The Temple of St Nicholas in the Village Ikazn

The Temple of St Nicholas in the Village Ikazn


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

Ikazn is a small village in the Braslav district of the Vitebsk region. It was first mentioned in 1499. The name of the village Ikazn can be translated as “a window” and it takes its origin fr om the lake of the same name near which the village is situated. The countrymen say that if to climb the highest point, one can see what is happening abroad that is not far away from the village. Whether it is so or not, you can make sure only with a visit to Ikazn! 

These lands were in possession of Ivan Sapieha. A short time later he constructed there his estate by decree of the duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Alexander Yagellonchik. However, in 1515 it was burnt by the Moscow troops. But the Sapiehas did not give up and constructed again the estate and the village. During three centuries the territories of Ikazn were ruled by the Sapiehas, and in 1812 Russian Emperor Alexander I positioned there his headquarters. Therefore, the village was burnt by the French troops during the war of 1812. The castle of the Sapiehas was burnt during the Great Nordic War, and alongside with it the whole village was also burnt. It took a lot of time to restore it.

The Orthodox temple in the village was constructed in Old Russian style only in 1905. Up to 1881 on that site there was a wooden Uniate church that was demolished. Somewhile the land was empty, and then the construction of the Orthodox temple was started. Emperor Nicolay II contributed some part of money from the State Treasury to the construction that was rare but honorable at the time.

In 1905 the temple was consecrated in honor of St Nicolas the Wonderworker, and there was held the first service. The Temple of St Nicholas in the village Ikazn was built in order to strengthen the Russian Orthodox faith in north-western regions.

In architectural terms the building of the temple is made of brick and looks like a square with a small house joined to it that now serves as a church shop. The composition of the tower is completed with the most beautiful belfry. The doors and windows are arch-shaped, that makes the exterior and interior of the temple look incredibly beautiful.

In 1966 the Temple of St Nicholas was closed. The building was used as storage in order not to neglect it. All ancient icons that were kept in the temple were sent to Vitebsk wh ere they are still kept. In 1990 it was agreed to restart the activity of the temple, but the transmitted antiquities didn’t come back. Now the temple still functions; the parishioners and countrymen maintain order both outside and inside the building.

The Temple of St Nicholas is recognized as an architectural monument of the early XX century, historical and cultural property of our Republic. The temple attracts tourists not only from Belarus but also from near- and far-abroad countries. It is especially popular when people come to rest at the Braslav Lakes.

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