Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Sopotskin
Sopotskin is a small town that is located near Grodno. It has been known since the XVI century as a small Belarusian town. One of its main attractions is Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Josaphat Kuntsevich church, that is also called Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary church or St. Josaphat Kuntsevich church.
The temple is located in the suburb of Sopotskin called Teolin. It got its name in honor of the wife of Belarusian magnate Anthony Vollovich. The suburb was founded in 1789 on the place where village Yasyudovo was once located.
According to the legend, the church was erected here by magnate Ian Vollovich in 1612. Even today historians are not sure whether the present building in Sopotskin corresponds with the initial construction of the temple. It is known that at that time there was Uniate St. Josaphat Kuntsevich church. It was demolished in 1970. But some historians consider that it was a prototype of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary church.
In 1867 the church was handed over to Transfiguration Women”s Orthodox monastery. Later, the temple was reconstructed. As the result two towers were demolished. There are some constructions that still remind about the Orthodox past of the church. Among them there are a building of Sunday school, a cemetery in the courtyard of the temple and wrought-iron gates. During the First World War the monastery was completely evacuated. In August 1916 the building got its status of the Catholic church back.
During World War II the fire destroyed the roof and much of inner church decorations. However, in the first year after the liberation of Sopotskin from Nazi invaders parishioners managed to rebuild the temple.
In 1989 the temple was reconstructed again. It got a few new towers. But two years later there was a fire. It almost completely destroyed the main church altar. Soon the Catholic relic was restored. But the remnants of the old altar are still stored in the vaults of the church.
Today Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Josaphat Kuntsevich church is a one nave basilica. There are two towers, built in the retrospective Baroque style, that decorate its main facade. The inside decorations of the church follow the tradition of the XX century. Here there are the altars of St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Josaphat Kuntsevich, St. Casimir, St. Anne and St. Michael, and the father Kolbe. In the temple you can see the commemorative plaques in honor to Roman Catholic priest U.Navosadko and Count P. Gursky, political and military leader T. Kosciuszko and writer E. Orzeszka.reveal all text