The Church of the Angelic Mother of God in Mezhany village
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
Catholic churches are always architecturally interesting, especially if they have a curious but a short history. It is specially traced in small Belarusian locations where churches of this type become a veritable attraction and cultural center.
The history of the agro-town
The position of Mezhany contributed to the development of the village from the very beginning. It was in the immediate vicinity of the border of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Livonia (the territory of the current Estonia and Latvia). It is mentioned in the records of the XVI century. Today it is a part of Braslav district of Vitebsk region that is a center of the Mezhany village council including such nearby locations as Buzhany, Zybki, Krasnoseltsy, Novy Dvor, Pashevichi, Stankovichi, Martinkovichi and others (69 villages, country estates and farm yards).
The period when Mezhany village was in possession of the famous medieval dynasty of the Radziwills became another prominent milestone in its history. They predetermined the direction and proportions of its development. However, there wasn’t any significant shift in the growth of population of the village for the years of its existence. Today about two hundreds of people live there.
It was Y. Klos, an architect, photographer and simply a creative personality, who played a significant role in the history of Mezhany in the early XX century. Thanks to him, the contemporaries know what the village was like at that time, as he took a lot of wonderful pictures including those displaying the way of life of local people. Huts without chimneys, some examples of residential (and not only residential) structures, remarkable landscapes surrounding the area – all these became the subject of his works. Today we can see them in the State Historical Archive in Vilnius.
The construction of the church
The Church of the Angelic Mother of God was constructed a short time ago, in the 23-28-s of the last century. Surprisingly, the project of the church (that in its turn was a part of the local monastic complex) was carried out by the above-mentioned Y. Klos.
The church is an excellent example of wooden architecture of the XX century. The facade presents walls made of cants; the roof is covered with wooden laths. There are daylight openings of different shape in the walls; the towers rising above the whole structure also vary in shape.
Unfortunately, today we can’t see an aggregate picture of what there was less than a century ago. It is due to the fire of 1985 caused by a lightning strike. Of course, later, since 1992, reconditioning has been carried out in the Church of the Angelic Mother of God that aimed at a very accurate reproduction of the original architecture.
Nevertheless, despite the condition of that religious and historical monument, it is still worth visiting. In the near future, it is planned to add the Church of the Angelic Mother of God in Mezhany village into the program of main tourist routes including weekend excursions and religious and historical tours.