The lower church in Grodno is the preserved ruins of a 12th century monument. There are ruins in the territory of the Old Castle in Grodno. And the bottom it is called because on its ruins later was built another, the Upper Church. This Upper church was built two centuries later also as a cathedral temple of the castle.
The time of construction of the Lower Church in Grodno dates from 1116 or 1128-1141. Found the same church in 1932. The history of identifying a unique sight of Belarus, the Lower Church, deserves to be mentioned.
In the spring of 1931, a flood occurred in Grodno. The Neman climbed up to Castle Hill itself. The slopes of the mountain were blurred, and to consolidate them from the inner side of the Old Castle, they began to take out the soil. As a result, people accidentally revealed the remains of the structure and plinths of the 12th century. Later on the castle was excavated, during which the Lower Church was found.
The walls of the Lower Church are lined with slab brick (plinth). Clay jugs are embedded in the walls. The technique of using these voices is similar to that used in the Kolozhskaya church. The men facilitated the construction of the walls and created good acoustics in the building of the temple.
A feature of the architecture of the Lower Church in Grodno is the decorative design of the facades, which are decorated with large natural stones-boulders. The granite boulder split into two parts and was embedded in the wall with a flat side outward. In some cases, the flat side was polished. The walls of the church were also decorated with ceramic plates of red and green color, covered with glaze.
During the excavations also found details of the decoration of the wooden altar partition – gold plated copper sheets with engraved faces of the apostles Fedot, Paul and Semion framed by the ornament.
There are two versions of why the Lower Church in Grodno was destroyed. According to the first of them, a lightning of an unprecedented force hit the church, which could destroy the building to the ground. According to the second version, the engineers who designed it were mistaken in calculations, as a result of which the church literally collapsed in front of the parishioners. Both versions explain the strange shape of the surviving remnants of the church – as if it had been destroyed from the top down.
The design and decoration of the Kolozhskaya church in Grodno are related to the Lower Church. The similarity of both monuments proves that in Grodno in the 12th century there was an independent architectural and art school in which local elements of folk art were used. It is especially interesting for the organization of cognitive rest in Belarus. A visit to the Lower Church in Grodno will be a successful addition to any weekend tour of Belarus.