Cathedral of St Michael in Orsha

Cathedral of St Michael in Orsha


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

The History of Appearance of the Cathedral of St Michael in Orsha

In the Vitebsk region, in the territory of the modern town Orsha, there is the only wooden temple in the town. The building is rather young, it was constructed in 1995, but it has already become a place where tourists come from different towns. In the same year the temple was opened for parishioners and travellers that are interested in unusual architectural monuments and their styles. The cathedral still functions.

Archangel Michael was chosen as the patron of this temple. He ranks among the most honorable angels in three religions equally: in Islam, Christianity and Judaism. According to the Book, Archangel Michael is recognized as the leader of the Heavenly Host and the guardian of the Gates of Paradise. He is honored by Orthodox Christians on 6 September and 8 November (new style).

The Description of the Cathedral of St Michael in Orsha

The building of the temple is rather original and unusual against the background of other temples and cathedrals. Without a peculiar dome and a cross at its top, it wouldn’t be clear at once what this structure presents. A rather dismal roof gives the impression that the build is designed in Gothic, but all connoisseurs of architecture will say that it is not so. The predominant style of the cathedral is Northern School of the Russian church architecture.

The artistic and architectural uniqueness of the temple lies in the use of important elements of wooden folk architecture. The elements of the cathedral combine simplicity, consistence and functionality. Another distinctive feature of this style, that is common for stone structures, is the absence of an excessive splendor both inside and outside the building. The matter is that carpenters that built through severe weather had their own vision for beauty. First of all, they took into account harmony and laconism of the building rather than delicate and complicated refinement of windows and walls that was common for many other styles. The Cathedral of St Michael made of wood is a bright example of architecture of this type.

On the basis of the cathedral a library and a Sunday school function now. Besides, here there is a spiritual center called “Rebirth”. Activities for attracting parishioners and educating them are going on.

The Cathedral of St Michael has been already included into a number of excursion programs around holy places of the Vitebsk region. Only in Orsha there are a lot of them. Tourists and travellers come here from all towns of Belarus, and even judges of culture and original architecture from the near abroad. Even genuine connoisseurs of architectural styles can’t remember a similar building to compare it with the temple.

Not far from the Cathedral of St Michael you can visit the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God that is a very important attraction and a valuable object of the town Orsha.

Map location


, Orsha , Belarus
  • Distance to airport: 190 km

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