If you had to travel along the Belarusian roads, then you would certainly notice the cleanliness and the beauty of landscape of this way. To go to Vileika is a big pleasure, because in summer everything is buried in verdure, in autumn the ground is covered with colorful foliage, in winter all trees are covered with snow and spring is a time when everything starts to live life to the fullest. In the desert you won’t be able to feel seasons changing. But in the desert will be a different type of feelings.
Mary of Egypt
What is the connection between Belarus and the desert? Surely you are at a loss and will ask this question. The ways sometimes are surprising and unpredictable. The matter is that in Vileika there is the Church of St. Mary of Egypt. This is the only temple in Belarus, named after this Saint.
At the age of twelve Mary was harlot and lived an extremely dissolute life. But one day, everything changed when she got into Jerusalem to the temple of the Holy Sepulcher. Mary started to pray to the Virgin Mary; later on she went to the desert to live the rest of her life as a hermit in penitence. Mary of Egypt repented and spent for over 47 years in the desert.
In its original form
Why the temple in honor of the Saint appeared in Vileika, remains unknown. But there is accurate information on who donated money for the construction of the temple. The temple remained in the previous form to this day. Old photos of the church and archives are treasured by employees of the museum. It is really worth visiting! But first, visit the Church of St. Mary of Egypt.
It is quite easy to find it in Vileika, because the church is located at Lenin Square, in the heart of the city. There are a lot of flower beds, fountains, lawns around the church, so here you can walk for miles and miles and enjoy the beauty of the building. By the way, the time passed quickly, but you won’t get lost in time for sure. It is surprising and unusual, that the church was originally built with the clock. It is known that 11 500 silver coins were given for the construction of the temple. The money was donated by the gentleman of the monarch's bedchamber Apollon Redkino. But the money for the clock was donated by the local residents of Vileika. The church was erected to commemorate the Russian soldiers who died here during the uprising of Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski, also known as Kastuś Kalinoŭski. The consecration of the church in honor of St. Mary of Egypt was held on the 22nd of August, 1865. Church doors are opened today. Tourists and local people come here with a great pleasure.
For all times
The size of the church is quite small; it includes also a refectory, a prayer hall and a bell tower. Church bells’ ringing is heard in the neighborhood of Vileika, as it was 100 years ago. As before, people go to the temple to light a candle to remember their loved ones, to honor the memory of people, who already have departed from life.
Many tourists are surprised that church has the clock, because it is so unusual for Belarus. There are no more such temples in other Belarusian cities. Thanks to local residents of Vileika, a temple with clock was erected in ancient times, which is a holy place for the citizens, as well as a tourist attraction in Belarus for all times.