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Museum of the History of Architecture of St. Sophia Cathedral description and photos - Belarus: Polotsk. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photos and a map showing the nearest significant objects.
Photo and description
The Museum of the History of Architecture of the St. Sophia Cathedral is located in a temple built on the site of the ancient St. Sophia Cathedral, which was once blown up. Novgorod, Polotsk. In 1596 the temple was handed over to the Uniates and rebuilt. It became a fortified temple. After the fire of 1602, the temple was restored by order of Bishop Iosofat Kuntsevich. Already by the beginning of the Northern War, the temple was so heavily rebuilt by the Uniates that it looked little like the original Orthodox Sophia Cathedral.
The relics of Josaphat Kuntsevich were kept in this temple. This bishop was canonized by Catholics and is considered a saint, while for the Orthodox he is an enemy and persecutor of the faith. He was distinguished by an unyielding disposition and by force forced entire cities to abandon Orthodoxy, for which, as a result of a riot in Vitebsk, he was killed.
In 1705, Russian troops led by Tsar Peter I entered Polotsk. Peter, as an extremely inquisitive person, decided to see the sights of the city. I saw the majestic temple, learned that it had once been the Sophia Cathedral and decided to visit it. It was a Basilian temple at the time. The king asked the monks whose relics are kept in their temple. Upon learning that these were the relics of Jehoshaphat Kuntsevich, “killed by heretics,” he became terribly angry and wanted to destroy the shrine, but the monks began to fight for it, not allowing the royal servants, for which they were killed in an attempt to arrest. The temple was later blown up by order of Peter I. After the explosion, only the right adder survived.
The new church on the site of the previous one was built in the Catholic style of the “Vilna Baroque”. This magnificent building is now the museum of St. Sophia Cathedral and the concert hall of organ music. The exposition of the museum is located in the basement. It demonstrates the ancient masonry of the original temple discovered by archaeologists and many other archaeological finds.
Every summer, reconstruction festivals take place at these ancient walls. Young guys in old knightly armor come from all over the country and from beyond its borders to fight in almost real knightly tournaments. It hosts festivals of medieval and ethnic music, exhibitions and sales of works of artisans.
Topic: Museum of the History of Architecture of St. Sophia Cathedral description and photos - Belarus: Polotsk.