The Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour in Zaslavl

In the XVI century the town of Zaslavl belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Castle of Zaslavl was erected in this place. The highest point of this castle is the Transfiguration Church, which was originally built as the Protestants sanctuary. Since civil wars were going on and on during this temple construction, the building possessed all the signs of a defensive construction, the fortified walls about two meters thickness and the 35-meter tower bell tower adjacent to the structure evidence it. Similarly, embrasures were located in the walls throughout the square, and the bell tower, which was the tallest building in this village, gave residents an additional overlook. Nevertheless, this church was transferred to the Catholic confession already in 1628 and was named the church of Archangel Michael. At the time when Zaslavl was passed into the Sapegas possession, the Dominicans monastery was settled on these lands. Actually, the Dominicans were the ones who converted the building of this sanctuary - the embrasures were removed and the decorated elements were added. In 1833, following the cancellation of the Dominicans Order, in memory of the Transfiguration church that was located and burned on these lands, it was consecrated under this name.

Zaslavl has been known for thousands of years. This town was mentioned for the first time in the historical writings, that belong to the remote year of 985 and unite it with Kiev prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich, who gifted these lands to his wife Rogneda and son Izyaslav. Nevertheless, this small town’s life can’t be called quiet. By 1159 it was a fortified settlement and the centre of the Izyaslav State. This town survived a large number of wars, and by the 13th century it had been completely burnt. Jan Glebovich, who was the initiator of the Transfiguration of the Saviour Church erection, called well-known at that time Enlightener and Misanthrope Simon Budny in Zaslavl. Upon his arrival in 1572, he was a preacher and lived for a long time on these lands.

With the advent of Soviet rule, the shrine, like most others, was locked, and the building itself was converted into a storage room. After the end of the Great Patriotic War the church was completely reconstructed, and in 1968 it was converted into a craft museum. Only in 1989 the shrine was returned to the Orthodox church again.

Today, the Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is named a historical and archaeological reserve, a true monument of architecture. A majestic tower about 37 meters height, which square foundation plasticly flows into an octagonal image, rises in the western part of this temple.

Nowadays, a huge number of tourists come to visit the spiritual centre of Zaslavl, hear the pure chime of the bells, worship sacred images, and admire the amazing beauty of Zaslavl nature as well.