Lutheran Church in Polotsk
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
The town of Polotsk is considered to be one of the most important cultural and, of course, historical centres in the Republic of Belarus. There are countless treasures of the Belarusian land in this town. The Lutheran Church, which was built in 1888, is one of them. It is one of the few architectural monuments in Polotsk that managed to survive after numerous wars and people’s illegal actions.
A wooden church used to stand in the place of the current stone sanctuary. Having gone through devastating historical events it remained intact, however. In 1988 about 850 Lutherans lived in Polotsk, so it was decided to build a stone Church instead of the wooden one, which was in a deplorable state at that time.
A prayer service was held by a pastor during the consecration of the Lutheran Church. Prays were read both in German and in Latin, and later in the evening a ceremonial lunch was held there to glorify the opening of the Lutheran Church.
The revolution brought some changes in the course of the great history and, as a result, the views on the religion had changed significantly. In 1924, the Lutheran Church in Polotsk was closed, and in 1930 a district Museum of local lore was moved there fr om the building of Saint Sophia Cathedral. During the Second World War, according to historical chronicles, the church services were resumed again. However, at the end of the war a cinema was located there, and then the sanctuary was converted into a warehouse for grain crops. Despite the fact that the first Protestant society in Polotsk was formed as long as in the XVI century in the process of reformation (consisting mostly of local wealthy citizens), the only visitors of the Church in the nineteenth century were ethnic Latvians and, of course, the Germans who settled in this town. The services were conducted in the German or Latvian languages.
The life in the Lutheran community was not always peaceful. In 1815, pastor Wenzel filed a complaint in St. Petersburg against the oppression by the Uniate priests who kept autocratic interfering with the affairs of Lutheran believers. They performed rites of baptism, wedding and funeral respectively. According to the 1897 census, 220 Protestants lived in Polotsk at that time. However, the creativity and prosperity of that small community allowed building a sanctuary at their own expenses, without any support of the state. It was a small, but fairly prosperous in the architectural plan building, wh ere Polotsk Museum of local lore is located now. The museum is considered to be one of the most important assets in the Republic of Belarus.
The exposition of the Museum in different periods included ancient manuscripts, collections of weapons, and many scripted books. In total, today there are more than two thousand exhibits there. These are various archeological finds, documents about Napoleonic battles, household items and printed publications.Polotsk is the town that lovers and fans of Belarusian culture should definitely visit. It is for those who prefer to have rest in the Republic of Belarus. This town used to be an ancient city of power; it still keeps the spirit of history and is of great interest both for residents of the Republic of Belarus and for tourists
Tours and excursions
- Moscow - Mogilev - Minsk (Dudutki) - Khatyn - Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve - Vitebsk (Zdravnevo *) - Polotsk - Molodechno (Herviaty, Golshany, Krevo) - Orsha - Moscow
- Days: 7