The Church of the Holy Cross Discovery in Grodno (the Bernardine monastery)
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
The Church of the Holly Cross Discovery, alongside with the Bernardine monastery, is an architectural complex constructed in the XVI-XVII centuries in the styles of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. These ancient structures are situated on the right bank of the Neman and considered to be the true gem of the whole town’s architecture.
The history and the description of the sughts of Grodno
In the early XV century a part of modern Grodno came to possession of the Order of the Bernardins by order of Alexander Yagellonchik. As a result, the monks built a wooden monastery there in 1494. Grodno reached its peak in the XVI century: at the time, Stefan Batory made the town be an unofficial capital of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. His successor King Sigizmund III Vaza ordered to build a brick church on the basis of the Bernardine monastery.
The Vilno bishop Evstahy Valovich finished the construction of the church and consecrated it on 13 May 1618. This remarkable historical event is eternalized in the memorial tablet on the modern building of the church. However, after a little while, a fire outbreak occurred in the building in 1655. It severely damaged the church. It took almost five years to reconstruct the church: the altars were restored; it was agreed to build a chapel of St. Barbara near the church. One century later, the interior of the church was decorated with three additional altars of St. Mikhail.
In 1863, the monastery was eliminated and the church became parochial. Over its long existence, the church has suffered lots of changes in its exterior. The restoration works were carried out at different times so today the building of the church combines three architectural styles that is unusual for most Belarusian catholic sanctuaries. However, despite this, the image of the Church of the Cross Discovery presents a single composition possessing great artistic potential.
The interior of the Church of the Holly Cross Discovery in Grodno
The inner decoration stands out for its peculiar richness and elegance. Here one can see sculptural compositions of the Renaissance and an organ of the XVII century. The interior is ornamented with carving, moldings and fresco painting. There are images of the 12 Apostles on the ledgement from the southern side and you can see 12 prominent historical figures a little above it on the Northern ledgement. They proved their abilities in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The Soviet period also influenced the history and development of the church and Bernardine monastery. In the XX century, the building of the church was used, mildly speaking, inappropriately. It hosted a forensic medical bureau, and a forensic laboratory, and a sanitary-epidemiological station, and a regional house of public health education. In 1990, the building of the monastery was given to Catholics that established there the High Roman Catholic Divinity School that is engaged in training priests.
Photos and descriptions of attractions do not convey its beauty
That is why to see the magnificence of this ancient temple of Belarus personally it is worth to go for sightseeing tour with a visit to Grodno. The tourist portal VETLIVA offers tours across Belarus for every taste - from sightseeing tours and weekend tours to multi-day trips with a visit to the main Belarusian sights.
Thus, excursions to this historic place are of great interest, both for Belarusians and tourists from many other countries.