Sts Boris and Gleb Monastery in Polotsk

This architectural ensemble is still interesting for historians and art experts since only its foundation is preserved today. Even in the early XX century, it was possible to see two of the four buildings.

Remarkable Architectural Ensemble

According to historical records, Sts Boris and Gleb Monastery is known since the XII century, when the territory was located outside Polotsk, in the village of  Belchitsy, which stood on the left bank of the Western Dvina.

Archaeologists discovered foundations of three churches but initially there were four:

  1. “Big Cathedral”, performed the function of a chapel and belonged to Belarusian wooden architecture of the XII century;
  2. Church with triapsidal construction and three altars (in other words, triconch church). Interesting: this construction was based on original architectural solutions, commonly used in Byzantine art, particularly Balkan provinces;
  3. Pyatnitskaya church;
  4. Sts Boris and Gleb church.

According to historical reports and studies, the last two buildings were not built without the participation of one of the monks, the architect Ioann.

It is interesting that the entire Sts Boris and Gleb Monastery was a bright example of a unique architectural style existed in Polotsk, which featured Belarusian and foreign architecture, it significantly distinguished among other styles.

The territory of the complex belonged to the Uniate Church for a while, and it belonged to the Saint Euphrosyne Monastery (which, by the way, appeared much later than the first buildings of Boris and Gleb Monastery) in 1878.

Cultural heritage

Unfortunately, only in the 80s of the last century the territory of the former Sts Boris and Gleb Monastery became a cultural and historical monument of Belarus and was taken under protection by the state. By that time, the footing of buildings was already destroyed, and even used for the construction of residential buildings, local “khrushchevka" and brick house of 1910.

A memorial stone, appeared in Soviet times, is another historic reminder of the Sts Boris and Gleb Monastery. And due to the sketches of fresco painting, made in 1928 by the researcher I.M. Hozerov, we have a general representation of the interior.

Nowadays, you won’t see impressive towers and domes of Sts Boris and Gleb Monastery in Polotsk, but the place itself still retains its unique atmosphere. Many tourist routes lead to this place.