The Cathedral of St. Archangel Michael in Slutsk
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
Despite the long and rich history of Slutsk, only a few monuments have survived there. Some of them have been eliminated and destroyed over the course of time, the others have been severely damaged during the numerous wars and invasions that have befallen the Belarusian land. However, those that have survived deserve special attention.
The history of Constantinople Church
That was the name of the modern building of the Cathedral of St. Archangel Michael in the late XVII – early XVIII centuries. The church was constructed in Kopylskaya St. and was dedicated to Duke Constantine and Tsaritsa Alyona. It was made of wood, and was a remarkable example of the baroque architecture; it still attracts attention of historians and art experts with its unique appearance and harmony.
The composition presents three log-houses with the volumetric covering. They are surrounded with a small gallery that opens towards the middle log-house. In spite of the fact that object of folk architecture is deprived of ornate decorative fixtures, and its silhouette is strict rather than airy and graceful, the erection in general looks decent and stately.
However, the church had stood for a short in the area of historic town and it was carried closer to the equally famous Church of St. Michael as early as the XVIII century. It, unfortunately, has not survived to our days. Remarkably, after the abolishment of it in 1797, the Church of Constantinople got all its money and heritage. The same was true in the case of the abolishment of the Church of Saints Kozma and Demyan.
Constantinople Church got the name of St. Archangel Michael in 1798. It was the beginning of a new milestone in its history.
After the French invasion
In 1812, the temple was severely damaged by the army of Napoleon that had looted and brought about a half of the church sanctities. Fortunately, the church quickly recreated itself.
Up to the end of the XIX century, the church had a wooden belfry that at last was destroyed by the wind. A new three-tier church was constructed instead of the old one in 1880. It was created in tune with the whole design of the church. It gave the whole composition the then popular appearance of Pseudo-Russian style, and that is exactly what we see today.
The church was renamed cathedral in the 90-s of the last century.
Some interesting facts
There is another building in the vicinity of the entrance of the Cathedral of St. Archangel Michael. It is rather significant for the locals, where the Spiritual and Administrative Center of the Slutsk religionism, in the neighborhood of the editorial office of the well-known newspaper “Preobrazhenie”.
A small chapel in honor of the icon of the Mother of God is the first thing that visitors see at the entrance to the cathedral. According to legend, it was created in the I century by St. Luke; after long wanderings from Constantinople to Vyshgorod, it appeared at last in Vladimir-Suzdal area – at first, in Bogolyubsky Monastery, and then, in Vladimir, in Dormition Temple.
The walls of the Cathedral of St. Archangel Michael are ornamented with a mosaic panel with the image of that icon. Anyone can buy specialized literature or all possible church attributes within the chapel.
It’s interesting that the cathedral is the only one that has survived in Slutsk since the XIX century, though earlier there were 3 monasteries and 13 temples.