The Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Yuratishki Township

The Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Yuratishki Township


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

There is also a very unusual structure in a small township with a quite funny and amusing name Yuratishki. Its appearance is not similar to typical buildings of similar purpose. Probably, many guessed that we are talking about the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. This construction is unique not only due to its exterior decoration, but also due to its unusual history of appearing.

Vilnius Governor Albert Martinovich Gashtold held the position of Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 16thcentury. He was an initiator of the construction of an Orthodox church on the territory of Yuratishki. A very unusual project was designed for that: the place had to be decorated with a wooden structure resembling a boat. As a result, an unusual building appeared in 1532. It has been considered a rarity among the extant Catholic and Orthodox churches for over five centuries.

By the way, some historians prejudice the date of the construction (1532). There are versions that the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker was built only in the first half of the 19thcentury. Although it is 1532 that is found in the extant Church inventory. But 1840 is considered to be the date of the first rebuilding of the church, when capital repairs were carried out inside the building. The external decoration of the temple was also renovated. Then workers raised the walls, laid an additional stone foundation and put a new shingle roof. Thus, the temple acquired a new well-groomed appearance.

By the way, there is also an ancient Catholic Church in Yuratishki Township. Both the Catholic Church and the Church of St. Nicholas had a very difficult destiny, having tested the durability of not only the building itself, but people's faith in a higher power. After the enactment of Brest Church Union, the church, like many other Belarusian religious organizations, was given to the Uniates. And only in 1839 the temple was returned to the Orthodox.  

In the second half of the 19thcentury, a wooden belfry was attached to the Orthodox Shrine on the West side. After the beginning of the World War II, when the Germans occupied the territory of Belarus, the temple became a military hospital. However, the wounded who were receiving treatment there were not recovered and did not get well, and many even died. The Nazis wondered why it happened so. And everything was instantly solved when a miraculous appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary happened in the church. She said that while there would be a hospital in the church, any healing and recovery was out of the question. The Nazis were very afraid of such “miracle”, therefore soon they left the church and the hospital was moved into a nearby building.

Today you can find a lot of stumps around the church. They are reminiscent of those distant times, when there was an old manor on the territory of the temple. The owner of the manor was the famous Veronika Radkevich. Besides stumps, you can see here graves of German soldiers, which are reminiscent of the occupation of these lands in the early 20th century.

Indeed, the appearance of the temple is very different from standard constructions of Orthodox or Catholic architecture. However, this fact just adds even more uniqueness to this building and the entire Yuratishki Township.

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