Trinity Church in Zelva

Zelva

Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

The regional center of Zelva (Grodno region) was famous once for its Annensky fair. Nowadays, the hallmark of the town is Holy Trinity Church – the neo-Gothic temple, which stands on the street of the 50th anniversary of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (Komsomol). 

How many churches were there in Zelva? 

Catholic parish in the town of Zelva appeared at the beginning of the 15th century (1407). Some informational sources say that the temple was made of wood at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1614, a stone church made of the Prussian brick was built, the construction of which was financed by Lev Sapega. That building was completely destroyed during the Northern War.

The third church was erected in Zelva in 1743, and Antoniy Sapega donated money for its construction. But even that church didn’t resist. After World War II, only ruins remained of it.

There is also evidence of the construction of the stone church in 1828 on the site of the dilapidated wooden temple. However, the building permit was obtained only after 30 years. Though in 1866, already built Uniate temple was given to the Orthodox Church (according to another version, the Orthodox Church was located in a different place – where now the temple of the Holy Trinity is located).

Finally, a new brick Church of the Holy Trinity was built in Zelva in 1913 (by an architect Yuzef Pius Dzekonsky) and is still a decoration and a spiritual center of the urban settlement.

As in the Middle Ages

Zel'venskiy church is from 2009 in the list of historical and cultural heritage of Belarus. This two-towered three-nave church with one apse is performed in Neo-Gothic style. The dominant features are bunk towers with conical spires.

Entrance to the temple is designed as an open gallery with wide semi-circular and narrow lancet openings. The walls of the main volume and the five-sided apse are reinforced with buttresses and pierced with lancet windows. The interior is divided with six octagonal columns. 

Five interesting facts from the history of the church in Zelva 

In the 1950s, in the era of Stalinism, the church of the town of Zelva was closed and was used as a shop and storage space of collective farm named after Lenin.

Trinity Church was returned to Catholics in 1989. Only the crucifix and the figure of Our Lady of Lourdes, which was perceived by believers as a miracle, were preserved from the interior decorations. The church was consecrated again in 1989.

Colorful stained glass windows with the figures of saints are installed in the renovated church. But the electronic organ did not take on in the church: it went out of order after a lightning strike. After that, a new lightning rod was installed at the churchyard, and a new organ was bought.

In 2013, Holy Trinity Catholic Church had more than 1, 150 parishioners, including 150 children, who attend school at the church. The Mass was conducted in Belarusian language. 

100th anniversary

In 2013, Holy Trinity church of Zelva town celebrated its 100th anniversary. The celebration on the occasion was attended by Metropolitan of Warsaw Cardinal Kazimezh Nych, Grodno Biskup Aleksandr Kashkevich, numerous representatives of the monastic Order of Claretians, many priests and believers.

As part of the anniversary, a memorial sign was consecrated at the site of the former temple, which, by the way, was destroyed during World War II. Parishioners prayed in front of the five images of the Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn. The children organized an exhibition and a theatrical performance dedicated to the history of the temple.

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