One of the sights of Orsha is the former Dominican church 19th century. Its atypical architecture is the result of several reconstructions after which the appearance of the temple has changed dramatically.

Church of St. Joseph in Orsha

The history of the Dominican monastery begins in the distant 17th century. Prince Hieronymus Drutskoy-Sokolinsky invited the monks to Orsha, for whom the first wooden Church of St. Joseph the Betrothed. Then, already in 1780, work began on the construction of a stone church with features of baroque and classicism.

Dominican church in Orsha

After the defeat of the uprising of 1830, most of the Catholic monasteries in the territory of modern Belarus closed. The Orsha monastery of Dominican monks was no exception.

Former Dominican church in Orsha

At the end of the 19th century, the towers of the church were dismantled, and by 1937 the temple had already been completely closed. Soon the war began and most of the city of Orsha appeared in ruins.

Old photo of the Dominican church in Orsha
1941-43 years
Church of St. Joseph in Orsha 1943
View of the destroyed church, photo, 1943, from

In the late 50s, the building was overhauled and a House of culture of builders trust number 23. Inside, an auditorium for 360 seats and another balcony for 100 additional ones were equipped, areas for creative work were organized, a buffet and a cloakroom were opened. From the side of the apse, the administrative part was completed. However, despite all these changes, the former Catholic church was still visible on the facade.

Old House of Culture in Orsha
This is how the House of Culture looked in the 60s

The building was returned to believers in the early 90s.

Orsha church

Church of St. Joseph is located near Orsha castleOn Sovetskaya street 6.

Further down the street, there used to be a Franciscan monastery and the church of St. Anthony. In Orsha it will also be interesting to see ethnographical museum and the Jesuit Collegium.


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