is the oldest extant structure in Hrodna. It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall. The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The ou ...
Founded: 1183 | Location: Hrodna, Belarus

Transfiguration Church

Transfiguration Church of the St. Euphrosine monastery is a well-preserved monument of Pre-Mongol Rus architecture. It was built between 1152 and 1161 by the Polatsk architect Ioann by the order of the princess St. Euphrosyne of Polatsk as a cathedral church of the Convent of the Saviour and St. Euphrosyne. In 1582, King Stefan Batory gave the church to the Order of Jesuits. In 1832, the church was placed under the Orthod ...
Founded: 1152 | Location: Polotsk, Belarus

Great Synagogue

The Great Synagogue of Hrodna was built from 1576 to 1580 by Santi Gucci, who designed a Wooden synagogue at Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe"s invitation. In 1887, the Hrodna Jews owned 88% of the commercial enterprises, 76% of the factories and workshops, and over 65% of the real estate in the city. Their property was estimated at 842,000 roubles at a time when the total sum of the city"s properties was 1,202,000 roubles ...
Founded: 1902 | Location: Hrodna, Belarus

Muravanka Fortified Church

Muravanka Fortified Church was built between 1516 and 1542. Together with earlier Suprasl" and Synkavichy churches it represents an original class of church-fortresses that appeared in Belarus in 15th-16th centuries.These are compact in plan, rectangular buildings flanked in the corners with towers. The top of the walls are fortified with mashykooli and shooting windows. There were cellars in the basement with water ...
Founded: 1516 | Location: Muravanka, Belarus

Synkavichy Fortified Church

The Church of St. Michael in Synkavichy is a Gothic church was built in 16th century. It is one of the first fortified churches in Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1880-1881, the temple was significantly reconstructed. In 1926, it was rebuilt as a Catholic church. In 1988-1990, it become Orthodox. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2004. The defensive system of the church consists of four towe ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Synkavichy, Belarus

St. Nicholas Monastery

St. Nicholas Monastery Complex is situated in the Dnieper river valley, in a fenced territory. It consists of a number of stone buildings: the St. Nicholas and St. Onuphry Churches, a dwelling house (a hospital), a belfry and a fence with an entrance gate. The stone building of the St. Nicholas Church was erected on the place of a wooden church from 1669 to 1672. The church is a three-nave cross-dome basilica with an oct ...
Founded: 1669 | Location: Mahiljou, Belarus

Archangel Michael's Cathedral

The Archangel Michael"s Cathedral is a Belarusian orthodox cathedral church of the Eparchy of Turov located in Mozyr. The church was built in 18th century as a Catholic church of Franciscan monastery in late baroque style in the form of two-towered three-nave basilica. In 1745 Marszałek Kazimierz Oskierka start the building of new stone Franciscan (in Poland called 'Bernardine') monastery with a big c ...
Founded: 1745 | Location: Mozyr, Belarus

Troitsky Markov Monastery

Svyato-Troitsky Markov Monastery (Holy Trinity Markov Monastery) is one of two modern monasteries in Vitebsk (second one is female Svyato-Dukhov Monastery). Markov Monastery was founded in the 14th-15th century. A legend indicates that a certain Mark found a place to stay alone and built a chapel there. After he was joined by like-minded persons, who formed the monastery. The monastery existed till 1576, after it was abo ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Vitebsk, Belarus

Biaroza Monastery Ruins

In the 17th century, the village of Biaroza belonged to the Sapieha, a powerful magnate family in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, who founded a fortified monastery and a palace in the village. In 1648, the monastery was presented to the Carthusian monks who came from the Italian town of Treviso and settled in the monastery. The cornerstone of the monastery was laid in 1648 by the monastery"s founder, Kazimierz L ...
Founded: 1648 | Location: Biaroza, Belarus

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.