The Temple of St. Michael the Archangel in Mozyr

The Temple of St. Michael the Archangel in Mozyr


Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries

The Temple of St. Michael the Archangel in Mozyr is the main Orthodox sanctuary of the eparchy of Turov and is called the cathedral. It is an architectural monument of late Baroque and was originally a church.

The historical background of the sanctuary

The appearance of the architectural monument in Mozyr is associated primarily with monks of the Order of Bernardians. In 1615 the king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Sigismund III Vasa donated funds for the construction of a convent for monks of the order in Mozyr. Three years later, in 1618, on the spot given for the construction there was built a wooden church and several houses where the Bernardians began to live.

In 1645 the lands of the monastery joined a part of a hill opposite the Mozyr Castle that the retired Colonel Stephen Lozko gifted to the monks. At the very time the construction of a stone sanctuary was started. However, in 1648 it was razed to the ground during the war between the Cossacks and peasants. Soon the restoration work was started but it was never completed: in the second half of the XVIII century the unfinished building was again destroyed.

The erection of a new temple was started after quite a long period of time, in 1745. The construction was associated with the name of the Askerk family who, wishing to perpetuate the name of the family and their service rendered to the country, began the construction of a church in Mozyr. The church was consecrated in the second half of the XVIII century, and all the building of the complex had features of Baroque. There was a crypt that served as a tomb for members of the family.

Gradually the monastic complex fell in decline. The uprisings that took place in the Belarusian lands in the XIX century became the most decisive reason for its closure and establishment of a local hospital in the monastic buildings of the Mozyr County.

In 1864 the church building was transferred to the Orthodox Church, and it was revitalized as a temple that was consecrated in honor of Archangel Michael.

The temple practically suffered during the First World War and the accession to power of the Bolsheviks. However, the years of Stalin's repressions were not merciful to the wonderful temple – between 1937 and 1941 it hosted a prison of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs where more than two thousand innocent people were sentenced to death...

In 1941 the temple was reopened, and in 1952 – it was registered by the Soviet authorities.

The architectural features of the Temple of St. Michael the Archangel

The church that is now a cathedral is a bright representative of Baroque buildings. The rectangular temple is divided inside by rows of pillars into three naves. One of them is central, the others are lateral. The shape of the cathedral is called Belarusian that was typical for temples-basilicas of the age of Baroque. Curved outlines prevail in the main facade. It presented a three-tier composition, on the sides of which belfries rose above. At the time they were rebuilt and acquired features of Classicism. The general appearance of the building amazes with elegance and plasticity, as well as its rich decoration -pilasters and cornices made of a thin profile. A two-storey Г-shaped building that was a convent in ancient times is attached to the temple.

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