The Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Oshmyany

Oshmiany

Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

Grodno region, the Catholic Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Oshmyany

The town under the name of Oshmyany is striking in its rich history. Those lands were first mentioned in Lithuanian and Zhamoitsk chronicles in the mid-14th century.

Today Oshmyany is a fast developing town where almost all attractions are located in the very center. Sitting in a cozy cafe, it is so pleasant to enjoy a cup of coffee, contemplating majestic towers of the Temple of St. Michael the Archangel. Recently this church has been restored and nowadays it looks like new. This Catholic Church has a rich and interesting history, which began in the 15th century.

At that time on the place of the current church was a wooden temple, built on the funds of the great Polish king Vladislav Yagello. During the uprising of the 30-ies of the 19th century, that wooden temple was heavily damaged. Funds for the restoration of the church had been collecting for a very long time from alms of parishioners. And soon, after completing reconstructing works, the church opened its gates to the faithful.

In outward appearance, it was a rectangular stone building with a pair of square towers, which were as if built into the central rearguard. There was a small signature under the roof inside the temple. It was located above the altar, and a massive arch was added to the entrance. The spiritual part was enclosed with a fence on the similar massive columns. In the same period, chapels in Ogorodniki, Polyany and a chapel on the local churchyard were attributed to the temple. In the 20th century, the old church could no longer accommodate all its parishioners, consequently, a global reconstruction and territorial expansion of the church was started in 1900 thanks to the efforts of priest Kazimir Saykovsky and in accordance with the project of the architect Vatslav Mikhnevich.

Six years later, in 1906, the Catholic Church resumed its work. However, in the period of Soviet power, like many other Belarusian Shrines, the Church of St. Michael the Archangel was closed. And for 30 years, beginning with 1964, it had been a branch of the Vilnius factory of radio engineering.

However, in 1994 due to the joint efforts of the faithful and with the assistance of the local administration, the life of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel was again revived. Nowadays this temple is a three-naved two-towered basilica. Incomparable spiritual grace soars in the external decoration of the temple. The main altar is decorated with picturesque sacred images made of plaster. There are sacred images of John the Baptist and Our Lady of Sorrows in the right part of the altar, there is an image of St. Michael the Archangel from above. The external facade of the building is crowned with high five-tiered towers, it gives the church royalty and celebration.  

This Shrine is a brilliant example of the style “Vilna” Baroque. The five-tiered towers of a refined silhouette, towering over the square, are similar to two white candles. When entering the town of Oshmyany from any side, these towers are a great landmark for travelers. There is an inscription “TE DEUM LAUDAMUS” above the entrance to the Church. It is translated from Latin as “Praise You, God”.  This inscription gives inspired condition to the church facing towards the heaven.

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