The village of Zhodishki, Grodno region
Zhodishki is a township which is located in a picturesque place on the bank of the river Vilia. It is a center of a village council of Smorgon district situated in Grodno region, 18 kilometers north from the district center and 120 kilometers from the capital of Belarus Minsk.
It is known primarily due to the Trinity Catholic Church which is located here. Not long ago the church celebrated quatercentenary.
The history of Zhodishki
The hamlet owes its name to a very good geographical location. It is situated not far from a picturesque river and its name is translated as “the blooming river banks”.
The settlement was founded in the XVI century. It was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1511, when the first owner of these lands, Mordas Mishkovich founded a castle and a village here. In addition, according to the charters of Sigismund I, Zhodishki received the right to trade, build taverns as well as to organize fairs, which were very important those days for the development of trade and crafts.
In the XVI century the village was owned by Zaberezinsky, Ostikovich, Kishki. The erection of two key sacred objects of Zhodishki is connected with the names of Ostikovich and Kishki dynasties. Ostikovich family sponsored the erection of the Catholic Church, and Kishki built the Calvinist Cathedral. The building of the Cathedral was erected in 1612 by Calvinists, and now you can see it visiting Zhodishki.
The next owners of the village – Mitskevich family – were Catholics that is why a wooden Catholic Church was built here. Barbara Mitskevich who took part in the foundation of Jesuit sacred objects soon gave the right of possession to the Jesuit Order. Together with the Calvinist school the Jesuit school was open. Soon Calvinists were kicked out of the village.
The Jesuits built a Catholic Church of Saint Thaddeus and a monastery. They had a terrible fate. In 1734 all the Jesuit buildings were burnt down by the Moscow troops. At the place of the monastery the stone building of a collegium was erected in 1752. All comers were taught absolutely free there. You can still see the building of the collegium in Zhodishki. Now it houses a psychoneurological hospital.
The Jesuits, the same as Calvinists, were forced to leave Zhodishki after the dissolution of the Order. The Calvinist Church became Catholic in 1720. It was consecrated in honor of the Holy Trinity. In 1774 the settlement received the Magdeburg Law. The owners of Zhodishki rebuilt the Jesuit collegium and used its building as a residence.
After the partition of Poland the village became the part of the Russian Empire. Later in the early XX century it was occupied by the Kaiser troops, then became the part of Poland and in 1921 the part of BSSR. During the Second World War Zhodishki was occupied by the Nazi invaders. It was liberated in 1944.
The sights of Zhodishki
There are two architectural jewels in the village: The Trinity Church which is more than 400 years old and the estate with the outbuildings and a park founded in XVIII - XIX.