Kolozha Church: from the foundation to the present day

Kolozha Church: from the foundation to the present day

15.12.2020 Grodno

History of the construction of the Kolozha Church

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Sts Boris and Gleb Church in Grodno (it also has the folk name Kolozhskaya) is rightly claiming to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. And it is not by chance. It is the most unique, one of the few temples in Belarus that has survived since the times of Ancient Russia.

It can be assumed that its history began in the middle of the 12th century, during the reign of Grodno's Princes Boris and Gleb Vsevolodkovich. There is a version that the temple was built in memory of the princes by their children. The Kolozhan tract (which means the place where brooks spring) was not chosen by chance - there was a pagan temple on this place. According to another version, it was named after settlers who were taken prisoner in 1406 by Grand Duke Vitovt -in the honour of the Kolozha fortress in Polotsk.

In the XVI century, the Kolozha Church was practically destroyed by Ivan III during the Russian-Lithuanian War of 1487-1494. There is a legend that the enemy, in order to create a convenient fire point for firing cannons at the castle, covered Kolozha Church with sand. But modern researchers say that this is just a legend. And what is really true is that cattle were kept in the ruins of the church in the 17th century.

It is believed that the place for the Kolozha Church was chosen to be picturesque, but still ill-considered for construction. The temple looks out at the Neman river from a high bank, but slips down a cliff every now and then. In 1720, one of the walls was almost in the river - it was rescued and trees were planted on the slope to strengthen it. In the 19th century, however, part of the church collapsed and the missing stone fragments were replaced by wooden ones. The Kolozha Church added a headache to the present-day city authorities - in 2017 the slope was again strengthened, the wooden wall was tidied up, and at the same time a glass floor was installed in the church, through which you can now see the ancient foundation of the building.

Kolozha Church keeps its secrets - for example, about the pitchers that are embedded in the walls. This creates good acoustics inside the temple and facilitates the walls themselves.

Miracle-working icon of the Kolozha Church

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Kolozha Church had its own miracle-working icon, the origin of which dates back to the end of the 17th century. The circumstances of its acquisition are unknown - but there is only a legend that the icon was given to the temple by the Blessed. At the same time he expressed his desire to be buried within the limits of this church after his death. There was plenty of evidence of the miraculous nature of the icon - it healed from a variety of ailments. But during the First World War it was taken to Russia, and to this day its location is still unknown, despite the search by the researchers. Now the church has a list (an exact copy) of the Kolozhskaya Icon of the Mother of God.

The Kolozha Church today

In Soviet times the church building was a branch of the Republican Museum of Atheism and Religion. And only in the early 90s of the last century did it return its original mission - religious. Surprisingly, a visit to Kolozha Church helped Vladimir Mulyavin, a famous Belarusian song writer, to get rid of smoking. He was so happy that he was able to get rid of his bad habit that he donated money for a new carved altar for the temple.

The Kolozha Church is considered one of the main symbols of Grodno, along with the Pharnaya Church, the Old and New Castles. There are no such ancient monuments of architecture anywhere else in Belarus. So it is worth visiting Grodno to see them.

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