The red brick Church of St. Simon and St. Helena with its 50 m tall bell tower is the main place for Roman-Catholic workship in Minsk. It was erected between 1908 and 1910 on the order of a rich Belarusian family.
In the church grounds several bronze statues can be found; among them is a statue of Archangel Michael as well as a statue of pope John Paul II. During the Soviet era the church was used as a cinema.
The Church of St. Simon and St. Helena dominates the north side of the Independence Square (Ploschad Nezavisimosti), which is one of the main squares in the city centre.
Address: Church of St. Simon and St. Helena, ul. Sovjetskaya 15, Minsk
n contrast to the gray municipal buildings facing Nezalezhnastsi Square (Independence Square), the early 20th century Roman Catholic church is of picturesque and impressive appearance. It is known as "Red Church" because of its red brick walls. Official name of the church is quite rare and, probably, cannot be found elsewhere in the world: St. Simon and St. Helen Church. The choice of the name had been pre-determined as the church was built to commemorate the premature death of two young children of Belarusan aristocratic Wojnilowicz family. To their patron saints Simon and Helena the church was dedicated.
The Wojnilowicz family were of noble Belarusan descent, bearing their own arms. The family originated from legendary Wojnila who got his arms as early as in 14th century. His descendants used the arms, presenting stylized W on red background with an arrow directed downwards, for the next 6 centuries. In times of Rzeczpospolita the Wojnilowiczs occupied important government posts or achieved eminence as ecclesiastics. Edward Wojnilowicz being the last offspring of the famous family inherited its entire fame and wealth.
He was an eminent politician, a member of the State Council of Russian Empire, one of the leading figures in Belarusan national resurgence.
In September 1996 a statue of the archangel Michael killing the Dragon was erected in front of Red Church. The bronze statue 4,5 meters high, represents the archangel Michael as a symbol of victory and glory of the Heaven.
In Fall 2000 a memorial composition of Nagasaki bell was installed close to the church. The bell represents a copy of the original bell named Angel from Urakami Cathedral that was destroyed during nuclear bombing in August 9, 1945. The composition has been given as a gift to Red Church and Belarusian people by diocese of the Roman Catholic Church of the city of Nagasaki (Japan).
The so called "Red Church" differs so much among other architecture of Minsk and the Independence Square. The church was built by a noble family in 1908 - 1910 after the death of two their children.
At soviet times there was cinema. Later opposition against Soviet Union started to gather here.
Always in the huge independence square you can find the church of Saints Simeon and Helene, or just the "Red Church". This is one of the several catholic churches you can find in Minsk, and one of the better preserved ones. It really has a strange style which makes it totally different from any other church you can find in Minsk and in most of the world. Also the colour is quite unusual, a deep dark red... probably even the communists liked it! :))
Nearby the church there are some of the nicest buildings you can find in the square.
Red Cathedral was built in 1908-1910 by a powerful landlord Edward Vajnilovich and his wife Olimpia, in the memory of their deceised children - Symon and Alena.
Some say that the reason why old man donated 100 000 rubles for building that place, was when Symon died and Alena was on a death bed, she asked her father to built a Cathedral in their memory.
Vajnilovich family is buried now in Kalvarijskoe cemetery. It`s a place worth visiting too: the oldest cemetery in Minsk. Some say it`s 170 years old, others say it`s 600 years old.
Red Cathedral was not always an active church. Between 1975 and 1990 it was... a movie theatre.
This is the Red Church (Chervonnyy Kastjol) in the centlar square of Minsk.
They say it was build in XVII c. I saw two dates written on it - 1903 and 1993. I think this is the dates of serious reconstructions. It looks now very modern, not like a XVII c building.
Red Church (or Chyrvoni Kastel) - Roman Catholic Church built in 17th century, recently restored. During the long period of communist era the building of the church used to serve to cinema-people (not only Belarusian) as a house for different meetings, presentations, and so on. Only in 1980s it was given back to religious people.
The church of Sts. Simon & Helena or simple call The red brick church is main catholic church in the city and one of main touristic attraction on Independence square.
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