Saints Simeon and Elena Church in Minsk

The "Red church" in Minsk

This place is considered to be one of the most popular sights of Minsk among tourists. It is located near the Government House.

History of the Church of St. Simeon and Elena in Minsk

The appearance of the red church is linked with an ancient noble family - Voynilovich. Edward Voynilovich, who ordered to build a church, had two children and was an important political figure. However, Edward and his wife Olympia experienced the terrible losses - their son Simon passed away at the age of twelve, and then, their beloved 18 years old daughter Elena died.

By that time, Edward inherited all the wealth of his family. After the death of children, Edward and his wife donated all their money for the construction of the church. However, they made one condition - the church had to be built in accordance with their plan. After a while the capital's residents saw the project of architects Tomasz Pajzderski and Vladislav Marconi, invited from Poland.

The construction of the church was lasting for 4 years and 300 thousand rubles were spent (about 12 million dollars). In December 1910, worship service began to be held in the church. The church was decorated with three massive bells: "Edward" (named after Edward Voynilovich and weighed about 530 kg), "Simon" (named after the deceased son of Voynilovich and weighed about 310 kg) and "Mikhail" (named after a patron of the capital’s Archbishopric).

"Red" church in Minsk and the newest history of Belarus

However, in the Soviet period, the Saints Simeon and Elena church was desolated, though worship services in the church continued for another twenty years. In 1932, the "red" building belonged to the State Polish theater of the BSSR, and 5 years later the church belonged the film studio "Sovetskaya Belarus". Later, in 1975, the church belonged to the House of Cinema: the tallest tower was transformed into the Museum of Cinema, and the main room was divided into two large rooms.

Only in the late 20th century, in 1990, the church belonged to Catholics. Since 1996, sculptures and monuments were erected near the church. The entrance to the church is decorated with the bust of St. Mikhail, which symbolizes the victory of Heavenly Powers over Evil. In 2000, another monument "Nagasaki Bell" was erected near the building – in memory of all the victims of nuclear explosions.

Ten years ago, famous Edward Voynilovich was reburied in the red Catholic church. The Saints Simeon and Elena Church is considered to be one of the significant Catholic and religious monuments of Minsk. The building itself is built in the neo-Gothic style with bright features of Art Nouveau. This church is a landmark of the Belarusian capital.

Minsk sightseeing tour introduce you the Church of Saints Simeon and Helen

You can see the sights of the capital of Belarus and hear the history of its origin from the guide by joining Minsk sightseeing tours from VETLIVA. With our excursions you will get acquainted not only with the pearl of architecture of Minsk - the "Red" church, but you will see other equally beautiful sights of the historical center of the capital of Belarus: