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The Savior and St Euphrosyne Convent in Polotsk

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Type: Monasteries, Pilgrimage places Date of Foundation: 1 century Status: Republican value Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk region, Polock, Evfrosinni Polockoj, 59

Annual number of pilgrims coming to visit the ancient Polotsk and The Savior and St Evfrosinya Convent in Polotsk, has become a recognized center of the Belarusian Orthodox Church and spirituality, to venerate the relics of Evfrosinya Polocka and bow to the cross - the symbol of rebirth Belarusian spirituality of this sacred shrine.

The Savior and St Evfrosinya Convent - one of the first female Orthodox monasteries in Russia, founded in the XII century.

Evfrosinya was born in the family of Prince Svyatoslav-George and the Princess Sophia, and gave her the name of an ancient Predslava. When she was 12 years old, parents had prepared and planned to give a dowry her marriage. But the prince”s daughter chose a different path - to dedicate his life to serving to God. ”Zhitie" tells us that Evfrosinya had a dream where an angel took her to the village Selco near Polotsk, where the river Polota a wooden Church of the Savior and the stone temple-tomb of the bishops of Polotsk. The angel said: ”There should be you.”

Evfrosinya in the hamlet founded two monasteries - male and female. About the male monastery almost nothing is known. The Savior and St Evfrosinya Convent still stands and is valid on the ancient land of Polotsk. When the monasteries were opened for children of school where taught to read, write and receive knowledge of natural history, medicine, rhetoric, it worked scriptorium - workshops to rewrite the books, created by icon-painting workshops.

Pearl of the monastery - Savior Church with unique frescoes of the XII century. One of the most precious relics of the monastery is the famous Cross of Evfrosinya of Polotsk, created in 1161 a master jeweler Lazar Bogsha (cross disappeared during the war, now in the monastery kept a copy). This cross, and relics of the saint patron of worship have been the subject of thousands of pilgrims annually arrive in Polotsk. Curiously, on the walls of the church are preserved graffiti XVII century - such as ”Bob was here” (only in Latin) - and the year 1617, 1632 ...

Optional Evfrosinya architect Ioan is building at the monastery church of St. Saviour. A talented architect is building a temple for 30 weeks. Built in one construction season in the church of St. Saviour - the top architectural thought of Polotsk, was striking embodiment of the spiritual heritage of Polotsk, wealth of the Belarusian nation.

In the XII century church of St. Saviour was painted with frescoes. Vegetable dyes artists painted on wet plaster, leaving his work for posterity for centuries. Ancient frescoes were covered by later strata of plaster and beautiful paintings in tempera and oil in the XIX.

Holy Cross Cathedral was erected in the 1893 - 1897. The project was made by the church architect Vitebsk province B. Korshikova. Cross proclaims the redeeming sacrifice of Christ.

Unique work of applied art of this time is Cross of Evfrosinya. The cross is an important symbol Christianity, which is the highest value of the sacred: the ascent of the spirit, desire for God, eternity, is a model of life and man in it. By order of Evfrosinya in 1161 Lazar Bogscha has created Cross-Ark storage sent from Constantinople and Jerusalem Christian relics. In the middle of the Cross were Christian relics: the pieces of the Cross of the Lord with drops of blood of Jesus, a piece of stone from the Holy Virgin, the particles of the relics of St. Stephen and St. Panteliymon and blood Dimitriy.

It is a miracle of skill and beauty was a sign of divine protection over the Belarus, a symbol of spirituality Polotsk. History of the Cross in the XX century filled with the contents of a detective. In 1921 Cross requisitioned Soviet power, for a time he was in Minsk museum, but in 1929 he moved to Mogilev. In Mogilev shrine was placed in a museum exhibit, but visitors were praying near the Cross. For this reason, it was referred to the former land bank. Officially, it was from here he was kidnapped by the Nazis in 1941, there are other versions. As if the cross fell to the east and that it was sold at auction after the war overseas. Not once have searched for this Cross is looking to Europe, America, in the collections of Morgan and Rockefeller, the search was connected to the diplomatic service, well-known Belarusian scientists, Interpol. But the Cross is not found.

But these days, a miracle happened. August 8, 1997 artist of the Brest Nikolai Kuzmich has completed five years work - re-created in the image of the Cross of St. Evfrosinya. He revived the lost Slavs back in the fourteenth century, the technique of cloisonne enamel. August 24th, 1997 at a ceremony at St. Simeon Cathedral of Brest gave the master a sacred shrine of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.

Monastery, founded in the XII century of Evfrosinya, experienced many troubles and hard times. In 1960 the monastery was closed. It took more than thirty years, and only in 1992, he again took the nuns, who have returned, mostly from Zhirovichi Grodno region. The monastery today has about 70 nuns, including novices who have not yet adopted vows, but are willing to devote their lives to serving God uneasy.

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Address Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk region, Polock, Evfrosinni Polockoj, 59 GPS Google: 55.504364′ N, 28.781088′ E