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Red Church in Minsk

The Red Church in Minsk was built in the early 20th century. Construction lasted five years – from 1905 to 1910. The building is called “red” (“chyrvony”) because of the color of its brick walls, a name that was established long ago. The tile roof of the cathedral matches the shade of the walls, creating a complete memorable image.

History of the Red Church

Edward Voynilovich lived a long life: he experienced both happy and tragic days. It was because of the misfortune that had befallen his family that he decided to invest in building a new temple. His two children, a boy and a girl, passed away too soon. Simeon was only 12 and Helen was 18. There are reports that the patron’s daughter dreamed of a beautiful red church, a dream her father realized.

Church of St. Simeon and St. Helen - Red Church, MinskIt is of great importance that the personal desire of the nobleman of Minsk fully coincided with the desire of the townspeople to build a new Catholic cathedral. Since the end of the 19th century, they have made such a request to the City Council. Several thousand residents of Minsk were interested in the construction. Not only the plot was required, but also significant funds.

The loss prompted Edward Adamovich to do something special: all the money he could have left as an inheritance to his children went to the construction. The bright new church of St. Simeon and St. Helen has become an ornament of the city. In 2006, the remains of the patron himself, a representative of an ancient noble family, were reburied here. There is a bust of Voynilovich inside the temple. His children rested in the family cemetery in Savichi, from where the tombstone of Edward’s son Simeon was moved to the church.

Merits of the Belarusian nobleman

Edward Voynilovich was an outstanding personality of his time – vice-chairman and, since 1907, chairman of the Minsk Agricultural Society. His work was appreciated not only by his countrymen. He was their representative in the State Council of the Russian Empire. Chairman of the State Council, Chairman of the Council of Ministers P.A. Stolypin offered him a high position in the Ministry of Agriculture.

After the events of 1918, when the Voynilovich estate was looted and Edward and his wife miraculously escaped raiders, they moved to Poland. The famous Belarusian political figure died at the age of 81, leaving a book of memoirs and a beautiful cathedral in his native land.

Worship services and other events

After the revolution, beginning in 1923, there was a period when the Red Church of Minsk was used for a variety of (non-cult) purposes. The preservation of the building was ensured by organizations connected with the cultural life of the Belarusian capital. Before the Great Patriotic War it was home to the State Polish Theater, as well as a film studio. Later – the Museum of Film History, the House of Cinema.

Importantly, the temple was considered a monument of architecture protected by the state, despite significant changes: the church property was confiscated, and many details of the historic site were altered or rebuilt.

During the occupation, the church was active for a short period. And in the 1990s, it again became the site of Catholic Church services. Services are conducted in several languages: Belarusian, Polish, Lithuanian and Latin.

Church services and cultural mission

Red Church - schedule of services

Nowadays, there are events that attract the attention not only of believers, but also of secular fans of classical art. Festivals, performances, exhibitions, and public events take place regularly in the cathedral and the area surrounding it. Organ music concerts are an important part of the schedule of the Red Church in Minsk.

The tour program of the historical site includes a number of interesting topics:

  • “A copy of the Shroud of Turin;
  • “Relics of Pope St. John Paul II;
  • “Vintage Books of the Adam Mickiewicz Library;
  • “Paintings by artists of Belarus.

The Church of St. Simeon and St. Helen is open daily, during the day there is a church service. It starts at 7 a.m. On Sunday and Thursday, the last service begins at 9 p.m., on other days at 7 p.m. A detailed schedule of services in the Red Church on weekdays and holidays is available on the official website


For various questions related to religious rites, parishioners contact the office, which is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cathedral furnishings and relics

The restored Red Church in Minsk is of interest not only to parishioners. Here you can admire the stained-glass windows and paintings, and learn about spiritual and aesthetic values that are new to you.

Red Church in Minsk - address, history

It is worth paying attention to the copy of the Shroud of Turin, located here, as well as to the monument at the entrance to the temple: the Archangel Michael striking the winged serpent.

The style of architecture of the temple is Neo-Gothic or Neo-Romanesque. The design of the church did not avoid the wiggle of the Art Nouveau style, popular in the early 20th century. The three towers of the Red Church have different heights, the tallest is 50 m, the other two are 36 m each. Near the church is a small priest’s house, built at the same time as the cathedral.

Another relic is the Voynilovich family tree, created in 1905 by a Polish sculptor. It is kept in the Historical Museum in Minsk. Obviously, the customer experienced the loss of his children as a real tragedy: the development of a dynasty that had been celebrated for centuries ceased. The Voynilovich family descended from Voynila, the hero of the Battle of Grunwald (1410).

How to get to the Red Church

The church in Minsk is located on Independence Square. This spectacular architectural and historical landmark is located very close to the Government House. The official address of the Red Church – Minsk, Sovetskaya Street, 15. The construction of the temple is connected with the fate of the local nobleman Edward Adamovich Voynilovich, on whose funds it was built.

Red Church on the map of Minsk

Reviews about the Red Church

Most sightseers who have visited the church recall with pleasure its expressive interior, organ music concerts, and the beautifully decorated grounds near the cathedral.

Next to the Church of St. Simeon and St. Helen is another important tourist attraction – the Nagasaki Bell. This monument was erected in 2000 to commemorate the bell that survived the nuclear bombing in the Japanese city. Tragedies resulting from the use of nuclear energy have also occurred in peacetime. The memorial preserves the memory of Chernobyl, Fukushima and other places where disasters occurred or atomic weapons were tested. This place is visited by many international delegations and visitors to the city.

For visitors to Belarus, the Red Church has become one of the expressive symbols of Minsk. It is located in the central part of the capital, it is convenient to travel to or reach by hiking trails.

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