The Temple of the Ascension in Oshmyany

The Temple of the Ascension in Oshmyany


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

The Temple of the Ascension in Oshmyany, Grodno Region

The town on a river with the original name Oshmyanka is a small, picturesque village of Grodno region with a glorious history whose roots go deep into olden times. In times gone by, the rich territory of Oshmyany district often appeared to be a battlefield of the troops of the Great Duchy of Lithuania with the Moscow state or with the hostile Teutonic Order. Oshmyany were actively involved in all large-scale historical battles.

The first settlements on this territory date back to the XII century and are associated with one of the military campaigns of Yaroslav the Wise. Despite the fact that the town was a great trading center and was well-developed, it often had to ward off enemy invasions which badly affected the further development of Oshmyany. Since 1566, the town has got Magdeburg right, subjecting directly to the king and being thereby a free privileged town. After the Kostyushko uprising ended in a fiasco, and after one of the partitions of the Commonwealth, the town came in possession of the Russian Empire. Interestingly, the town was even captured by the army of Napoleon Bonaparte that ran away to their homeland through the town a short time later. The local residents retell by word of mouth an intriguing legend that Bonaparte hid the famous treasure during his escape in the outskirts of Oshmyany. It is still not found.

The small Temple of Epiphany made of wood has been in Oshmyany since the 40-ies of the XIX century. Though the temple was incredibly beautiful, but it was located in a very inconvenient place far from the town center, and it could accommodate a small number of parishioners. There were a large number of Orthodox believers in the town at the time. The senior priest often asked the town authorities to construct a larger and more spacious temple for Orthodox believers in order they could easier get into the town center. And the town authorities finally agreed, and in 1873 they ordered to lay the foundation of a new temple right in the center of the city.

The Temple of the Ascension opened its doors in Oshmyany ten years later. The temple was made of brick in the shape of a cross according to the project of the popular architect Polozov. But Oshmyany temple had a sad fate. During the Soviet period, a massive lock hang on the doors of the building, and all church vessels were stolen. The Soviet governors established a warehouse in the building of the temple; domes and a belfry were taken away. The temple began to work again as an Orthodox parish only in the early 90s of the last century.

The Temple of the Ascension in Oshmyany is a monument of architecture of Belarus of Old-Russian style that has survived since olden times and functions perfectly now. The temple is interesting because it has one main entry and two entries on each side. As to attractions, there is definitely something to watch in Oshmyany. All tourists who will be in this place should visit this cozy little temple in the town center.




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