Bernardine monks began their mission in Slutsk in the first half of the 17th century with the support of Samuel Oskerko, Mozyr headman. For the construction of the future monastery, he bought out part of the land next to his Slutsk estate, and in 1661 year The Bernardines have already set to work. As was often the case at that time, the first buildings of the monastery were wooden. The complex included a residential two-story building for monks, connected to a small church, as well as various outbuildings.

Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Slutsk
Modern view of the place where the Bernardine monastery was

With another prominent representative of the Oskerko family, Anthony, a church was rebuilt consecrated in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua. The three-nave basilica of baroque architecture in 1734 replaced the previous temple, but it still remained wooden. The stone church was erected by 1820, photographs of this particular building have been preserved in the archives.

Cascel of St. Anthony of Padua Slutsak
This is what the Church of St. Anthony of Padua looked like in 1917

The new temple did not have towers and was made in the classical style of architecture, somewhat reminiscent of Pruzhany. It was distinguished by an unusual figured pediment, along the edges of which there were small pinnacles.

Where was the Bernardine Church in Slutsk?
On the site of the white building there was a church
Where was the church in Slutsk?
Zdymak Tomasz Wiśniewski, 1941

In 1832, the Bernardine monastery in Slutsk was closed, and the monks were sent to Nesvizh. The building of the church was empty for several years, after which it was used as a regimental church, approximately until 1840.

Monastery of Bernardine Slutsk
the territory of the Bernardine monastery in a modern photograph

An interesting event influenced the return of the temple to the Catholics. In 1852, the old wooden farny church, as a result of which local believers had to be provided with a new area. The best solution that the then authorities saw was the re-consecration of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua.

What to see in Slutsk?

At the same time, the former monastic building remained with the military, who had a barracks here.

What to see in Slutsk?
preserved building of the monastery in Slutsk

Where was the Bernardine monastery located in Slutsk?

The church operated until 1933, after which it was closed. During the war, it was badly damaged and has not been restored.

Ruined church in Slutsk
1944, source: ebay auction

There is a rather interesting story. A flask with a heart was kept in the church Michael Hieronymus Radziwill, a prominent figure and the last swordsman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, who had possessions in these parts (Timkovichi, Radziwillimonty). He himself was buried in Neborov, Poland, but for some reason his heart remained in Slutsk.

What did the Bernardine church in Slutsk look like inside?
Interior and main altar of the church in 1914. Photo from the book: Żyskar FJ Nasze kościoły

After the end of the war, German archives with various lists and information were found in the cellars of the monastery. As in the case of Radziwill's heart, the location of this valuable relic is unknown.

In Soviet times, the surviving Bernardine corps and the ruins of the temples began to be used for the needs of the butter and cheese base, which operates here today.

Cascel of St. Anthony of Padua Slutsk

You can look at the place where the church and the monastery were located on the modern Krasnoarmeyskaya street, below is the point with the location on the map:

Slutsk is one of the most interesting cities in Belarus. You can see the building here the oldest school, former complex of the Troichansky monastery и Cathedral of Michael the Archangel.

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