The Museum of the Brothers Hospitallers in Vysokoye

The Museum of the Brothers Hospitallers in Vysokoye


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

The representatives of the Order of the Brothers Hospitallers expanded their activities through the entire world, including Belarus. They called themselves “Do-Good Brothers” and were considered a monastic Roman Catholic Order. It was founded, by the way, at the beginning of the XVI century in Spain.

From Latin the word “bonus frater” can be translated as a “good person”. And truly every person being a representative of this order can be called like that. The main purpose of the Brothers Hospitallers was to care for the sick and all people in need. All of the Brothers Hospitallers worked at hospitals and took care of the patients. Many Brothers had a college medical education, but their main occupation was to heal the sick with herbs, especially concerning people with psychological disorders and suffering from nervous breakdowns. During wartime the Brothers worked actively at the army hospitals.

The Brothers Hospitallers helped the needy people in Belarus as well. One of their monasteries was located on the territory of Belarus, in the town of Vysokoye. Altogether the Order had five monasteries in Belarus: in Minsk, in Novogrudok, in Rakov, Grodno and Vysokoye. The monastery in the town of Vysokoye was built at the end of the XVIII century.

The representatives of the Catholic Order of Saint John of God appeared on the territory of Belarus not by accident – they were invited here by Aleksander Sapega. At the direction of the Lithuanian chancellor the Sapegas’ court architect – Yan Bekker designed a monastery complex project. According to its project a dwelling building for monks, a hospital holding 20 beds and Saint John’s Temple were located there. By the way, this architect  Yan Bekker was also the designer of the Sapegas’ reconstructed Palace in Ruzhany.

An inscription can still be seen on the temple’s frontal side, which indicates that the building was erected at the direction of the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania chancellor – Aleksander Sapega in 1785. Although the monastery was built solid, but it functioned only for 60 years. The monks,  having lived there for more than half a century, gained the respect and gratitude of the locals for such a long time. And they all disappeared overnight, it is still unknown in what way and where.

Since that event the hospital existed for some time without the Brothers under the aegis of the Soviets and soon was closed. However, that mysterious and enigmatic monks’ disappearance has been bothering the historians and the local residents, who are fond of telling stories and legends about the monk’s ghost to the guests. In their words, this creature has still been wandering along the local park paths, appearing in front of the curious people’s gazes at sunset. The ghost, which was supposedly seen at the beginning of the 2000 last time, was walking slowly along the banks and tirelessly looking at the monastery’s side as if waiting for someone.

Today only the dwelling building, where the monks had lived, preserved in Vysokoye. After the Great Patriotic War the building was used as warehouses and garages. This building, being of no art value, differs from others with its unique history and local legends and stories. All of these facts attract tourists from all of the regions of Belarus to the town of Vysokoye. At this time the former monastery’s building is offered for sale.

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