The Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Smorgon

The most significant architectural heritage of Smorgon is the Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel, which was built in the first half of the 17th century. This Church is a Calvinist Cathedral, which replaced an old Protestant wooden Church of the 16th century.

History of the masterpiece of architecture in Belarus - the church in Smorgon

The Calvinist sanctuary was built on the funds of Krishtof Zenovich. He was a statesman, a voivode of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Zenovich wished to be buried in the Shrine after his death that he had built, in accordance with traditions of Calvinism, modestly and without ceremonies.

However, that church was given to the Catholic community soon after the death of K. Zenovich (in 1621). It had existed under the name of Trinity Church up to 1866, when it was handed over to the Orthodox and became the Church of St. Michael. That Shrine was the Orthodox Church during a half of a century, but the Church was consecrated again into the Catholic Church in 1921, then it was closed in 1947. After a reconstruction in 1970, an exhibition hall was housed in the building of the former temple. And finally, in 1990, the former Smorgon Cathedral became again a functioning Church of St. Michael the Archangel. Consequently, the Church building has successfully served for the Calvinists and the Catholics, the Orthodox and the atheists for four hundred years. But however, this Catholic Church is listed as а former Calvinist Cathedral in numerous historical writings.

The building of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel stands out for strict modesty and unity of the composition. The wall thickness of this sanctuary reaches three meters. The windows of the temple are raised high enough above the ground that certainly gives it a hint of militancy. The only pearl of the appearance of this sanctuary is considered to be the attic, which is evenly decorated with single semi-circular recesses with peculiar hanging weights. Such decorations are considered to be typical for architecture of the Renaissance. The main and only entrance to the church is under the protection of a magnificent belfry tower, which was originally four-storey. The tiers of the tower were joined with a spiral staircase, hidden in a round tower, located close to the belfry. While reorganizing the Catholic Church into the Church, the tower was reduced by two tiers in the 19th century.

Architectural features of the church of St. Michael the Archangel in Smorgon

The church was built in accordance with all the rules and customs of the Calvinistic worship, without focusing on the altar part. The temple is a slightly elongated octagon in appearance, from the side of the main entrance of which is located a bell-tower. The interior of the Church of the Archangel Michael is a large circular hall covered with a globe dome, painted with frescos ornaments.

Excursions with a visit to the architectural monument of Belarus in Smorgon

The Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Smorgon attracts a large number of both pilgrims and ordinary travelers, as it is not only a working Shrine but also an outstanding architectural monument of Belarus of the 17thcentury.  That's why we recommend to see it as part of a sightseeing tour across Belarus with a visit to the city of Smorgon. It will amaze you not only with the majestic church, but also with many other, no less interesting sights. You will see: