St. Nicholas Monastery

Mahiljou, Belarus

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 octahedral light tambour and a large bulbous cupola over the middle part of the church. The dominant architectural feature of the church was a two-tower main facade with a figured pediment decorated with a set of diversiform tiered bays.

At present the complex is an active monastery. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2004.



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Founded: 1669
Category: Religious sites in Belarus


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Алексей Борисов (2 months ago)
A very beautiful place, a beautiful monastery. A historical monument and a place where you can rest your soul and pray. You are always welcome there ..
Валентина Яковенко (2 months ago)
Well well! Who goes to places like this in shorts? True, in the Greek temple of Rethymno, at the beginning of summer, I had to see a young woman in a cleavage. No one said a word to her.
Sergey Kravchuk (3 months ago)
The oldest monastery and temple of Mogilev. Definitely worth a visit. Handsomely. Nuns are friendly to tourists. But local "grandmothers" strive to "teach" right in the church how to stand, where to look, and so on. treat them with condescension.
Александр Аврамов (5 months ago)
Cathedral built in 1669-1672, was robbed several times. Until the beginning of the 18th century, there was a female monastery, later it was transformed into a male monastery. It existed in this status until the middle of the 18th century. After the revolutionary events, the temple existed as a parish. However, in 1934 it was closed, there was a prison on its territory for several years, as a result of which highly artistic paintings were destroyed. Since 1989, work has been underway to restore the monastery, today the main work has been completed in full.
Алексей Тютюнков (7 months ago)
The oldest temple in Mogilev. Built after the hardest war for Belarus: 1654-1667. And it’s just as Orthodox, which was a rarity for those times. Favorite temple of Nicholas II. Beautiful at any time of the year. It is convenient to arrive by car and bicycle. But we must remember the rules of the Orthodox Church: a woman should not have men's clothing, men should not be in shorts, etc. And this is not hypocrisy: traditions and those living in the monastery must be respected.
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The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.