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Farny Catholic Church in Novogrudok

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Type: Katolik churches Style: Baroque Date of Foundation: 1714 - 1723 yy Status: The international value Republic of Belarus, Grodno region, Novogrudok, 1st May str., 17

Parish Church of the Holy Transfiguration of Lord Jesus Christ in Novogrudok is an architectural monument of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

The church was built by the Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas in the late XIV century in the gothic style. In the XV century the King Jagiello of Poland and Princess Sophia Golshanskaya were married there. They became the ancestors of the Jagiellonian dynasty. Today a commemorative slab installed on side facade of the church reminds about the passed times. At 600th anniversary of the birth of the Princess Sophia a larch was planted near the catholic church and there was also installed a memorial stone.

Parish Church in Novogrudok has all features of a defensive 1-nave church. The architecture of its facade is simple and ascetic. The Catholic church also has an overlapped cylindrical vault, a semi-circular apse and a two-towered facade. All towers are low, with a square cross-section. It is also a steepled church.

A memorial slab made of black marble is built into the north wall of a chapel of the body of Christ. It was installed in the church in 1643 by the order of Jan Rudamina - an abbot of Parish Church to commemorate the memory of his brother and neighbors who died in the battle against the Turks under Khotin in 1621. At the center of the slab is a bas-relief depicting 9 people and Jan Rudamina. At its bottom are the figures of the defeated enemies with their heads cut off, at the top - a glyph of the Virgin Mary with a child. On the slab there is a text in Latin with a list of titles and names of the dead.

At the beginning of the XVIII century Parish Church was rebuilt in the Sarmatian baroque style. The cornerstone of renewed Catholic church was consecrated on 14th July, 1714 by Coadjutor Bishop of Vilna Matey Antsuta. In 1723 it got a name «Church of the body of Christ», but the construction works continued until 1740.

In 1776 Bishop Zhulkovsky consecrated the church in honor of the Holy Transfiguration of Lord Jesus Christ.

After 23 years in the church was baptized the famous Polish-Belarusian writer Adam Mickiewicz, whose works helped to popularize among local citizens the ideas of the national liberation movement in Poland and Belarus and form the democratic thought.

In 1857 Parish Church of the Holy Transfiguration of Lord Jesus Christ in Novogrudok was closed and returned to believers only in 1906. After 15 years the church was renovated and re-consecrated in 1922.

During the Great Patriotic War the Gestapo executed 11 Nazareth sisters in the church. In 1943 the Germans carried out mass arrests among the local population of Novogrudok, and then the sisters said the famous words: «My God, if you need a victim of life, let us be shot than those who have a family...» They were shot in the forest near the city. Today there is the sarcophagus containing the remains of the sisters in the chapel of the church, and there was installed the Stella at the place of their burial. In 2001 the Pope John Paul II eleven sisters-martyrs were canonized.

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Address Republic of Belarus, Grodno region, Novogrudok, 1st May str., 17 GPS Google: 53.601403′ N, 25.830487′ E