In the Grodno region, a small village Zhirovichi is ten kilometers fr om Slonim. You will find the majestic Orthodox Assumption Monastery, unique architectural ensemble, well-known not only in Belarus but also many foreign countries.
The monastery has the highest status that granted to Orthodox churches – stavropegic - it means that the monastery does not subordinate to a local bishop. The monastery includes three churches, one temple, cathedral, belfry, educational buildings, and house of monks.
The Assumption Cathedral is considered the main building. It combines Baroque and Classical styles of architecture. The interior of the cathedral is decorated with old paintings. For example, under the dome, you will see the image of our evangelists of the XVIII century.
The Epiphany Church is the oldest object of the whole ensemble in Zhirovichi. A peculiar legend is connected with its location. According to this legend, in 1470 (according to other sources: 1473, 1480, 1494) there was found an icon of the Mother of God. The wonder-working icon was hanging on a wild pear tree and emitted light. Local shepherds who found it were surprised and decided to give it to nobleman Alexander Soltan. Soltan did not pay attention to the icon and put it his personal chest. Later, the nobleman decided to show the icon of the Mother of God to his guests but it disappeared.
What do you think where the shepherds found the icon again? On the same tree in the woods. Soltan thought about this phenomenon and decided to build the Epiphany church on the place wh ere the shepherds found the icon of the Mother of God. However, he couldn’t even imagine that miracles would occur again...
Almost a hundred years passed since the shepherds found the image of the Holy Mother of God. The Assumption Monastery became a famous place of pilgrimage. Religious believers from all over the world came to Zhirovichi. However, in 1520, the monastery was burned and the wonder-working icon disappeared. Residents were looking it for a long time - there was almost no hope. The icon was found intact, lying on a stone near the former monastery. Happiness and joy of the people knew no bounds!
Later, the stone became a throne of the temple in honor of the Apparitions of Our Lady. At the end of the XVI century, a monastery for men was built there. The wonder-working icon is surprisingly small – a child can place it in his hand. The icon is included in the list of the unique and significant icons of the world!
On a hill, next to the Assumption Monastery, you will see a small church of St. George, built in the XVIII century. Also, you can visit the majestic Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and St. Nicholas church.