Jesuit Collegium in Pinsk

A few noteworthy attractions, which enjoy undiminishing interest from guest around the world, are located in Pinsk, which is one of the oldest cities in Belarus with an interesting multi-page story. And one of these attractions is a Jesuit Collegium building, which is preserved to the present days.

The sufficient part of the monastery’s famous ensemble

In Belarus there functioned a lot of Jesuit collegiums, which were engaged in the youth generation education within the principles and ideology of the Reformation opponents framework. Pinsk Collegium was long considered to be one of the most influential.

The Order of Jesus Christ first representatives appeared in the city approximately in 1630 after the steward M. Yale’s invitation. However, it was necessary to build the Collegium for a better functioning. A significant city’s place ,located in the main square and at the same time on the river’s picturesque bank  was chosen for it.

All of it started in 1640 with the temple construction - the Catholic Church of St. Stanislaus. A school designed for fifty people was located next to it.

However, starting from 1648, the city known for its advantageous geopolitical and trade-economic location was exposed to many destroying everything on their way raids, first of Cossack troops, later of Muscovites. Despite the fact that the Jesuit’s temple was hardly damaged, numerous residential and educational buildings were destroyed as a result, which led to the need of brick Jesuit Collegium building. Its official opening occurred in 1675.

Behind the Collegium walls

The main and primary purpose of Pinsk Jesuit College was education. One of the best schools were located there, with a five-year education, as well as four-year philosophical-theological department.

The very building structure, depicted in the fusion of pure Renaissance style (open air gallery on the ground floor, the rectangular shaped windows presence) and Baroque (the French "broken" type roof combined with pilasters and located in the centre chimes clock), favored the learning process. The ground floor was occupied with classrooms and a dining room, there were living quarters, where the students and monks spent their free time, as well as the country's largest library and laboratory on the second floor.

Over the years of its history, a printing house, (since 1729), the first pharmacy in Belarus, later, at the beginning of the XIX century, men's Epiphany Monastery (in 1925 – Seminary) were also located in the Jesuit Collegium building.

The Collegium building’s functional purpose completely changed with the Soviet ruling- administration and various public institutions offices were placed there.

After World War II (which, by the way, completely destroyed the nearby Jesuits temple), the building was restored, after that, in 1965, a picture gallery appeared there. The building itself was recognized as an architectural monument.

Today, Jesuit Collegium in Pinsk is a decent part of the Belarusian Polesie museum. The first visitors walked through the long corridors of the once religious structure in 1996, and now there are many routes of excursion programs in Belarus leading here.