Church of St. Michael the Archangel - a monument of the Vilna Baroque era
Though quite small in size Ivyanets township is well-known throughout the country for its unique attraction. Church of St. Michael the Archangel is the largest historical monument of Vilnius Baroque sub-style on the whole territory of Belarus, which was built in the first half of the 18th century. The whole complex of the church includes not only the temple, but also a former Franciscan monastery with preserved fragments of walls, gates and tower construction.
The historical fate of the architectural monument in Ivyanets
Local people call the temple a white church, and closely associate its appearance with the construction of the Franciscan monastery. At the end of the 17th century – the beginning of 18th century there lived a large number of representatives of the Franciscan Order, owing to Theodore Vankovich. By Theodore’s order, the Franciscans were able to receive land allotment and large amounts of money. They settled in Ivyanets and immediately built a wooden church.
In 40 years Theodore’s nephew - Vladislav Vankovich - financed the construction of a new stone church near the old wooden building. For this project, a plan was specially designed: builders chose a suitable hilly terrain, and the church and monastery buildings were fortified with boulders and coal. In addition, builders also changed the direction of the river Volma channel in order the monastery fence won’t be flooded.
It greatly affected the modern look of the buildings - they were preserved to the present day almost in its primitive form.
Franciscan monastery was closed in 1832, and the building was used as a boarding house for priests. However, after Constantine Kalinowski uprising in 1863, the church had to be closed and was placed to the category of orthodox. In 1915 it was decided to set up a convent in the church, but these plans were not realized. In 1920 the temple was returned into the possession of the Catholics, and after almost 20 years, the representatives of the Order of the Franciscans again became lawful owners of the Catholic shrine.
Church of the Archangel Michael in Ivyanets and the modern history
It should be mentioned that during the Second World War, the religious institution was not used for its intended purpose. There was a food products store and one of the blanking shops. Priests did not live in the monastery, there was a high school there, and after that the building was reconstructed for the Department of experiments and research of one of Minsk institutions.
Not very long ago, in 2003, the complex of restoration work was carried out in the church and surrounding buildings, which for now is almost over. Now this place is a shelter for all the Catholics of the country. Church cannot but impress with its unique grace and amazing beauty, which keeps the memory of the events for more than two centuries.
Excursion tours with a visit to the church in the town of Ivyanets
Nowadays Ivyanets Township as well as the Church of St. Michael the Archangel is one of the most popular tours across Belarus. These buildings will be of interest not only to the faithful Catholics, but also ordinary tourists who love ancient architecture and significant historical places of interest.
In Ivyanets there are many sights worth seeing besides the church of St. Michael the Archangel. In this urban village there are interesting sights that all lovers of ancient architecture will like: