In the very center Minsk, behind the Palace of Arts, hid, perhaps, the most mysterious temple of the city - Church of Saint Roch. In the novel Vladimir Korotkevich "Kalasi fall with your sarpom" Kastus Kalinovsky says that he has chosen the Golden Hill and the chapel of old Roch. What secrets does this place hold?

Church of Roch Minsk

History and secrets of the church in Minsk

There are several versions of the origin of the name Golden Hill. According to the most poetic of them, the place got its name from the golden autumn leaves of a maple grove that spreads out on a hill. The second version testifies that merchants and robbers from the main road often buried their supplies here.

Church of Roch Minsk
old photo, source: globe of Belarus

Another version says that one of the Catholic priests announced a fundraiser for the construction of the church and spread his cloak on a hill, on which the parishioners began to add their donations - coins and jewelry.

Church of Roch Minsk

Starting from the 1790th century, a cemetery was formed on the territory of Zolotaya Gorka, where people were buried, mostly those who died from epidemics. And around XNUMX, on Gorka, Golden in every sense, a wooden chapel appeared.

Church of St. Roch in Minsk

Saint Roch has long been considered a protector against plague and cholera epidemics. According to urban legends, when Minsk was suffering from a severe epidemic, one of the townspeople had a prophetic dream. Allegedly, the city can be saved if you find the statue of St. Roch, lost under the rubble of one of the churches. After a long search, the statue was brought to light, and the epidemic receded. It was decided to install a miraculous statue in a wooden chapel on the Golden Hill. During World War II, the statue disappeared without a trace.

The Second World War and modern construction left only a few graves from the old Zolotogorsk cemetery, which can still be found on the territory of the church.

Legends of the Golden Hill

In the post-war years, when part of the cemetery was demolished, very rich graves were found in this place. The body of a young girl, wrapped in her own dress, was also said to have been found. She was buried alive.

Construction of a church in Minsk

First Church of St. Roch was founded in Minsk back in the 1809th century by Prince Jagaila. Initially, the building was located in the area of ​​​​the modern opera house and was wooden. But after a terrible fire in 1861, that church did not survive, and it was decided to transfer the parish to the Zolotogorsk chapel. Much later, in XNUMX, the construction of a stone church in the Neo-Gothic architectural style began on the Golden Hill.

Church of St. Roch in Minsk

The dimensions of the temple are quite modest, but under them there are dungeons with numerous burials in niches. Some historians suggest that the remains of the founders of the church may also be buried in the lower part of the dungeons.

Church of St. Roch in Minsk

Legends of the Golden Hill

In the annals of the city chronicles, one can find references to an unusual icon that was in the church of St. Roch. According to legend, one rich man, while riding a horse, ran into an artist's easel and got so angry that he hit the painter in the face with a whip. Some time later, the moneybags decided to restore the old church on the Golden Hill and hired an artist to paint a majestic icon. The icon painter turned out to be the same man with a scar on his face. Without refusing to work, the artist asked the Almighty to punish his offender.

The icon turned out to be so inspired that the rich man, unable to resist, took it and hung it in his own bedroom. That same night, a terrible thunderstorm broke out in the city, and the rich man suddenly felt burning tears falling from the icon. The unfortunate man rushed to run, but the image relentlessly followed him. As a result, the magnate threw himself off the cliff into the river and drowned, and the icon was found in the morning in the walls of the church. They say that the ghost of the rich man still roams the Golden Hill district.

Church of St. Roch in Minsk: the secrets of the Golden Hill

There was also a rather dark period in the history of the Roch Church. It began back in the 20s, the 20th century, when all the valuables were taken out of the temple. In 1930 the church was completely closed. After the war, the building was adapted as a storage for books, and active residential development began around the territory. In 1983, the church was restored and transferred to the balance of the Belarusian State Philharmonic. And only in 1991 they started talking about the Church of St. Roch in Minsk again, as a religious building and in their free time from concerts they began to hold services.

Legends of the Golden Hill

In the courtyard of the church you can observe a group of sculptures, including "Naked Boy"which is not typical for a Catholic parish. In fact, during the Soviet era, the church housed a chamber music hall, and the sculptures have been preserved as a reminder of this period of city history. Since 2006, the concert hall has been closed and the building has been returned to the Roman Catholic parish.

Today it is difficult to distinguish the truth about the history of the Church of St. Roch and the Zolotogorsk Upland from speculation. One thing is clear: the secrets of this corner in the heart of Minsk will haunt inquisitive minds for a long time to come. The church is located near Victory Square, at Independence Avenue 44 a, see the point on the map:

By the way, there is another interesting sight of the city very close - House where Lee Harvey Oswald lived. Useful for tourists options for excursions in Minsk.

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