The Red Church of Saints Simon and Helena
Minsk is known as a city, in which both Catholicism and Orthodoxy are quite common. It is not surprising that there are many monuments of Catholic architecture in the capital. Among them one of the most famous is the Red Church of Saints Simon and Helena. This building is made in the spirit of medieval architecture in red brick, and strikingly stands out from the rest of the buildings located in Minsk.
The construction of the Church fell on the first decade of the XX century and was carried out with the help of the Minsk nobleman Voinilovich, whose remains were reburied in the room of the Church in the next century. The Church received its name from the names of Voinilovich’s two children who died young.
This catholic symbol of the Belarusian capital faced various challenges during the years of its existence, especially in the Soviet era when the doors of the Church were closed to parishioners, and the room itself was used by the authorities for other needs. During its history the Church functioned as a theater and as a Museum, which led to the conversion of the internal parts of the building. Only by 1990 it was possible to return the original appearance of this Church, and since that time further work on the improvement and improvement of the surrounding area had been carried out.
For example, in 1996, a sculpture of St. Michael, piercing the winged snake with his spear, was put. This composition has a height of about 4.5 meters and is a symbol of the victory won by heaven in the fight against the darkness. A newer monument located near the Church is the Bell of Nagasaki which aims to remind of the victims, caused by nuclear disasters.
However, it is not only the appearance of the Church that is striking, but also its interior: the spectacular sculptural compositions belonging to the hand of Sigmund Otto and the paintings of Brestovica attract the attention of every visitor of this place.
Today the Church’s doors are open not only for its parishioners. The room is used for concerts by organ orchestras or performances on religious themes. The Red Church is a Catholic landmark of Minsk and one of its most important architectural objects.
How to get there: by public transport: metro station ‘Ploshchad Lenina’; buses 40, 100, 111, 115э, 127 to the stop ‘Ploshchad Nezavisimosti’