Bernardin Catholic Church in Slonim
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
In the middle of the 17th century, Konstantin Yuditsky gave money for building a monastery because he had promised that to his parents. There must have been nuns that lived in Vilno. In 1648, they moved to Slonim and settled in a wooden monastery built specially for them.
The cathedral was built twice
A bit later, there was one more building place, the Catholic Cathedral of the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception. The cathedral made up a united complex with the monastery.
The church was building for 6 years. It reminded castle towers of past centuries, the same ascetic decorations and massive forms. In 1696, Vilno Bishop Konstantin Bzhostovsky consecrated the cathedral according to Rome-catholic rules. But 500 years later, it got old and required a serious reconstruction. It was the time of Rococo style. The restoration not only gave fresh look and grace to the building but it let starting its modernization. A stone monastery was built to the old construction. In general it has features of Classicism, Rococo and Baroque.
There were 5 altars made by a famous craftsman Gedel. He also decorated the church inside. But that beauty was destroyed by fire.
The nowadays church was built in 1793
The building was supervised by the architect Ovodovich. In 1864, the Russian Emperior Alexander II prohibited excepting new nuns and there were no nuns any more. The building wasn’t looked after and it began to ruin.
It started to breathe again in 1907 when new sisters came there. That was caused by the order of Nikolay II that allowed taking up any religion. There was also a school for girls, that was very important for Slonim.
But piece at the monastery complex didn’t last forever. During the Second World War, two nuns were shot by fascists. When the war was over, Soviet Union authorities drove all nuns away. The building was switched to a hospital that still works.
Recently the church and the monastery have been returned to the Catholics
Now Bernardin Church in Slonim belongs to Rome-catholic Church. There nuns in the monastery and the Catholic cathedral of the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception provides service again. It’s opened for the parish.