St. Tikhon’s Church in Vilejka

St. Tikhon’s Church in Vilejka


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries


 Vilejka is the administrative center of the Vilejka district, Minsk region. The distance from the city to the capital of Belarus is 93 kilometers.


 Earlier it was thought that the first mention of Vilejka dates back to 1599. However, recent researches have shown that the settlement was founded in 1460. In 1793 Vilejka became a part of the Russian Empire. It happened as a result of the Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1795 Vilejka received the status of county town, and in 1796 the city acquired its own coat of arms.

The majority of city’s buildings were severely destroyed by fire in 1810 and during the war in 1812. Following these events, large-scale reconstruction of the city was carried out. Thus, most of the historical buildings of modern Vilejka are the constructions of the late 19th- early 20th - century.

In November 1917 Vilejka was under the authority of councils. However, in 1918, German troops came to the city. After World War I Vilejka became a part of Poland. In 1939 the Western Belarus was liberated, and the city became the center of Vilejka region. After the Second World War, it became the administrative center of Molodechno region, and in 1960 of Minsk region.


Even at the end of the 19th century the population of Vilejka was 3 560 people. Nowadays, more than 26,830 people live in the city.


Vilejka offers plenty of attractions. One of the most visited sites by tourists is St. Tikhon’s Church. The building is situated on the outskirts of the city. Its building lasted for a year since 1995. The style in which the church is built is identified as ancient Russian architecture. Thick walls of spacious building are whitewashed from the outside. There are narrow window openings. On the dome of the church an Orthodox cross is installed. The interior of the church is concisely combined with moderate appearance. Inside the walls of the building are decorated with icons and frescoes.

There are two of 19 churches that were erected in honor of St. Tikhon on the territory of Belarus. Sixteen churches were built in Russia and one in Tatarstan. Orthodox Church celebrates the day in memory of this religious figure three times a year: on the 7th of April 7, on the 9th of October and on the 18th of November.

St. Tikhon before entering the church was Vasily Ivanovich Bellavin. He was born in 1865 in the family of a clergyman. After graduating from the Pskov Seminary, he got an education at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. He received name Tikhon in 1891, when he took the monastic vows. St. Tikhon got over a lot of difficulties during his religious activities: from travel to North America to criminal prosecutions in his home country.

The personality of St. Tikhon is of great interest, since the years of his Orthodox Church governance occurred at a very difficult period in the life of the Russian Empire. St. Tikhon became the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in 1917.

For his difficult fate and self-sacrificing
work St. Tikhon was canonized thanks for the request of the Bishops' Council of
Russian Orthodox Church in 1981.

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