The Bernardiners monastery in the village of Sorochino

The Bernardiners monastery in the village of Sorochino


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

Only a few religions dominated in the territory of Belarus for its history. Catholicism and Orthodoxy have always been and still are the main ones. However, in addition to them, Belarusian people related themselves to Protestants, Franciscans and Bernardiners. Several large architectural monuments, including the most beautiful Bernardiners monasteries, have come to the present day. One of such monasteries has preserved almost in its original form in a small village of Sorochino, Ushachski district of Vitebsk region.        

The members of the Order of Bernardiners bear its name in honour of a world-wide known religious figure, canonized, Bernard of Clairvaux. In Poland the Bernardiners were considered the most popular type of monasticism and it differed strongly from other religious directions. Monks, in comparison with other God servants, were very pious, sincerely religious, but not fanatic at the same time. Most of the Bernardiners were highly-educated people, always radiated joy and happiness. It is due to these positive qualities that monks were held in big love and respect at parishioners.

The Bernardiners appeared on the territory of Belarus in the second half of the XV century for the first time. Then their first monastery was founded on money of an unknown merchant in the town of Kovno. Thus, for a few centuries missions of this monastic order began to appear in other Belarusian cities: Grodno, Polotsk, Nesvizh, Zaslavl, Minsk, Slonim, Mozyr and in Sorochino.

A greater number of The Bernardiners churches was founded in Vitebsk region. Now a monastery and the church of St. Veronica have preserved here. In XV-XVII centuries most of the buildings and structures were erected of wood, that is why many unique wooden structures haven’t preserved until the present. However they decided to build the Bernardiners monastery of brick at once, that was quite a costly enterprise. But it is this fact, which favoured it to be preserved for more than tree centuries. The building of the monastery is a vivid example of the Baroque style. Its date of foundation is 1726. There is a church near the monastery.

The Church of Saint Veronica is a three-aisled basilica with a transept and a semi-circular apse. The main facade of the building is decorated with two towers. If you look from the north side at it, then you can see a two-storied monastery adjacent to the church. Unfortunately, both the church and a monastery building are practically in a half-destroyed condition. The restoration works are not planned in the near future.

But despite all of it, the ancient buildings attract a lot of tourists to the village of Sorochino from all the country. The buildings are located almost in the center of the village and are considered to be the heart and soul of this place. The local residents walk here very often, and don’t stop admiring the greatness and beauty of the brick monuments. The half-destroyed monastery has become a favourite place of the guests of Vitebsk region as well. Theme photo sessions are often held in the monastery walls, artists and all people, who are not indifferent to ancient historical buildings like to spend their time here. And there’s nothing surprising, as the brick walls hide numerous mysteries of four centuries…

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