The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the village of Vistychi

The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the village of Vistychi


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

«Protected by the state» is a small sign on a massive wall of the old temple. The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is included in the register of attractions of the Republic value. It is recognition of its key role in the life of previous generations, its architectural and historical significance for present and future generations.   

More about the past

The Church began its history in 1748 as a church on the territory of a monastery of Cistercians. This monastic order was called in Belarus to struggle against Protestantism in the religious views of the population. The monks of the order were earnest in faith, diligent in work and ascetic at home.  The church built by them in the village of Vistychi was consecrated as Saint Sophia. It became famous for the miracle-working icon of the Mother of God of Vistychi.

There was a wooden version before the stone buildings, the remains of which can be seen now. It was short-lived because of the fires.

The building of the stone church is wonderful, monumental; it is a dominant of the architecture and landscape of the whole neighbourhood. Specialists classify its style as late Baroque with the obvious features of Belarusian Church architecture.

Massiveness, grandeur, a harmonious combination of roundness and angles of the base of the building and the side naves, the zest which is introduced by tall windows and columns as if cut the walls; inside there is a game with space and proportions are all characteristic features of the «Italianized» Baroque. It is a term from special literature.  Not the most sophisticated viewer notes simplicity and harmony; when you want to watch, to think, to comprehend and to believe. It is a touch to something high transmitted by previous generations to modern man through the atmosphere of the old Church.

Like many other monastic society the Order of Cistercians did not avoid the participation in political games, but the time was provocative, restless. The accumulation of national, religious and economic contradictions led to the uprising in 1830-1832. After its suppression the monastery was abolished and many of its buildings were destroyed.

The temple remained intact; and in 1866 it was handed over to the Orthodox Church and was consecrated again in the name of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross of Our Lord (that means gaining by believers a sacred, Holy thing for them – the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified), since then it has been known as The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

About the present in details

The Church had been falling into disrepair for a long time because the last restoration work was done in the mid-19thcentury in connection with the consecration of a new name. However a large-scale renovation of the temple and repair from the basement to the domes began in 2011. The dome has already installed and it glitters brightly in the sunlight, testifying to the Orthodox identity of the building.

The repairs are subsidized by the parish at the initiative of the rector of the Church father Anthony Pashkevich. He has already had one restored Church on his account. It is gratifying to see the increasing splendor and return to life, revival of the old temple. This is an evidence of preservation of historical values and growing spirituality of the nation.

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