Card no 452 - Mish
Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary, Minsk
Country Card Sent From: Belarus
Place that Card Sender Lives: Minsk
Date Received: 21st March 2013
Distance Travelled: 1,154 miles
Time Taken: 12 days
The Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary, (The Cathedral of the Holy Name of Mary) is a Roman Catholic baroque cathedral in Minsk. It was built in 1710 as a church of the Jesuit monastery. In 1793, after Russia took over Belarus, the Jesuit order was banned and the church became the local cathedral. The Cathedral was heavily damaged in a fire in 1797, but was later fully renewed.
The Soviet authorities closed the cathedral down in 1934. During the Second World War, the Germans allowed the cathedral to function again, but after the war it was again closed down by the Soviets. In 1951, the cathedral's bell towers were intentionally destroyed by Soviet artillery and the building itself was given to the Spartak sports society.
In the beginning of the 1990s, religious services started again. In 1993, the building was given back to the Roman Catholics; by 1997 it was renewed. During 2000s, the frescoes created in 18th century were also restored. An in 2005, the church was gifted a new organ manufactured in Austria.
Mish mentions Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Polotsk has an organ as well and its sound is amazing.
The Gooseberry stamp is lovely -