Farah of Vitovt (Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Grodno)

Farah of Vitovt (Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Grodno)


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

In Belarus, despite the eventful history and a series of wars through which it has passed, there are many well-preserved sights. These are beautiful castles, stately palaces, temples, and many other monuments of architecture that attract tourists here. However, unfortunately, there are disappeared sights, the memory of which is preserved only in the annals and the memory of people. Acquaintance with one of such places is waiting for you during the excursion in Grodno.

Farah of Vitovt in Grodno: the destroyed sight of Belarus

The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Grodno is the now-non-existent Gothic church in Grodno, built in the second half of the 14th century.

An interesting fact from VETLIVA: the name Farah is in no way associated with car headlights. Farah or pharre from German designates a parish, and since the founder of this temple was the Grand Duke, the name Farah of Vitovt stuck.

The temple, then still wooden, appeared in Grodno in 1389. It was a wooden rectangular building that had a double-slope roof and a high bell tower. 14 years later, in 1403, Vitovt's Farah was consecrated in honor of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

The church has been updated several times:

  • in 1494, the initiator of the renovation was the Polish king, Grand Duke Alexander;

  • in 1551 it was repaired by order of Queen Bona Sforza;

  • In 1586, King Stephen Batory, who was completely in love with Grodno, initiated the construction of a stone church in the Manist style.

VETLIVA says: not all scholars attribute Mannerism to a separate artistic style, considering it to be an early Baroque. He appeared in Italy at a time when the later Renaissance was in crisis. Characteristic features of mannerism: spiritualism, unusual broken lines, elongated, sometimes deformed figures, tension poses, unusual or bizarre effects, etc.

Landmark Grodno suffered many times from fires, in connection with which in 1793 Farnym became the church of Francis Xavier. Then the church ceased to be completely Catholic: it survived the reconstruction in the classical style and was handed over to the Orthodox. In 1892, Farah of Vitovt suffered a real disaster: the building burned down almost to the ground. The roof was destroyed, the upper floor, after which the temple underwent another reconstruction, this time in the pseudo-Russian style.

In 1919, since these Belarusian territories were dominated by Catholic Poles, Farah of  Vitovt again becomes a Catholic church. It repeatedly burns, and therefore acquires Gothic features. Strange as it may seem, but not the military, just the post-war years became the most difficult for him.

But it did not help. In 1961, the church was blown up ...

Farah of Vitovt: memorable sign

All that remains of the once largest temple in the Belarusian-Lithuanian lands is a small memorial sign installed right on the spot where it once was. It was opened with a pomp: On April 22, 2014, a 3D model of the disappeared temple was recreated in the sky over Grodno. The sight was simply fascinating!

The sign itself consists of two dilapidated arches with the image of Catholic and Orthodox crosses. It is believed that such a composition most fully reflects all the tragic events through which the building passed, which has not reached our times. The monument was consecrated by both Catholic and Orthodox priests.

Interesting fact from VETLIVA: Among the sights of the city of Grodno, visited during the tour, it occupies a special place. For example, it is believed that under the Farah of Vitovt there is a whole underground city! Maybe it is you who are lucky enough to find him?

Map location


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, Grodno , Belarus
  • Distance to airport: 280 km
, Grodno , Belarus
  • Distance to airport: 320 km

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