St. Casimir's Church

Vilnius, Lithuania

St. Casimir’s Church was founded by the Jesuits and dedicated to Lithuania’s patron saint Prince Casimir Jagiellon (1458-1484). The construction of the glorious building began in 1604 and was completed in 1635. Burnt to the ground just 20 years later when the Russians invaded in 1655, conflagration visited twice again within the next century in 1709 and 1749 before the architect, mathematician and astronomer Tomas Žebrauskas (Pol. Thomas Zubrówka, 1714-1758) restored it to more or less the form it's seen in today.

Over the centuries the church fell into the hands of the Augustinians, Napoleon’s Grande Armée, the Russian Orthodox Church (who significantly altered its appearance), the Lutherans (who used it as the garrison church for the occupying German Army during WWI) and others, including the Soviets who turned the whole place into a museum of atheism no less. Returned to the Catholic Church in 1988, the building was consecrated in 1991 and has since undergone a massive renovation project, restoring its predominantly Baroque style with Gothic and Renaissance touches. Of particular interest inside are three late Baroque altars and a recently discovered 17th-century crypt containing dark bas-reliefs featuring miscellaneous religious motifs.

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Founded: 1604-1635
Category: Religious sites in Lithuania

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

澳洲Jenny Huang (14 months ago)
Named after the Lithuanian saints, the Church of Saint Casimir was built in 1604-1615. It is a model of the oldest Baroque architecture in Vilnius.
Jonas Grincius (Jonas12611) (2 years ago)
From photographer point of view this beautiful church has perfect location. The space in front of church let do shots if full of its height.
rohapo hmr (2 years ago)
A large and impressive church painted in pink and one of the oldest churches in the city
Zygmunt Borowski (2 years ago)
Church of St. Kazimierz in Vilnius is the first baroque Catholic church in honor of St. Kazimierz Prince. It was built in 1604–1618 as a votive offering after the canonization of St. Kazimierz Jagiellończyk (1602). The initiator of the construction was King Zygmunt III Waza, and the church belonged to the Jesuits. In the years 1624–1630 preacher and confessor was here St. Andrzej Bobola. After the destruction in 1655 by the Moscow army, and after the fire of 1706, the church was renovated, and the interior received then a rococo decor. After the dissolution of the Jesuit order, in 1812 the French army destroyed the interior and turned the church into a grain warehouse and then a prison for Russian prisoners of war. As part of the tsarist repression after the November Uprising, the church was confiscated by Catholics, and after the January Uprising it was rebuilt into an Orthodox church. After World War II, until 1949 he belonged to the Jesuits, and then was confiscated again, this time by the Soviet authorities. In October 1988 the church was returned to Catholics, in 1990 it was taken over by Jesuits and restored to religious use. - Kościół św. Kazimierza w Wilnie jest pierwszą barokową świątynią katolicką ku czci św. Kazimierza Królewicza. Został zbudowany w latach 1604–1618 jako wotum po kanonizacji św. Kazimierza Jagiellończyka (1602). Inicjatorem budowy był król Zygmunt III Waza, a kościół należał do Jezuitów. W latach 1624–1630 kaznodzieją i spowiednikiem był tutaj św. Andrzej Bobola. Po zniszczeniach w 1655 przez wojska moskiewskie, oraz po pożarze 1706 kościół został odnowiony, a wnętrze otrzymało wówczas wystrój rokokowy. Po kasacie zakonu jezuitów, w 1812 roku armia francuska zniszczyła wnętrze i zamieniła kościół na magazyn zboża, a następnie na więzienie dla jeńców rosyjskich. W ramach represji carskich po powstaniu listopadowym kościół został skonfiskowany katolikom, a po powstaniu styczniowym przebudowano go na cerkiew prawosławną. Po II wojnie światowej, do 1949 należał do jezuitów, a następnie został ponownie skonfiskowany, tym razem przez władze radzieckie. W październiku 1988 kościół zwrócono katolikom, w 1990 przejęli go jezuici przywracając do użytku sakralnego.
Steve Bintley (2 years ago)
Despite being apparently one of the oldest churches in the city it’s in great condition and looks fantastic from the outside. The pink colour works really well in the area and it’s impossible not to admire from the streets in front. Best of all it is free to enter and admire the equally as impressive interior. Everything is clean and looking fresh, despite the history. There probably could be some additional signage for those wanting to appreciate the history more but it worked well for me and is one of the reasons why the Old Town is so beautiful. Make sure you pop by when walking through the city.
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