Perhaps one of the most famous lost architectural monuments of Belarus is Church of the Blessed Virgin Marybetter known as Farah Vitovta. Where does the name “Fara” come from and why Vitovta? It is believed that the first wooden Catholic church in Grodno was founded by this Grand Duke of Lithuania back in 1398; by the way, the city was then mostly Orthodox. The term “Fara” is usually applied to the oldest or main churches of the city, for example, today another Grodno church is called “fara” - Saint Francis Xavier.

Kastsel garrisons near Grodno

Construction of the stone temple began by order of Stefan Batory in the second half of the 16th century. The massive church with Gothic features, a majestic tower, pitched roof and lancet windows immediately became a dominant feature in the city's development.

Fara Vitovta in Grodno
Months ago I knew Fara Vitauta

What is curious is that the temple was located with an apse towards the market square (also the main one), but towards Bathory Castle - facade.

Memorial sign of the lost temple in Grodno

The design of the walls of the church also looked interesting; something similar can be seen today in The world и Murovanka. Open, unplastered red brick walls were combined with white painted decorative elements (pilasters, niches, arches).

The place where Farah Vitovta was located

In the first half of the 19th century, the Orthodox revolution in the history of the Grodno church began. From 1804 to 1919, the temple operated within the Orthodox Church. This change of course affected the architecture. The first restructuring took place in 1807, at the same time Fara Vitovt was reconsecrated as Saint Sophie Cathedral.

Strachanaya spadchyna Grodna

In 1870, the cathedral was rebuilt again, according to the design of Sergei Petrovich Guryev, who by that time had already taken part in the reconstruction of many Catholic churches in the Grodno province. However, the most thorough reconstruction in the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church took place from 1896 to 1899.

Safiysky Sabor near Grodno

It was then that the temple acquired the appearance that is found on old postcards and photographs.

Where was the St. Sophia Cathedral in Grodno

After 1919, the long-suffering temple was returned to the Catholic parish, and another reconstruction began with an attempt to return to a more authentic appearance with Gothic features.

Lost heritage in Grodno
This is what a 1919 cascel looks like

All changes in the architecture of the church are well documented in many photographs of that time.

Fara Vytautas memorial sign

After the end of World War II, the ancient temple was not in the best shape, and there were no plans for its restoration. As a result, unfortunately, they decided to blow up the unique architectural monument and erase it from the history of Grodno. Waking up on November 30, 1961, city residents saw only mountains of bricks and ruins of the temple.

Where was Farah Vitovta in Grodno

In 2014, a memorial sign was installed on the site of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, below is the point where this temple was located:

Grodno is unique and one of the most beautiful cities in Belarus, here is the list interesting and unusual sights, which are worth watching (except for the most famous and obvious ones).

5 1 vote
Rate this article
0 Comment
Inline feedback
View all comments