The Church of Sts. Boris and Gleb (Kolozha Church)

A picturesque bank of the most beautiful Belarusian River Neman is adorned with a unique architectural building, having been preserved till nowadays since the time of Ancient Rus. The unique ensemble of Sts. Boris and Gleb's Church and monuments on the Castle hill are included in the national historical and architectural reserve. The same ancient constructions are considered to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

One of the most amazing legends says that the famous General David of Grodno was buried near the walls of the Church of Sts. Boris and Gleb. That cultic historical figure was the right hand of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gedimin as well as he held the position of Grodno Castellan. David of Grodno did not lose a single battle to crusaders during the entire history of military campaigns.

The Kolozhskaya church in Grodno: the history of origin.

In addition to such a captivating fact, the Church of Sts. Boris and Gleb has a very interesting history. Researchers suggest that the Orthodox temple was erected in the time of the reign of the two princes Boris and Gleb Vsevolodkovich in Grodno. Accordingly, the church was consecrated in honor of their patrons Saints of the same names in the early 12th century. According to another version, the church was built not by Grodno Princes, but by their sons only in the late 12th century. The place for construction was not chosen by chance: natural springs well out on the tract of Kolozhan, and it was venerated by local pagans once long ago. That is why not only the Shrine itself is of great interest but also the place where it stands.  

There was a devastating fire in 1184. It almost completely destroyed the town's main church. In this regard, the Church of Sts. Boris and Gleb was decided to make the main Orthodox Shrine in Grodno city.  The church had actively been developing for 4 centuries, however, it fell into decay in the 16th century. The church had badly dilapidated for four centuries: the roof and the upper part of the walls went into disrepair. Most likely, that was due to the fact that the crusaders made frequent raids on those lands at that time. The legend, which was told by the Uniate priest Kulchinsky in the 18th century, says that Sts. Boris and Gleb's Church was completely destroyed in the 15thcentury. At that time, the troops of Moscow Prince Ivan III, during the Russian-Lithuanian War, were besieging the Old Castle, but it was decided to cover the church with sand in order to make it convenient to place cannons and shoot the castle. However, the researches, conducted a little later, do not confirm that story.  

The oldest church of Belarus is located in Grodno.

In the 16thcentury, the Church of Sts. Boris and Gleb was restored, however, it was heavily damaged a century later. By the end of the 17th century, the temple had neither windows, nor doors, and in summer the construction of the church was used as a stall for the livestock of local residents. Subsequently, it was established that the church had an unfortunate location because of the constant land subsidence, which is regularly washed away by the Neman. As a result, nearly a half of the church completely collapsed in 1853. A little later, the missing parts of the temple were restored with a wooden construction. Today the Orthodox Shrine is operating.

There are embedded special golosniki (resonators) inside the temple walls. They help to create unique acoustics inside the Church of Sts. Boris and Gleb. By the way, the whole décor of the temple is very original, that is why many historians suggest that Grodno had its own school of architecture in the 17th century.

The visit to the Kolozhskaya church is included in the program of many excursions.

It's no wonder that the visit to this miraculously preserved architectural monument is included in all excursions around Belarus with a visit to the city. The amazing sights of Grodno are worth a look, traveling around Belarus: the magnificent Farny Church, the Old Castle and the New Castle, one of the few preserved Lutheran churches in Belarus and many other architectural monuments, similar to which you will not see anywhere else in Belarus.