The Church of St. Anne in Stolbtsy

Small Petersburg

Do you know about the location of the temple that became a savior for many ancient icons at the times of antireligious propaganda? Have you been to Saint Petersburg or do you want to visit it again? It is not necessary, because there is small Petersburg in Belarus. And it is not far fr om Minsk in the town of Stolbtsy. Here there is a temple wh ere ancient icons were hidden.

 The Temple Construction

According to the documents, the Temple of St. Anne was on the hill already in 1625. Some archival sources claim that the wooden temple was constructed in 1765. In those ancient times it was uniate. The temple was single-domed, the interior decoration was rather expensive: there were numerous icons and a gold plated altar. In 1825 Count Adam Chartorysky decided to build a new temple. The architect was invited and the considerable sum of money was appropriated for that purpose. Generally the temple was successfully constructed, and the Temple of St. Anne became a real tourist attraction.

On the model of Petersburg

The thing is that the architect was inspired by the sights of the northern capital of Russia – Saint Petersburg. The temple does not simply stand on the hill in Stolbtsy. The step staircase leads from the temple to the bank of the Neman river.

There you can make amazing photographs: against the background of the river that Belarusians call their breadwinner. Don’t forget to look inside the Temple of St. Anne. Although its outer beauty impresses no less than the inner decoration. The blue vaults in the traditions of classicism are reflected in the river and it looks as if they are swimming down the river.

The savior

The temple survived in its protogenic form up to now. No difficult times could destroy it. On the contrary, the temple was destined to become a real savior for ancient icons.

The Temple of St. Anne passed over bombing. In the 50-s of the XXth century the authorities destroyed temples everywhere in Belorussia, they ruined buildings, took away church plate, burned icons. Some icons were brought out and thus they were saved. The part of ancient icons was saved only because they were hidden in the Temple of St. Anne. Today some of them are still in the temple, and any willing person can watch them. For example, there are such icons as “Godmother and Child” (the XVIII century), “Our Lady of Czestochowa” (the XIX century), “Saint Anne, Joseph and Maria”, “Saint George”.

The mystery of the temple

Why it is the church on the hill located in such a prominent position became the hiding place for numerous icons? That question troubles many minds.

Perhaps, you will answer it. Perhaps, it remains a mystery.  In any case you will not regret going for the excursion to Stolbtsy to watch such a wonderful temple. You will understand how architecture can finely harmonize with nature. The skillful piece of work might inspire you to create something even more excellent. And you are sure to want to visit Stolbtsy, to follow from the top of the hill Neman below and the Temple of St. Anne behind it.