The Red Church

(plošča Niezaležnasci, 15)

The Church of St. Simon and Alena, or the Red Church, as Minskers also call it, is located in the very center of the city – at plošča Niezaležnasci. The red brick Neo-Gothic temple really stands out from the surrounding architecture, and it seems to make the church even more majestic and beautiful.

The church was built in Minsk in 1910, and at that time it was the largest and the highest Catholic church in the city. The construction of the church is associated with a sad legend: during the years 1887-1903, Minsk noble Edward Vajnilovič lost two children – Simon and Alena. The son died from scarlet fever, and the daughter suffered from pneumonia. Before she died, the girl saw the image of the Red Church in a dream and drew its sketch. The temple then was erected according to that sketch, and the money for the construction was donated by Vajnilovič himself.
 
During Soviet times, the building was turned into a theater, then into a film studio. Only in 1990, the Church of St. Simon and Alena was returned to the Catholic community. Since then, the services have been regularly held here. Edward Vajnilovič, the patron of the church and father of Simon and Alena, is buried at the entrance to the church.

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The Holy Spirit Cathedral

(vulica Kiryla i Miafodzija, 3)

The classic postcard view of Minsk. The baroque cathedral literally overlooks the Upper Town, so you will definitely see it, walking around the center.

The Cathedral has a very rich history: at the beginning of the 17th century, there was a Bernardine monastery, but after about a hundred years the building burned down. By 1860 it was rebuilt but as an Orthodox church. A lot happened in the life of the church: for a while, there was a transit prison, an archive, and even a gym. 

But today several powerful Orthodox shrines are kept in the church: the icon of the Mother of God of Minsk, which has been constantly in the city since 1500, as well as the relics of Sofia Sluckaja. By the way, you can easily enter the temple and see all the icons yourself.

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The Cathedral of St. Virgin Mary

(plošča Svabody, 9)

You can accidentally pass by this temple, although it is located very close to the Holy Spirit Cathedral. The church is squeezed in between two ordinary buildings, and if you don’t turn your head in time, you will miss such a significant architectural monument. By the way, this temple is considered to be the center of Belarusian Catholicism.

The Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary was built in 1710 as a Jesuit residence, and then it became a cathedral. But the most sudden fact in the cathedral’s biography is this: in Soviet times, it was rebuilt into the sports complex “Spartak”. And for many years it was difficult to even guess that it used to be a church. In 1993 it was returned to the Catholic community and its original appearance was restored. Pay attention to the openwork facade of the building: niches, pilasters, vases and two tall towers looking up.

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The Church of Holy Trinity

(praspiekt Niezaležnasci, 44а)

You have to deliberately search for this address to find the church because you will hardly come across it while walking through the center of the city – it’s hidden in a quiet residential courtyard. All because of the post-war construction, which surrounded the old-timers of this area from all sides. The neo-gothic church was erected in 1864 (in place of its wooden predecessor). The temple was built in honor of St. Roch, the traditional European defender of the plague. It is interesting that believers of different confessions donated money to the construction of the building (that’s how happy they were that they had escaped the plague). Drop by the church during the service to listen to the sounds of the organ or even get to a real concert by the Minsk Philharmonic. Or just take a walk in a quiet courtyard, where the church is located, to catch a true Minsk zen.

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The Church of Aliaksandr Nieŭski

(vulica Kazlova, 11)

The church in the classical Byzantine style is hiding from tourists in the military cemetery of Minsk. It was built in memory of the Belarusian soldiers who died during the Russian-Turkish war (there is a mass grave behind one of the walls of the temple). The church is perfectly preserved just like it was built in 1898. And even when during the Second World War a bomb flew into the temple through the central dome, nothing happened to the building, because the bomb did not explode. Believers consider it to be a miracle, it is difficult to explain what happened otherwise.
 
At least two unique artifacts are kept in the church: a wooden field church, which was used during military actions in Turkey, and an icon painted by Nikolai Ge, one of the best Russian artists. And in the cemetery where the temple is located, the most famous classics of Belarusian literature Janka Kupala and Jakub Kolas are buried.

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