On the bank of the Neman there is an ancient Kolozhskaya church and looks at Grodno. And so it’s almost ten centuries. This place is unique. And not only with its architecture, but also with its own atmosphere, which every Belarusian should absorb. This is a living story, the soul of the country.
Kolozhskaya (or Borisoglebskaya) church is rightly considered a historical and architectural reserve. This monument of architecture of the XII century is the pride of Belarus, especially since there are no analogues of such religious constructions in the country. Kolozhskaya church is a bit like the Grodno Cathedral, built earlier – the Lower Church. Unfortunately, it has not survived, but archaeological research makes it possible to compare these two buildings.
For the first time the Kolozhskaya church is mentioned in the Ipatiev Chronicle in 1183: “The same summer Goroden burned and the stone churches shone with lightning and the thunder”. Of course, it is not directly indicated here that this is the Kolozha, but scientists suggest that this is so. In Grodno at that time there were two more stone churches – the Lower Church, located in the Old Castle, and the Prechistenskaya church in the present territory of the monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin.
The construction of the Kolozhskaya church is associated with the names of Grodno princes – Boris and Gleb. Hence the second name of the temple. True, the exact date of the erection of the church are not known, as well as the names of the architects. And they will never be known. In occasion of the name – Kolozhskaya church – there are several opinions. Some refer to the record in the Nikon Chronicle, which states that in 1406 Prince Vitovt destroyed the city of Pskov, Kolozhu, and drove 11,000 prisoners into Grodno. These people he settled next to the church, which eventually became known as Kolozhskaya. There is another version, which connects the name of the church with the word “Kolozhan”. This word denoted the place where the springs beat.
Ancient Grodno temples (including Kolozha) were the traditional three-apsidal cross-domed churches. They were built from plinfa, using granite boulders in the masonry. Outside, the Kolozhskaya church was decorated with colored majolica tiles, which were laid out in the form of a cross. The floor of the temple was also made of majolica plates of different colors. There was one more know – how in the construction of the temple: empty jars, which called the voice, were embedded in its walls. This was done to simplify the design and create good acoustics. The neck of the jugs protruded above the wall, so the walls could not be painted with frescoes. Outside, the church did not plaster.
In 1596, after the Brest Cathedral under the Kolozhskaya church, a Basilian (Uniate) monastery was established. And then in the struggle with faith, nature is included. In 1720 Kolozha began to slope on the side. The reason for this was the erosion of the high hill on which the church stands, the Neman. It was not easy to stop the river – on the night of April 1, 2, 1853, a part of the church collapsed in the Neman. Another collapse occurred in 1889.
In 1897 Kolozha was tried to save – strengthened the shore, instead of the destroyed walls were put wooden. In Soviet times there was a museum in the building. Now the Kolozhskaya church is a functioning temple again.
The architecture of the church of Kolozha
Boris and Gleb Church is a unique example of ancient stone architecture erected by the masters of the Grodno architectural school.
The church project belongs to the traditions of Byzantine temple architecture, but it has no direct analogs either in the Old Russian or in the Balkan architecture.
According to the plan, the Kolozha is a six-pillar, three-pedestal temple with an additional space in the pre-medal part.
Its unique feature is a multitude of ceramic vessels-voices built into the vaults of the walls and outwardly spouting the neck, thanks to which, for many centuries, wonderful acoustics are preserved here and church choirs sound so beautiful.
Decoration of the walls of the church of Kolozha In addition, the pillars have a circular section, which is rare for Orthodox churches, and, with a small building size (length – 21.5 m, width – 13.5 m), the church seems spacious. This is achieved through walls (thickness – about 1.2 m), in the clutch of which a very thin and flat brick-plinth was used.
Another famous feature of the Kolozha is the decoration of facades and walls with insets of large polished stones and multicolored majolica tiles in the form of crosses.
The interior of the Kolozhskaya church was decorated with unique frescoes, fragments of which were discovered in the 1970s on the altar vault and in niches.
Miracle-working icon of the Blessed Virgin of Kolozhskaya
Since ancient times in the Boris and Gleb temple there was an Orthodox shrine – the miraculous icon of the Mother of God, which was a copy of the Vilnius icon of the Odigitria.
Miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin of Kolozhskaya According to the legend, the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary was bequeathed to the beggar who, on a vow, wore a miraculous shrine on his chest. It is said that over the centuries, since the XVII century, thanks to the icon, many times people were healed of ailments.
In 1915, the icon was evacuated to Russia and lost. Today, the church maintains a list, and the search for the true image continues.
Day of veneration of the icon and the patronal feast of the church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God of Kolozhskaya is considered on May 25. On this day, the liturgy is held, the procession and the solemn prayer service are performed.
Where is the Kolozhskaya church
Kolozhskaya church is located near the Old Castle of Grodno, which many centuries ago was the residence of Grand Duke Vitovt.
The address of the church: street Kolozha, 8.