The Temple of St. Peter and Paul in Ruzhany

The Temple of St. Peter and Paul erected in the urban location of Ruzhany (Brest region) is a monument of Baroque architecture. It is considered that the building was built in 1675 that is confirmed by the sign on the facade of the erection.

The history of the construction of the Temple of St. Peter and Paul

Initially in 1639, Marshal Kazimir Lev Sapega built a temple with Basilian Monastery on the site of the future sanctity. Duchess Christina Mosalskaya that was the owner of Ruzhany, reformed the building on the model of Uniate in 1675. The temple had already been made of stone with the features of Italian style by 1781. It was managed due to the efforts of the Sapega Family’s architect Y.S. Becker. Duke Alexandr Sapega provided funds for all building works. It should be mentioned that the laying of the foundation stone of the temple was held as early as in 1762; however, the construction was started only ten years later, and it had been completed by 1778. Proto-Archimandrite Porfiriy Vazhinsky consecrated the temple in honor of the Apostles Peter and Paul by decree of Metropolitan Yason Smogorzhevsky in 1781.

The architectural features of the Temple of St. Peter and Paul

As the project of Becker almost completely coincides with the modern design of the building, this equates to view the absence of any serious exterior changes during the whole existence. There was installed a dome on a small cylinder above the altar part in 1875.

The facade of the building with a quadrangular belfry is oriented towards the east whereas the apse with the altar part, baptistery and vestry – towards the west. Such a location could be explained by the fact that the construction of the temple was started after the appearance of the church in the western part of the square. The Sapegas decided to erect a Uniate sanctity from the opposite side of the selling square (at the present time – Square of 17 September) for the proper architectural composition.

What did the Temple of St. Peter and Paul look like?

The first inventory of the temple took place in 1834; it was carried out on account of the elimination of the monastery and its fund. The wooden ceiling was covered with plaster, and the cornices had a flat oval shape. There were opened a painting on the theme “The Transfiguration” over the space of the main hall, and “Lord of Sabaoth” above the altar part. There was designed a shield in order to save the plaster and paintings, however, according to the inventory, “lots of paintings were damaged by water”. In the altar territory, there was a black tablet with inscription made by the artist Fusgort who, appearingly, was the author of the paintings.

The interior of the Temple of St. Peter and Paul

The covering of the main hall presents a mirror vault. The painting “The Transfiguration” was renovated after the fire of 1895 and reconstructed in the early XX century. There are medallions with the images of the Apostles on the left and the right from the apse that is separated by the wooden carved iconostasis. There is an icon of 1865 inside the building. It was performed on the board with the ornament “Hodegetria” (1648). According to numerous assumptions, it could save the temple building from the fire of 1895 that had destroyed almost whole Ruzhany.