A Russian Orthodox church and a monastery were built on the site by the brotherhood of the Holy Trinity in 1567. The present church dates back to 1638. In the mid-18th century it was reconstructed and decorated in the late baroque style by the architect J.K. Glaubitz. It was then that its main attraction - the wooden baroque iconostasis was added. It may be beautiful but we were unable to admire it fully as there was no access to it and the lighting was poor. We felt even more like intruders when a Russian woman (a cleaning lady I suppose) appeared at the gate from inside and angrily shoved through the crowd.
There was no one to ask even if we could see the mummified bodies of the three martyrs, Saints Jonas, Eustachijus and Antanas in the glass sarcophagus in the underground chapel under the iconostasis. Perhaps you will be so lucky as to see them, let's hope so...
The most important Orthodox Church in Lithuania is the Church of the Holy Spirit (Staciatikiu Sv. Dvasios Cerkve), not to be confused with the Catholic Church of the same name.
The Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit dates back to the 17th century, but had to be rebuilt in the mid of the 18th century after a fire had destroyed the original one. Whereas the Vilnius Baroque style isn't too exciting, the interior is well worth seeing.
The Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit is located in a courtyard in the southeastern part of the old town.
Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit, Ausros Vartu 10, Vilnius
Although the position of catholic religion is dominant in Vilnius, we can't forget that the city has always been a kind of melting-pot, where different nationalities, religions and cultures co-existed. One of the most interesting orthodox churches is the Russian Church of Holy Spirit with its impressive iconostas from 18th century.
I really like this church because of colourful and charming interior. So interesting colours I haven't seen in any church.
It was built in 1630-1633. Inside is just amazing, rococo style! Where are three mummies in church.
Interesting story of mummies: three orthodox religion peoples were killed in 1347. They were admitted as a martyrs of orthodox religion in Lithuania and were held in a lot of places, while people moved them to this church.
This church was built in 1514 by the great hetman of the Grand Duchy Constantine Ostrogsky and belonged to the Uniates. In the 18th century the fire destroyed the Gothic church and it was reconstructed in the late Baroque style. In 1865 it was again reconstructed in the Russian Byzantine style.
Russian Orthodox church of the Holy Spirit have been operating in this site since 1567. The church is interesting as an example of Vilnius Baroque, being the only Russian Orthodox sanctuary of this type in Lithuania.
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit sits in a courtyard some 50m away from the Ausros Vartu gatve. It is a very tranquile area, perfect for contemplation.
The church was built on the site of a former wooden church and was constructed in 1638 in the shape of a Latin cross. It was rebuilt in 1749 after a fire.
The monks were already from the beginning involved in intellectual work like linguistic research and had an own printing house for the books they produced. Here was the very first Slavic grammar printed in 1619.
The most important features in the church are the well preserved bodies of the three saints Anthony, Ivan and Eustace who met their destiny on the hill where now sits the Church of the Holy Trinity. They were all killed by the inhabitans in 1347.
In connection to the church there is a working Russian monastery with monks dressed in dark brown cowls.
When I visited the church there was a rope for the inner door so I could not get inside but what I could see was stunning. Some ladies were washing the floor so it might be just a temporarily obstruction.
The Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit was particularly memorable for two reasons. The first was its bright green interior, which was pretty and different . The second was the fact that in a glass coffin in the center of the church lie the bodies of three early Christian martyrs. The bodies are covered in a blanket, but their slippered feet stick out at the bottom. One of the martyrs is said to have had his feet broken by torturers and, indeed, the feet of one of the martyrs appear to curl unnaturally within the slippers. It was all a bit creepy, but fascinating nonetheless.
The Church of the Holy Spirit was built in 1638, on the site of a former old wooden church. Badly damaged by a fire 1749, but rebuilt in the present Late Baroque style. I only had a quick look inside; beautiful main altarpiece, the relics of Orthodox saints Anthony, John, and Eustatius - and the crypt (which I missed)...
Next to the church are the only active Orthodox convent (the convent of Holy Mary Magdalene) and monastery (the Friary of Holy Spirit) in Lithurania.
The interior of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit looked impressive. What a contrast with simple outdoor look. Or maybe I just liked its rococco decors from 18th century. It's strange but the wooden main altar painted in bright green looked similar to altars of catholic churches. I found it rather unique in orthodox churches.
The gate on my picture leaded to the Orthodox Church and Monastery of the Holy Spirit. You can see towers of the church in the background of my picture (enlarge). It was the only active Orthodox monastery in Lithuania. Well, there were only 12 monks in the monastery when I was there.
The wooden main altar of the Othodox Church of the Holy Spirit was painted in bright green which looked a little bit strange or rather unique. It looked similar to altars of catholic churches (except the bright colour). I found it rather unique in orthodox churches. It was built in 1753 - 1756. It's said that Glaubitz was its creator. He was Polish architecturer of German orirgin who designed great masterpieces of baroque in Vilnius like for example St. Catherine's Church.
This church didn't look very imprerssive from the outside: quiet, symetrical edifice with two early baroque simple towers and higher (not seen on my picture) dome at the back side. No decorative motives typical to later baroque. Well the styles changes. Early baroque looked quite different than late baroque, at least in Vilnius.
Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit
Built in the 17th century. The main attraction is to see the preserved bodies of 3 martyred saints. The curch itself is stunning though, painted in lovely hues of blue, pink, and yellow. Very photogenic.