The Description of the Church of St. Vladislav in Subotniki village

How many architectural monuments that have preserved their original exterior and interior appearance do exist today? Only few of them have preserved it. Such structures still keep the spirit of ages gone by and reveal the ancient history better than any chronicles. One of such sites is certainly worth visiting.

The Church of St. Vladislav of Subotniki village has existed more than a century. Over its existence, this church has not changed and has not lost any element of its inner decoration. There is much to see in this place, considering the fact that the church was constructed by the famous Umyastovsky family.

The church was constructed and consecrated in 1904 on the funds of Count Vladislav Umyastovsky whose family had owned Subotniki since 1811. However, that location was called Starye Geraneny up to the XX century – it had been known under that name since the XIV century. It was first mentioned in 1492 when the village was in possession of Sofia Radziwill. It is during the Radziwills’ ownership that there was constructed a church in 1545. The building of it was repeatedly reconstructed. Wooden churches that had been earlier on that site have not survived. The new church was made of brick.

The founder of the sanctuary was Count Umyastovsky. The husband and wife – Vladislav and Yanina – did not have children. The count thought that it was a generational curse and planned the construction of the church.

It was important for the count to dedicate the sanctuary to some blameless. The count chose Vladislav the Hungarian that had brought Orthodox Christianity to Hungary. In short, it is the only church in Belarus named after this saint.

Count Vladislav died one year after the consecration of the church. He was buried in the family vault at the church. On the tombstone of his wife, there is neither name nor date as she died far from the family seat – in Rome in 1941.

Yanina herself began to improve the church after the death of her husband. Most people notice that a woman’s touch is seen in the inner decoration of the church. The countrymen remember that their fathers or great grandfathers assisted in the construction of the church.

There is an organ in the church. It prevails the building by age. The organ has left from a former wooden church that earlier was on the site of the Church of St. Vladislav. Apart from the organ, parishioners are impressed by benches that refer to 1884 – the Umyastovsky family sat on them. Besides the benches, there are other ancient artifacts, for example, a font made of marble for baptizing babies.

According to Father Alexander, during the Soviet period, the altar was covered with a scarlet cloth upon which there was placed a wooden cross. Such a modest decoration of the church grabbed the attention of neither the Soviet authorities nor marauders. However, even the priests hadn’t known what was beneath the cloth until a newly-minted senior priest occasionally looked underneath it; and he was amazed by his finding – surprising wall paintings and holy icons.

The Church of St. Vladislav of the village Subotniki is a true museum the items of which could be surely appreciated by many connoisseurs of art.