All Saints Church in Turov

The ancient town of Turovremembers the centuries of former greatness. It is first mentioned in chronicles in 980. Since then, it was the center of the Principality, religious and political center, belonged to different countries and different administrative units, was destroyed and rebuilt again. That land gave birth to prominent statesmen and scholars, scientists and theologians.

There is no need to look for flamboyant temples so that to touch history. It is enough to come into an old modest Orthodox Church in the city center. Vsesvyatskaya – it is called like that, with the official name being All Saints Church. It means that it is consecrated in the name of all the saints, known and unknown, having a name and never mentioned by a name.

The church is wooden; it was erected in 1801-1810 by Archpriest Antony Loyko. It is officially recognized as a monument of folk architecture today.

All Saints Church have survived, having endured the ordeals of three great wars:

  • the Patriotic War of 1812,

  • the First World War,

  • The Great Patriotic War.

Over many years of its existence, it had never burned. Only the roof was a little changed (from the hip roof into gable-roof) and the bell tower was attached with an onion dome and a cross. After 1945, it hadn’t functioned for some time – the premises served as a warehouse – and resumed the services in 1980.

In terms of structure, it is a standard religious building. Once it was a cemetery church, it served mainly for funeral services. Now the church is neatly painted sky-blue, the cemetery is landscaped. The services are different, including liturgies.

Though the church is small, modest, without pompous decoration, it holds great revered shrines, with which little can be compared, it receives believers’ pilgrimages from all over the country and abroad.

Turov Saints’ images should be mentioned among the sacred values of the Church, such as: Saints Cyril, Lawrence with a particle of his relics and St. Martin of Turov. The church keeps the icon of St. Nicholas, exuding myrrh, the icon of St. John of Korma with the relics of a particle, the other images.

As a sign of respect to the memory of Prince Konstantin Ostrozhsky, a prominent statesman, a devout Christian, born in Turov, a memorial sign with his name is established 10 meters from the church entrance.

But the main attractions of the church are two-meter stone crosses with smoothed over time corners, almost a meter in the transverse dimension. Believers call them “Papa” and “Mama”, decorate with flowers, appeal to them with requests and prayers, consider them healing of any ailments.

According to the legend, there were 12 crosses – the number equal of the apostles. They sailed on the waters of the river from Kiev in the year of the Christianization of Rus. They sailed against the stream and, according to the legend, were sent by Prince Vladimir. Some crosses were lost; some of them were destroyed at the behest of authorities during the period of atheism. Some were drowned in the river waters.

Time passed, and two of them emerged. Believers carried them to All Saints Church and installed there. Now it is the main treasure of the church. A sacred procession is made every year on Elevation of the Life-Creating Cross to them.

The Orthodox Church of All Saints is one of the gems among churches and cathedrals of Belarusian lands. In fact, it personifies the most sacred in faith: modesty, tolerance, serving to God, faith and prayers miracle.