The Catholic Church of St Lawrence in Ushachi
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
Ushachi is a small town in the Vitebsk region. Since the XV century, it has a long history, rich in events.
The Church of St. Lawrence is the main attraction of the town, which brought him fame outside Belarus. The Catholic church is officially considered a historic landmark, even an inexperienced person is able to appreciate the uniqueness, "exclusiveness" of the church. It is eye-catching. The red brick building shines like a jewel in any season.
The Catholic parish exists in Ushachi since 1716. Jerome Zhaba, who owned this land at that time, gave land to the Dominican monks. They founded a monastery and built a church. The church was consecrated in honor of St. Lawrence. When the town was granted the Magdeburg law with the coat of arms in 1753, St. Lawrence became the patron and protector of the church and town. A key figure in the heraldic symbol of the town is St. Lawrence. By the way, since 2002, this coat of arms became official.
St. Lawrence was a real historical figure, belonged to the cohort of early Christian ascetics. He lived in the 3rd century AD - this is the period when people were executed for their faith. This saint did not renounce symbols of his faith and was burned alive.
Past and Present of the St. Lawrence Church
The Dominican monastery was abolished in the 1830s, so the church belonged to the Catholic parish, and in 1860 the parish was abolished too. Politics was more powerful than religion. For some time the building was used for the needs of the Orthodox Church. In 1905 in the Russian Empire, the manifesto was published, proclaiming religious tolerance. This manifesto allowed the Catholics of Ushachi renew the parish and they received the permission to build a new church.
The construction of the church took place in 1908-1913. It belongs to Neo-Gothic architecture. It is hard to confuse with any other church. High arched windows add the musical rhythm to the whole construction. Its façade once had two high bell towers. The church has more "gothic" appearance in old photographs. Nowadays, there is one small tower in the center.
And there’s nothing surprising: in 1932 the church was closed, destroyed - without life, care any building becomes dilapidated. After World War II, the church was not functioning. Only in 1994, it was restored and in 2001 the church was returned to religious believers.
Since then it has been restored due to the efforts of citizens and church, donations of private individuals and public institutions. One of its senior priests said half-jokingly: God and repair live in the church.
It sounds better than constant closing or destruction. Everyone should come to Ushachi in order to see this majestic building.