Saints Peter and Paul Church in the village of Izabelin

An unusual fate of Saints Peter and Paul Church in the village of Izabelin

There is an Orthodox church and a Catholic church in the village of Izabelin, which is in Volkovysk district. Both attractions are equally important for the residents of this settlement. The Orthodox and the Catholic churches are architectural monuments of the XVIII century. A lot of tourists come to Izabelin to learn about the village history and to see the local sights.

The title

Did you know that Izabelin village used to be called Petukhovo? It had such a name until the XVIII century when Ian Fleming arrived to those lands. No, it is not the author of novels about James Bond. Fleming, who lived in Belarus, was German by birth. He had a daughter Izabella, and he renamed the village from Petukhovo into Izabelin after her.

It became a Catholic church

So, it is clear with the title. Now we can go to look at Saints Peter and Paul church, which became a Catholic church only in the wartime. So the building itself had been built much earlier. But due to the fact that a lot of Germans came to Izabelin, a Calvinist church appeared in the village first, built in 1778.

There were also a weaving mill, a Uniate church and a synagogue in those days in Izabelin. During the Great Patriotic War, the Germans passed the Calvinist church to Catholics. The building became a church, but both Protestants and Catholics came to the parish in those days.

A charred building

The 60s decade of the last century was imminent for the church, when both Orthodox and Catholic churches throughout Belarus were used as warehouses or simply destroyed completely. Saints Peter and Paul Church was used as a warehouse. The temple was completely closed for parishioners. However, that was not the end of mockery of the temple: arson was organized in the building in the 80s. The church wasn’t destroyed entirely, but its building stood completely charred for ten years.

Of course, people needed a temple. But awareness of that came only in the 90s. So Saints Peter and Paul Church was restored and finally opened its doors to parishioners in a new form.

The fate of the Orthodox and Catholic churches

The Orthodox and Catholic churches receive parishioners and tourists in their walls nowadays. After all, what an interesting fate of these two shrines in Izabelin village is! St. Michael's Church was once a Catholic church, and Saints Peter and Paul Church was a Calvinist church. The traces of this amazing past are visible to this day, for example, that the church does not look like the majority of Catholic churches in Belarus. It is quite clear, because the temple was built by Protestants. That’s why there is no special solemnity or grandeur. The church outside is made very restrained, and the interior isn’t, in fact, so magnificent.

A visit to Izabelin

You can see it for yourself by visiting the village of Izabelin and walking through the gates of Saints Peter and Paul church. By the way, the fence is made of rubble stone. The temple itself is made in soft red colours with a red roof. It became so after the restoration and it remains to look like that today. The local Catholic inhabitants come to the church, but also a lot of tourists come to see such usual temples with such unusual fates. All this is interesting to know, and thus to discover new places for yourself.