The healing spring in the village of Polykovichi

The healing spring in the village of Polykovichi

Polykovichi is a small but well-known village in Mogilev region. It is situated on a picturesque bank of the Dnieper. It is believed that the first people came to these lands in the period before our era, but in written sources Polykovichi is mentioned only in the first year of the 16th century. 

In the 16-17th centuries the village belonged to different owners, in the 17th century Casimir Sinitsky built here a beautiful palace, but the building has not been preserved to our days.  

The tutelary saint

In 1552 in the vicinity of the village appeared a spring, it was called Friday Spring, in honor of St. Paraskeva surnamed “Friday”. First it belonged to the head of Mogilev Stanislav Kezgaylo. There was a chapel near it. A wooden church toot here in 1186, it was consecrated in honor of St. Martyr Paraskeva and the relics of this Saint were brought here from Athos. Since then she has been considered the patroness of the church and the spring appeared in its surroundings in the mid-16th century.  

Saint Paraskeva is considered the patroness of girls and women; she is called the guardian of a family hearth and marriage. Therefore in the 19-20th centuries Mogilev region even had a custom. Every girl, who needed the help of this Saint in family affairs, should have made a pilgrimage – it was necessary to reach the miraculous spring in Polykovichi on foot.

In the early 19th century Polykovichi was a private property of Ivan Rimsky-Korsak, he put the local spring in order. By his order a grotto, covered with galvanized iron, was built of stone and a framework was put down in the spring. So the healing water from the spring was piped into a special pool of 100 buckets - thus residents of Polykovichi and surrounding villages could draw up the water here. In Rimsky-Korsak’s times here also appeared a new stone church of St. Paraskeva.

After him the spring went into the possession of the famous friend and colleague Nicholas II Alexander Meshnikov. He often came to the healing waters, and the Russian Tsar Nicholas himself, being a deeply religious man, with his wife and children repeatedly visited these lands and the Holy spring.  

But no matter who owned the spring, the road to it has always been available to ordinary people

People came here in different life situations, but it is believed that the healing water was especially helpful to person with bleeding, peptic ulcer, angina or periodontal diseases. By the way,  the Belarusian Institute of Geochemistry and Geophysics has recently conducted a study of the water from Polykovichi’s spring. The study has proved that it is mineralized at 25% and also contains many healing substances which today are used in balneal treatment.

In the Soviet time both the spring and nearby chapel were destroyed. The Church was closed in the 30-ies, the dean of the Church was killed at the same time. His body was found 17 knife wounds. In the very beginning of the Great Patriotic War local parishioners repaired themselves the wooden Church building, brought here their own icons – services were conducted here during the whole War. In the 70-ies the temple burned down. The locals had to seek money for reconstruction of the Shrine.  The money was donated by a citizen of Germany, and in 2000 the chapel of St. Paraskeva Friday was rebuilt near the spring. And a new stone Church was erected in 2012.

You will not be long to seek the spring in Polykovichi. Any local resident shows you the way. Moreover, Polykovichi is almost a suburban district of the regional center. Nowadays, the local healing spring is known in Belarus and far beyond its borders.