Near the Grodno Regional Drama Theater there is an interesting building with a rather unusual pediment. Now a branch of Priorbank is located here, but earlier there was a Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, built at the monastery of the Carmelite order.
The strict monastic order of the Carmelites came to the territory of Belarus in the middle of the 17th century. There were not as many monasteries built as, for example, Basilian or Bernardine ones, but there were still about 10 of them. Grodno was considered one of the largest. Also worth highlighting Gluboksky, Mstislavsky и Zasvirsky – the temples of these monasteries have survived to this day.
The original church and monastery of the “barefoot order” monks was made of wood. However, as often happened with wooden buildings, they did not stand for a long time and completely burned down in a fire.
With the support of the Grodno headman, in 1754 the construction of a new stone monastery began (some sources indicate that work has been carried out since 1736). In addition to the church itself, residential buildings for monks were also built.
The Carmelite Church in Grodno is often called one of the most beautiful temples made in architecture Vilna Baroque. One of the reasons is the artistic pediment on the main facade, which can be called innovative for its time.
The second half of the 18th century is considered successful for the Carmelites: active educational activities were carried out, the library expanded, and children were educated. The situation changed dramatically after the War of 1812. Then the church and the monastery were badly damaged during the battles for the crossing over the Neman. They were restored slowly, as there were not enough resources for this.
In 1843, the Grodno Monastery of the Carmelite Order was closed, and the complex of buildings was transferred to the military department. During this period, a local prison was located within the walls of the temple, there were even plans for a complete restructuring under the city court. However, as a result, until 1906, the church was simply dismantled to the foundation, and barracks were erected in its place. In the photographs of the First World War, the already rebuilt facade and new barracks periodically flash.
In 1937, the Carmelite monks attempted to obtain permission to rebuild the church and monastery, but in return received an offer to build in another place.
In 1994, the former barracks decided to reconstruct and partially return to the building the image of that same ancient church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
There is also an interesting fact. In the dungeons, preserved from the time of the monastery, since 1972, the local bar “Yama” has been working. According to the recollections of local residents, the atmosphere there was just right, and the ancient catacombs only added to the surroundings.
You can see this city landmark at Bridge 37, below is a point with a mark on the map:
Within walking distance of this place is Church of Francis Xavier - one of the most beautiful churches in Belarus.