Kolozha Church

Constructed in the northwestern part of Ancient Rus in the 12th century, the Kolozha Church is not like any other church in the world. This Christian halidom was nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage List. Sts. Boris and Gleb Church is a unique specimen of ancient stone architecture of the Grodno architectural school. The church was designed following the traditions of the Byzantine temple architecture. Nevertheless, it has no direct analogues either in the Old Russian or in the Balkan architecture. The Kolozha Church is a six-column triapsidal temple with additional space in the pre-altar part.

Картинки по запросу коложская церковь внутри

The Kolozha Church is unique due to the large number of ceramic vase-like indentations built into the walls. This architectural feature provides the temple with a wonderful acoustics. Besides, its bearing columns with circular cross-section are unusual for Orthodox temples. Thanks to these columns, the church seems spacious despite its small size (21.5m long and 13.5m wide). The 1.2m-wide walls made of thin flat brick (plinfa) also contribute to this impression. The Kolozha Church is also famous for its walls decorated with large polished stones and multicolor cross-shaped majolica tiles. The interior of the Kolozha Church used to be decorated with unique wall paintings, fragments of which were found on the arch over the altar and the niches in the 1970s.    

Картинки по запросу коложская церковь внутри

Картинки по запросу коложская церковь

Today the Kolozha Church is one of the oldest functioning temples in Belarus. Apart from services and religious celebrations, the church also runs a Sunday school and a house church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God of Kolozha. In the 1990s with participation of foreign specialists the riverbank was solidified to prevent landslides. The scientists also came up with several projects to restore the Kolozha Church to the way it looked in the 12th century and before the disaster of 1853. But the complicated geological structure and the lack of reliable information about the original design of the temple slowed down the pace of work. Later experts found some drawings of the western and southern walls of the Kolozha Church made one year before the collapse of the temple. The reconstruction project of the pre-1853 Kolozha Church has been substantiated by architects. There are few documents about the 12th century sanctuary which looks changed many times over the decades. New information, however, can be included into the project. 

Картинки по запросу коложская церковь внутри

In 2010 Belarus launched the Let Us Restore Kolozha Together campaign to raise funds for the restoration of the ancient landmark. There are also plans to build a miniature replica of the 12th century Kolozha next to the church. Recreated with the help of the latest technologies and materials, it can become an interesting tourist site. Since ancient times Sts. Boris and Gleb Church kept the Orthodox relic – the wonderworking Kolozha Icon of the Mother of God, a copy of Hodigitria Icon of Vilnius. According to the legend, the image of the Holy Mother was willed to the church by a bagger who carried the wonderworking icon votively on his chest. They say that since the 17th century the icon has cured many people from different ailments. The icon was evacuated to Russia in 1915 and got lost there. Today the church keeps its replica while the search for the original image continues. 25 May is the day of the icon worship and dedication of the Church of the Kolozha Icon of the Mother of God. The day is celebrated with a liturgy and a prayer service.

Картинки по запросу коложская церковь

Картинки по запросу коложская церковь внутри

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