The Church of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica in the village of Shchorsy

The Church of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica in the village of Shchorsy


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

The picturesque agro-town of Shchorsy, which is in Grodno region, is very attractive for tourists who want to visit the Naliboki Pushcha, or to see the ancient manor house of the Khreptovich family. But the estate is not the only gem of this place. Not everyone knows that the Khreptovich family built also an Orthodox church in Shchorsy. Have you ever seen such majestic buildings in small settlements?

Though the building of the temple does not have any elegant and rich decorations, in tote, it looks strictly, simple and tasteful. The construction of a huge size is located in the very center of the agro-town.

Magnates built the church in gratitude to the Saint for saving their lives

The Khreptovich family opened a parish in Shchorsy in the late 14th century. There is a legend that tells an unusual story about how the church appeared in this area. It is believed that the first person of the Khreptovich kind promised to build a wooden church in the town and in this way to thank the Holy Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica for the salvation of his life in an unsuccessful battle against the Tatar army. And it happened so: a small church of wood was built in Shchorsy in 1386, where the congregation could pray to the miraculous icon of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica for a long time. The temple was burned down four centuries later, in 1758.

In 1770, another Khreptovich, Ioakhim, deployed a large-scale six-year construction of those years in Shchorsy on his own funds: a new brick Church of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica was being erected in the town instead of the burnt one. For that purpose, the architects Giuseppe Sacco, Carlo Spampani and Jakub Gabriel were especially invited from Italy and France. The masters designed the building of the temple in the shape of a ship with a sloping roof. A replica of the miraculous Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God has been kept in the Church since 1812.

The building of current St. Demetrius Church in different times belonged to different denominations

Initially, worship services were held there by Catholics. The building belonged to the Uniates after them. In the 1930-ies, the temple, which had been heavily damaged in the fire, was restored by Minsk Orthodox Church, however, the church was given to Orthodox believers only in 1988. By the 1960-ies, the church had been closed, the Soviet power used it as a gym, later as a storage of grain. As a result, the temple began to crumble. There was carried out a reconstruction in the late 20th century.   

The Church of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica from an architectural point of view

The church looks simple enough both inside and outside. The monumental construction combines 2 styles – Baroque and classicism. Parishioners are met by a high arched gallery at the entrance. Inside the church is divided into three parts: the entering one with upper choirs, the prayer hall and the altar apse, located in the very end. These are features of classicism. They are complemented with the Baroque elements expressed in exact proportions and the Basilica dividing walls into two tiers.

The Church of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica in Shchorsy is easy to find

It is located on the square of the agro-town at the junction of the main street. Moreover, the building is easily recognizable. It is very difficult to pass by a large white church with a square tower on the main facade, a gallery of arches at the entrance and high windows. This Shrine definitely deserves you to come in Shchorsy and visit the Church of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica.

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