St. Andrew’s catholic church in Slonim
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
Slonim is one of the most ancient Belarusian towns and a regional centre in Grodno region. Ipatiev chronicle says that this settlement has existed fr om 1252. Now about 50000 people live here.
The main catholic centre of Slonim is St. Andrew’s catholic church. The first-called Andrew is one of 12 Apostle. He is the first-called because he was the first one who was invited by Christ to service. Andrew followed Christ till the end of his life, he saw the Resurrection and the Ascension. The first-called Andrew was crucified in a Greek city Patry.
“The tale of Begone Years” presented Russian variant of apostle mission of Andrew in 1116. They say he went fr om the Crimea to Rome through Ladoga, went along the Dnepr. He stayed for a night at a place wh ere Kiev was built and he also visited Novgorod.
St. Andrew’s Catholic Church was built in Slonim in 1490 by the order of the King Kazimir IV Yagelon. The church was wood and it was consecrated 3 years later. In the end of the 16th century, it was reconstructed because of the idea of Lev Sapega. He also gave land to the parish wh ere there were a hospital, a school and a chapel with a cemetery. But the church was burnt down during the Russian-Polish War of 1654-1667. After that, service was held in a small chapel.
A new big stone church was being built in 1770 in Slonim. The building was over 5 years later and the cathedral was consecrated. But this time, service didn’t last for a long time: in 1831, the authorities closed the church as well as other catholic cathedrals in the country.
In the beginning of the 20th century, an artist restored the fresco with depiction of scenes from God’s Mother’s life. A new parquet and an organ were set up.
During the First World War, the church was ruined a lot but it was reconstructed after it. The service was stopped when the Second World War was finished. The Soviet authorities decided to close the church and to open storage there.
St. Andrew’s Catholic Church was returned to the catholic community in the 90-s when The USSR was broken and religious buildings started to be restored. It was consecrated again in 1993. It was restored and painted with fresco.
Nowadays the cathedral is far away from city centre. Its facade is painted white and decorated beautifully: deep niches, figure fronton and layer wall pier. The interior is of Rococo style. The niches above the entrance are decorated with woof sculpture of St. Peter and Pavel. The walls of the church are decorated with painting and molding.
The Catholic Church of Slonim is interested for pilgrims and travelers who like Belarusian history.