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Saint Sophia Cathedral in Polock

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Type: Churches Style: Baroque Date of Foundation: 1044 year Status: Included or offered for inclusion in the list of a world heritage of UNESCO Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk region, Polock, Zamkovaya, 1

Sophia Cathedral - the cathedral of Polotsk. Byzantine architects erected in five seasons between 1044-1066 construction years at Duke Vseslav Charodej on the right bank of the Western Dvina River at the confluence of the river Palota as a symbol of equality with the Second Rome - Constantinople and the rivalry with Kiev and Novgorod, where the churches were also in the honor of St. Sophia. The original church was a five-naval cross-dome with a princely choirs, with a dedicated altar in the central part of the apse, with a dome diameter of 5.85 meters.

After the signing of the Union of Brest in 1596 moved to the Cathedral Uniates. After the fire, and the partial destruction of the temple in 1607 was in ruins in 1618 Uniate Archbishop Josaphat Kuntsevich restored and much rebuilt the cathedral. In 1642 the cathedral once again suffered from fire, but was soon restored. July 11, 1705, during the Northern War, the cathedral was closed by the Russian army. In the vestibule of the church placed a powder keg, which is May 1, 1710 the warehouse exploded, after which the temple lay in ruins until 1738.

Restoration of the cathedral, Archbishop Florian Grebnitsky implemented.  1750 on-site architect of St. Sophia Cathedral Ian Glaubits  two-towered basilica was built in the style of the Vilnius Baroque, which was dedicated in honor of the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The interior of the baroque column appeared, a lot of moldings, cornices curly. The altar of the church was separated from the nave high three-tiered barrier, which adjoined on the arch bas-relief image of the New Testament Trinity. The second and first tiers were painted and decorated with wooden sculptures. From the paintings on the altar barrier remained: a copy of the famous fresco by Leonardo da Vinci”s ”Last Supper”.

During 1812 the temple was desecrated by French troops, who used it as a stable. In 1839 the cathedral was returned to the Orthodox. In the years 1911-1914 was carried out major repairs of the cathedral. In 1924 the church was closed and placed it in the museum. During the German occupation from 1942 to July 1944 Sophia Cathedral was valid, and then was closed again.

Today the cathedral is part of the Polotsk historical-cultural museum-reserve. Near the cathedral has one of the Borisov stones. In the concert hall of the temple every year in April and November festivals of ancient and modern chamber and organ music, every Sunday - concerts of organ music in the performance of the soloist concert hall.

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Address Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk region, Polock, Zamkovaya, 1 GPS Google: 55.486404′ N, 28.758663′ E