The Grodno region is really unique and rich in sights. In almost every city and even a small village you can find an interesting historical site. For example, in an agricultural town Gniezno preserved ancient Church of St. Michael the Archangel.

Gniezno attractions

Gniezno, Belarus

The first mention of the town of Gniezno (then still Gnezdo) dates back to the middle of the 15th century, as the possession of the Monividoviches. However, the construction of the church is associated with a different kind, - Shemetovich, who in all likelihood began to build this temple. There is a version that the work was carried out on the site of a wooden predecessor church.

Catholic church in Gniezno

Through the efforts of Jan and Elzbieta Shemetovich, in the first half of the 16th century, the Church of St. Michael the Archangel (many sources give the exact date - 1524 year).

Michael's Church in Gniezno

The stone church was built in the form of a single-nave temple with a three-walled apse, and in the center of the main facade there is a two-tiered octagonal tower. The original architecture of the church is Gothic, but over time, features of the Renaissance style were added.

Pre-war photo, note the numerous holes from bullets and shells. Source: Globus of Belarus

The striking features of the late Gothic appear in the hanging arches, stepped buttresses and rectangular niches. However, the architects also introduced features of the Renaissance style: various cornices, arched windows and, of course, interior decoration.

Temple in Gniezno in a drawing by Napoleon Orda
This is how the church looked in the second half of the 19th century. Drawing of Napoleon Orda

By the way, this is not the only temple in Belarus where such a mixture of styles can be found. Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Synkovichi - a similar example of a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic.

Catholic church in Gniezno

In 1555, when Gniezno passed to Hieronymus Chodkiewicz, the temple was re-consecrated to the Calvin collection. At this time, the church was rebuilt and modified. A century later, in 1643, the Catholics were able to take it back.

Gothic architecture in Belarus

It should be noted that the fate of the church has always been difficult. The Church of St. Michael the Archangel was repeatedly burned and destroyed, but each time it was restored. As a reminder, in one of the walls of the temple you can see a cannonball left after the shelling of the war of 1654-67.

Gothic church in Gniezno

Another significant reconstruction of the Gniezno church took place during Yana Trapyansky in 1728. It was then that a crypt appeared under the tower, which in the future was used for burials.

Chapel burial vault in Gniezno

In 1787, from the side of the chapel, a sacristy was built.

Gniezno Church of St. Michael the Archangel

Defensive entrance to the Gniezno church

The 19th century again brought many problems. Almost all the wooden elements of the church burned down in a fire in 1839. At that time, Gniezno was owned by the landowner Tarasovich, who restored the long-suffering temple with his own money. The tombstones of his descendants are located near the tombstone chapel.

Gravestone Chapel Gniezno

Ancient cemetery in Gniezno

In Soviet times, the temple was closed and used as a warehouse, and over time, the building began to collapse and was simply abandoned. In 1989, the temple was returned to believers and restored, and since 1991 services have been conducted again.

The oldest church in Belarus

A small chapel with old graves has also been preserved on the church territory.

Chapel near the church in Gniezno

Gniezno old cemeteries

There is even an interesting legend that once there was a pagan temple on the site of this church. According to rumors, sacrificial stones of pagans were found during regular construction work.

Church of St. Michael the Archangel

The main attraction of Gniezno is located on the street School 11-a, below is the mark with a dot on the map:

If you are in this agricultural town, then do not forget to look the estate of Tarasovich and Romer.

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