Holy Spirit Cathedral (Minsk)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Holy Spirit Cathedral
Кафедральны сабор Сашэсця Святога Духа
Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk.jpg
The cathedral in 2013
DenominationBelarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church
Relics heldOur Lady of Minsk (Icon) [be], hollows of Sophia Olelkovich Radziwill
StyleSarmatian Baroque [fr]
Years built1633—1642

The Holy Spirit Cathedral (Belarusian: Кафедральны сабор Сашэсця Святога Духа) is a temple in Minsk, Belarus, consecrated in honor of the Holy Spirit, the central cathedral of the Belarusian Orthodox Church. It was built in 1633–1642 as a part Bernardine monastery during the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in a place of former men Orthodox monastery, then was returned to the Orthodox again in 1860. The cathedral is listed as a Belarusian Cultural heritage object and is considered one of the main landmarks in Minsk Upper city [ru].[1]


Bernardines monastery[edit]

Before 1596 in the place of the Holy Spirit Cathedral there was an Orthodox male monastery consecrated in the name of Cosmas and Damian. The monastery also owned nearby lands on the Eastern border of old Minsk and served as a military defense for the city. The memory about it was preserved in the name of the nearby street of Cosmas and Damian, which was called this way until 1931 (during World War II all the buildings on that street were destroyed and the street disappeared).[2]

In the early XVII century the monastery with all lands was given to the Ruthenian Uniate Church, but Uniates were unpopular among locals and the authorities decided to give the monastery to the Bernardine order. At that time all the buildings in Minsk were wooden, the city suffered from constant fires. The Bernardines built the stone Holy Spirit Cathedral in 1633–1642, by 1652 they constructed a stone convent. The complex was severely damaged during the Russo-Polish War of 1654–1667, then restored and reconsecrated in August 1687.[3][2]

The church was damaged by fire in 1741, but the most destructive fire happened on May 30, 1835. Through the monastery it took over the entire city centre and destroyed many historical buildings and houses of common people. The Bernardines couldn’t restore the church in its original form, by 1852 the order decided to close the monastery. The remained nuns were transferred to Nesvizh and the monastery was abandoned till 1860.[2][4]

On May 3, 2022, a monument to Metropolitan Filaret has been unveiled near the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk. Attending the ceremony was Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.[5]

Christian church[edit]

In 1860 the monastery was returned to the Orthodox church. In 1869 the city treasury gave 13,000 roubles for the restoration. In a year the works were finished and the church was consecrated on October 22, 1870. The monastery was given to monks from the Holy Trinity Monastery of Slutsk [pl]. They brought several valuable relics, including Our Lady of Minsk (Icon) [be].[2]

XX century[edit]

In 1918 the church was closed, most of the churchware disappeared. The building was then used as a gym for local firefighters.[2][6]

The church was opened during Nazi occupation of Belarus in 1942, in the 1950s the building was restored. In 1961 the church became a cathedral of the Minsk diocese, then promoted as central cathedral of the Belarusian Orthodox Church. New altar was installed in the South part of the church in 1968.[2]


The iconostasis holds several important relics, the most valuable is Our Lady of Minsk (Icon) [be] of 1500. The incorruptible relics of Sophia Olelkovich Radziwill, the granddaughter of Princess Anastasia Slutskaya, are displayed in the side niche on the left side of the altar.[7]



  1. ^ "Сабор Сашэсця Святога Духа ў Мінску" (in Belarusian). PoshykInfo. 2021-05-04. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "История собора" [History of the Cathedral] (in Russian). Sabor.by. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  3. ^ Roberts 2018, p. 181.
  4. ^ Kulagin 2007.
  5. ^ Lukashenko unveils monument to Metropolitan Filaret
  6. ^ Babkova, V. (2014-09-22). "Вольга Бабкова: Плошча Свабоды ў Менску" (in Russian). ODB Brusel. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  7. ^ Yarashevich, A. "Абразы Маці Божай XVII—XVII стст. у Мінскіх касцёлах" [XVII Icons of Our Lady in Minsk Churches] (in Russian). Our Faith. Retrieved 2022-03-06.

External links[edit]

Media related to Cathedral of Holy Spirit in Minsk at Wikimedia Commons


  • Roberts, Nigel (2018). Belarus. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 181. ISBN 9781784776022.
  • Kulagin, A. M. (2007). Праваслаўныя храмы Беларусі: энцыклапедычны даведнік [Encyclopedia of Orthodox Churches of Belarus]. Minsk: Беларуская Энцыклапедыя. ISBN 978-985-11-0389-4.