The Intercession Cathedral in Baranovichi
The Intercession Cathedral is the most significant object of worship in such a young town as Baranovichi. Built in 1924-1931, it is a cruciform church with a domed roof, 3 apses, 4-column porticoes on the southern and northern facades and a three-tire bell turret on the western facade.
It is not architecture that makes this church in Baranovichi unique, but the mosaics that adorn it. It is them, 7 large mosaic panels (5 in the interior and one in the niches of the northern and southern portals) that create the Cathedral’s unique image.
The fate of these mosaics is out of ordinary. They were made in St. Petersburg in the workshop run by V.A. Frolov in 1902-1911 and were intended for the decor of the Alexander Nevsky Church in Warsaw. After this church had been destroyed in the 1920s, part of the mosaics was brought to Baranovichi, to the church which was being built.
Of most artistic merit is the altar mosaic made according to the sketches by V.M.Vasnetsov which depicts Our Lady of Tenderness and which is in church’s altar now.
Two mosaic icons, of Metropiltan Alexis and Reverend Josef of Volotsk, made according to the drawings by V.I. Dumitrashko (1845 –after 1914), are depicted on the eastern pillars of the Intercession Cathedral.
On the left side of the altar, over the northern entrance to the church, there is a mosaic composition “Deisis” which is the best in its integrity of all the cathedral’s mosaics.
The second mosaic made according to the sketch by N.A.Koshelev and called “Christ with a Donator”, is in the cathedral’s exterior, on its southern portal. Alexander Nevsky is depicted in the mosaic as the kneeling donator who presents to Christ a replica of a church in Warsaw consecrated in his honour. In the right and left corner of the exposition (here the left half is empty) are images of prototype churches of the one in Warsaw: Assumption Cathedral in Moscow and St. Isaak’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
The Intercession Cathedral in Baranovichi belongs to the most valuable Belarusian monuments of history and architecture. Its mosaics are a unique phenomenon for Belarusian culture, although these works cannot be called ‘Belarusian”. On our lands mosaic was not in demand until the age of art nouveau. From time immemorial, Belarussian Orthodox and Catholic churches have been decorated with frescoes, and the fact that the cathedral in Baranovichi is an exceprion is of outstanding significance.
Geographic coordinates: N 53° 07' 56,03" E 26° 00' 13,50"
Foto: Владимира ЗУЕВА