The Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Holy cross in Minsk
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
An amazing Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Holy cross was built on the site of an old Calvary Catholic cemetery. Since ancient times, that place was meant for the Catholic nobility to be buried there and was considered to be a privileged one. Members of the old noble families and the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church were buried there. Later eminent representatives of Belarus, who had made a great contribution to the history and development of the national cultural fund, finished their life course with great honor there.
Located in a picturesque and attractive peaceful place, the Church of the Exaltation draws attention to its rich history. It has remained the place for all times, where believers were coming not only with prays and begging but also with their thankful retributions. The territory of the cemetery looks a little gloomy; however it does not bother tourists. Some graves are still topped with preserved chapels-tombs. The leaders of the Church and the artists, who took part in its decoration, are buried in the crypt under the Church.
Reports from the history
The Church was built on the site of the old wooden Church in Minsk in 1839. It was once built by monks of the Carmelite order. This Catholic Cathedral is one of the most famous in the history of Belarus and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the XIX century, it became parochial and was a branch of Minsk Cathedral for some time. The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy cross remained the only functioning Catholic Church in the city in 1930. Despite the fact that the building of the Church housed craft workshops in the postwar period, it was the first temple to be restored and returned to believers.
Now the Church of the Holy cross is a part of the historically commemorative area, a Calvary cemetery complex which, in addition to the temple, includes directly the cemetery and the entrance gate. This place has the status of an architectural monument of enormous importance for the Republic. It was forbidden to make graves there after 1967, but the cemetery became available again on a commercial basis at the end of the XX century. People who had been tragically killed in the massive crush in the underpass in Nemiga Street in 1999 were placed here.
The Church of the Holy cross was built in neo-Gothic style, a recognized national style of Victorian England, which came to us from the Middle Ages. The main part of the temple building is made of wild stone. The chancel, made in the form of a rectangle, the sloping gable roof, narrow elongated stained glass windows – all these characteristic features of the style have been borrowed from foreign architectural structures. The entrance to the Church is made in the form of Lancet portal. The main facade is crowned by a large square tower, separated into two parts by a cornice. Two side chapels were opened after the reconstruction, the altar in the left chapel was sanctified by Virgin Mary’s name, the right one was sacred by the name of Jesus’ Holy heart.