The St Zosima and Savvaty Monastery in the Village Velikaya Krakotka

Velikaya Krakotka

Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

In the north-western part of Belarus there is the Grodno region. Here there is the village of Great Krakotka, which is popularly called "the Belarusian Switzerland". The legend says that in the XVI century on the site of the today Velikaya Krakotka there was a village that was destroyed by a terrible fire. At the same time glorious brothers by the name Cracot sailed down the river Jordanka. The elder brother chose a place for living and the youngest went on down the river and stopped in a different place. So appeared names of two villages – Velikaya Krakotka and Malaya Krakotka, later the villages joined together.

Today the Great Krakotka is one of the most amazing picturesque locations of the Grodno region attracting travelers fr om different corners of the world with its collection of natural monuments. Here you can visit three main sanctuaries: the Temple of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary, the Temple of the Truncation of the Head of John the Baptist and the St Zosima and Savvaty Monastery - a popular place of Belarusian pilgrimage and holding the main Christian service - the Divine Liturgy.

The monastery in Krakotka opened its doors in 2009, but its history began with the construction of the Temple of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary, erected in 1883. During its existence, the temple was repeatedly destroyed and looted, but in 1991, thanks to priest Alexander Borovskih and with the assistance of the countrymen monks, the sanctuary was restored. Ten years later near the Temple of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary there was opened a skete – the refuge of monks which over time has been flourishing and increasing of new clergy. And seven years later in the territory of Krakotka a monastery was constructed, named in honor of the Solovetsky wonderworkers Zosima, Savvaty and Herman. Parts of the holy relics were taken to the Krakotka monastery by the monk Mihey fr om the Solovetsky Monastery. The story of the three Solovetsky saints began with the monk Savvaty who decided to become a hermit and went to a desert island where he met by happenstance Herman that was also looking for peace and silence. Together they built a sanctuary wh ere they lived laboring and praying … After the death of Savvaty, God sent Herman another associate – young Zosima with whom they built a temple in honor of the Transfiguration and opened a monastery and many cells.

The St Zosima and Savvaty Monastery in Velikaya Krakotka there are a chapel, a carpenter's workshop wh ere craftsmen make household utensils, icons, boxes for donations, icon shelves and candle boxes. The monastery has a large apiary - beekeeping is an additional activity of the monks that produce honey for meal and wax for making candles.

In the monastery you can see the icon of the Solovetsky saints with embedded gold capsules of relics and an icon of Panteleimon the Healer. The main sanctity of the monastery is the icon "The Quick to Hearken".

In the picturesque forest on the territory of the Temple of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary, you can see a holy spring in honor of the Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John. The spring has healing powers. According to the legend, the water helps the blind to see and cures stomach diseases.

You can reach the St Zosima and Savvaty Monastery by bus which departs from Slonim and will take you directly to the glorious village of Great Krakotka.

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