The church of the Mother of God in Nestanishki village

Grodno region stands out from other regions of Belarus for a great number of Catholic architectural monuments that have survived since Catholicism dominated in the territory over several centuries. It is safe to say that the modern Belarusians are lucky to be able to visit the most ancient sanctuaries and learn their history permanently and with a great interest.

A unique Catholic church dedicated to the Mother of God has survived a few kilometers from the village with a fanciful name Nestanishki in Smorgon district. It is considered to be the main local attraction. Though the village itself is rather small, this Catholic parish has always been the heart and the soul of this place.

The local church stands out for its rather massive sizes; its exterior impresses not only visitors but also the local residents. The countrymen are very proud that a few kilometers from their small motherland, there is a historical building – the monument of Neo-Gothic architecture constructed in 1905-1911.

This style was common for construction of Catholic churches in the early XX century. The typical Neo-Gothic structure is decorated with a three-nave basilica and two towers with a transept and a five-sided apse. There are two quadrangular belfries with high steeples near the main facade. The facade is divided by stepped buttresses and high arched windows.

The interior of the church is divided by eight pillars forming three naves and a wide transept. This transept is carefully overlapped with cylindrical and cross-like vaults. From the side of the widest nave you can see organ choirs and a lateral staircase. During festive divine services, parishioners watch the pageant.

Originally, there was another church constructed in the late XV century on the site of the Church of the Mother of God in Nestanishki. However, it was made of wood so it served as a refuge for believers for a short period of time. Anyway, the building of the church was destroyed by fire. Later, on its basement there was constructed a new church. Today it is considered to be the true gem of the whole region.

Nowadays the church looks very nice and well-cared for; the whole surrounding territory is cleaned and tidy. Near the church, you can often meet wandering parishioners that find solace and humility here.