The Church of St.George in the village of Polonechka
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
In the Republic of Belarus, there are a lot of small settlements about which few people know, but on their territories, there are various architectural monuments which are worth looking at. One of such settlements is situated in Brest region. It is a small village Polonechkа.
The settlement with the population of less than five hundred people is situated on the Zmeyka River. The first mention about it comes from the 16th century. It is also known that once the village was owned by the Radziwill family who was the richest family in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Radziwills were the first in the state who received the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. It is natural that their dynasty had a lot of lands both on the territory of modern Belarus and on the territories of neighbouring states which included such well-known in the architectural plan towns as Mir and Nesvizh. The outstanding family left in the village such historical and cultural values as the Palace of the Radziwills and the Church of St. George.
The Church of St. George was built in 1751 not far from the Palace of the Radziwills. The building was made of wood which was the most available building material at that time. After the second partition of the Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth, when Polonechka became a part of the Russian Empire, in 1897, they began to rebuild the Church of St. George. At the Radziwills’ desire, K. Voytsekhovsky was the architect of the temple. The construction of a new building was finished in 1899. It was also built of wood that emphasized the uniqueness and beauty of the Neo-Gothic style according to which the Cathedral was built. In the exterior of the Church, there is everything that characterizes its Gothic style. These are both high lancet windows and buttresses made in the form of steps carrying rather a decorative function. Of course, there is such an essential attribute as a rosette window in the pediment. In addition, the main entrance is framed by two wooden towers with high hipped roofs and overlaid geometrical patterns.
The Church of St. George is a working temple of the Catholic diocese of Belarus. The interior finish of the Church is wooden and corresponds to the ideas of the Gothic style. The wooden altar with icons of the 18-19th centuries as a striking example of folk art attracts special attention. The central place of the altar belongs to the ancient image of the Mother of God of Malta, the image of whom is decorated with a golden crown. Inside the temple on its walls, there are two memorial plaques devoted to the Radziwills’ family which were made of cast iron. They are dated to 1829 and 1836. The integral part of any Catholic temple, an organ, also attracts attention. It is situated on the choir opposite the altar. Despite the fact that its appearance is unpretentious, but its history strikes. It was designed by the Vilnius master F. Ostromentsky in the city of Vilna during the construction of a Church in 1897.
Another special feature of the Church of St. George is that here was christened Ignacy Domeyko, a famous geologist, geographer, ethnologist and mineralogist who is the national Hero of Chile.