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The Church of St. Alexei in Ivenets Township

Ivenets

Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

The Catholic Church located in Ivenets Township is a monument of architecture of the 20th century. It was built during 1905-1907. It is made in neo-Gothic style as classical buildings in Western Europe. At the end of the last century it was included in the list of historical and cultural values of Belarus.  

The history of the Church

Shortly before the Russian Empire began to rule the territory of Belarus, two churches operated in Ivenets: the Holy Trinity Church and the Church of St. Michael the Archangel. During the mass closure of religious buildings, both churches suffered the same fate in the period of 1868-1869. Both Holy places stopped their work.

Later both the Holy Trinity Church and the Church of St. Michael the Archangel were transferred to the Orthodox Church. Catholics lost the last hope in the service of God, being in distress.

The situation in the town changed only in the early 20th century. In 1903 regular services were held in the chapel located on a Catholic cemetery. And a year later the authorities got a permission to build a new Catholic church in the town.

It was erected not far fr om the Catholic cemetery to replace an old wooden chapel. The Church was named in honor of Alexei, the Patron of the Prince, in acknowledgement of the building permit. It took 3 years to build the Church. In May 1905 the cornerstone was consecrated, and in December 1907 the Church itself was consecrated as well.

Michael Gotovsky was the architect who built the temple, assumed as a basis the draft of the Vilnius St. Anne's Church. That’s why he used red brick for the construction of the church, and the style was neo-Gothic.

The architecture of the Church of St. Alexei

The neo-Gothic style can be seen in the external appearance of the temple.  The main features of the building are the Latin Cross, having a five-sided apse with rectangular wings of the transept. These elements are far beyond the walls.

On the façade there is a bell tower. It is two-tiered and tetrahedral. The front door is decorated with a lancet arch and above it there is the main symbol of neo-Gothic, a rosette window.

The internal space is adorned with art carving and painting. The rich decoration of the altar and the surrounding space say that the artist did his best over his creation.  The underground dungeons are the burial vaults where the Plevako family lies, as they owned the town during the construction of the temple.

The fate of the Church since the mid-20th century

In 1947 the Church was closed and services were not conducted there. It has been standing in the center of Ivenets for long 20 years. In 1962 an empty building was handed over to the Minsk State Library named after Lenin. The management of the institution placed the archive in the walls of the Church, wh ere they accumulated books and scientific works of employees of the library.

Only in the mid 80-s of the past century the religious tried to regain the Shrine, as at that moment there were not similar buildings in Ivenets. The Church was handed over to Catholics in October 1988 and a year later it was consecrated.

 

In the early 90-s priests of the Franciscan order moved in the Church of St. Alexei. And nowadays they conduct their services in the walls of the Church. 

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