The Church of the Virgin Mary Assumption in Derechin

There is hardly anyone who can challenge the fact that Grodno region is one of the most amazing regions of Belarus, rich in historical events, talented people and architectural monuments. Derechin village of Grodno region is also considered to be one of the most ancient places of the area. It was first mentioned in chronicles of the VI century. According to the Lithuanian public records, those lands were in possession of the boyar Dremut. 

The origin of the name of this village is also interesting. Many believe that it comes from a nickname “derechenya” that can be translated as “drachun”. But not pugnacious and troublesome people live in this picturesque place, on the contrary – deeply religious and tolerant Belarusians. The locals hold to this legend about the origin of the name of the village: in the remote past, beekeepers used special bee-trees for culturing bees that were popularly called “Dzyarechi”. Most likely, that was the way the village got its name.

This place has a very interesting history. Over some centuries, since the XVI, the location has changed several owners. The village reached its peak in the XVII century: a Slonim scribe founded there the Church of the Assumption and Dominican monastery. A school, a hospital and a library were established there on the basis of those institutions. And Derechin came to possession of the famous Belarusian noble family Sapegas by the late XVII century. Soon Alexander Mikhailovich Sapeha founded there one of the richest and largest residences of the Sapegas.

For some time the religious environment in the village as in the whole Grodno region was, putting it mildly, uneasy. However, inter-confessional relations between the local people were quite favorable. Jews, Catholics, Orthodox Christians and even Muslims lived there. There existed a synagogue, a church and a temple for them. The Church of the Virgin Mary Assumption, certainly, deserves a special attention.

A church for Catholic parishioners was founded in the village in 1913. Today this unique structure is a bright attraction of the village. The building is designed in the style of Neo-Gothic, and it stands out equally for its moderateness and majesty. The composition of the church is symmetrical and is decorated with a tower and three naves. The building is made of red brick.

The tower with a pointed steeple presents a central axis of the facade. In the corners of the stepped gable, one can easily notice small towers complementing the whole composition. The entry into the church is decorated with a high arch above which there is a window in the shape of a flower. Buttresses strengthen the walls of the building that in their turn are decorated with high arched windows with open-work grates and colored stained glasses. Looking at this architectural splendor, you can’t but be amazed with the majesty and luxury of the ancient church in the village of Derechin.

During Sunday and holiday worships, you can hear the sound of bells; everyday, the local residents and guests walk around the well-kept territory near the church. By the way, the countrymen try to maintain order not only in the court of the church but also inside it.