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Kalozha church is the oldest building in Hrodna. It is also among the most ancient buildings of Belarus. Its history starts in the end of 12th century when the high bank of the river Nioman was chosen to site a new church. The church is located not far away from the Hrodna castles where Kalozha village used to be. The church was named after the first ancient Ruthenian Saints Boris and Gleb. In 1184 a big fire happened in Hrodna. At that time the main church of the town was inside the Old castle and due to the fire was destroyed. That’s how Kalozha Church became the major one. During the 14th century the church suffered from the raids of the crusaders and the war with Moscovia.
All the time the Church was also at threat of its location on the high river bank. Landslides and erosion happened from time to time. In 1853 the church’s western wall and ceilings collapsed and fell down into the river. The church was abandoned for the decades. Only in the early XX century, the river's bank and the foundation of Kalozha were strengthened. Builders made w oden wall instead of damaged one and new ceilings.The architecture of Kalozha is noteworthy in many ways. You can find Slavic letters and signs on the ends of some bricks in the ancient wall.
Their meaning still remains unknown for specialists. Also some clay jugs are inserted into the walls to create unique acoustics serving as resonators. Besides Kalozha is well known for its unique facades' decoration in the shape of crosses. They are made of special polished stones and tiles of different color. Later fragments of ancient frescoes were discovered. There is also a story about the healing icon of Our Lady from Kalozha church, which was taken to Russia in 1917, and further lost. Nowadays the Kalozha church is in safety and is an active place of worship. Try your best to visit this masterpiece from the past while staying in Hrodna.
Photo: Nastya Quende, gid.travel.ru, static.panoramio.com
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