Trinity Church in the Village of Benitsa
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
You will find the village of Benitsa 20 kilometers from the town of Molodechno in Minsk Region. This ancient Belarusian place, founded in the 15th century, has never been inhabited by thousands of people, but the history of this settlement is quite rich. Fleeing from Moscow, Napoleon stayed here for a while. World War I and II caused destructions to this land. Like many Belarusian towns and villages, it belonged to different states.
Since the first half of the XVII century, Benitsa belonged to the noble family of the Kotsells, whose representatives built a Bernardine monastery and Catholic church in 1704.
The Legend of the Appearance of Trinity Church in Benitsa
At the very beginning of the 18th century, Vitebsk commandant Mikhail Kazimir Kotsell traveled with his family from Benitsa to Oshmyany. By an absurd accident, just when a little daughter of the Cotsells was in the carriage, horses jerked forward. Frightened parents thought that their child could die and did not know what to do. Then Mikhail Kotsell fell to his knees to pray to the Mother of God. According to a legend, horses stopped at the same moment and the nobleman's daughter was safe and sound.
Grateful for saving his child, the father promised to build a church where that accident happened. A year later, the construction of the Baroque style church began in Benitsa. The Kotsells invited an architect from Italy.
The construction of the church was completed in 1704. As soon as the church was finished, it was given to the Bernardines. Monks built a monastery near the church.
After that, the residence in Benitsa became the most important place for the Kotsells - the nobles spent most of their time there. The same Italian architect built a family palace there. According to the fashion of those times, a greenhouse, garden, and park with ponds appeared there.
The Further Fate of the Trinity Church in Benitsa
The liberation revolt in 1830-1831, which affected Benitsa, was suppressed by the authority of the Russian Empire; the monastery closed. The building of the church was given to the Orthodox church in 1854. 10 years later, Pokrovskaya Church was built nearby. The church returned back to the Catholics only in 1919.
Worship Services in Trinity Church Ended in Benitsa Forever
The Soviet atheism showed all its rigidity towards religion after the war. Catholic and Orthodox churches of Benitsa were closed in 1948 and the buildings were used as warehouses.
A crypt of the Catholic church suffered as well. In the dungeons, there were the tombs of the Kotsells and Shvykovskys, who once owned Benitsa. The crypt was looted and destroyed.
In the early 2000s, the restoration works began in the church, at the same time inner walls were repaired. But nowadays, though the sign "protected by the state" hangs on it, the church is completely abandoned. The building is in bad condition, as well as gate and stone fence.
A path from the road to the gate and entrance of the church says that the church is not forgotten. The half-ruined Trinity church in Benitsa is a local attraction.