Sts Boris and Gleb Church (Kolozha Church) is an architectural pearl of ancient Grodno, a unique specimen of Eastern Orthodox architecture in Belarus and entire Eastern Europe.
Constructed in the northwestern part of Ancient Rus in the 12th century, the Kolozha Church is not like any other church in the world. This Christian halidom was nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage List.
History and Construction
It is unknown when the construction of the church began. It is believed that the church was erected on the steep bank of the Neman River in Grodno in 1140-1170. The church was founded by the sons of Grodno Prince Vsevolod and named in honor of the first Russian saints – Princes Boris and Gleb.
Sts. Boris and Gleb Church is a unique specimen of ancient stone architecture of the Grodno architectural school.
The church was designed following the traditions of the Byzantine temple architecture. Nevertheless, it has no direct analogues either in the Old Russian or in the Balkan architecture. The Kolozha Church is also famous for its walls decorated with large polished stones and multicolor cross-shaped majolica tiles.
Wonderworking Kolozha Icon of the Mother of God
Since ancient times Sts. Boris and Gleb Church kept the Orthodox relic – the wonderworking Kolozha Icon of the Mother of God, a copy of Hodigitria Icon of Vilnius.
According to the legend, the image of the Holy Mother was willed to the church by a bagger who carried the wonderworking icon votively on his chest. They say that since the 17th century the icon has cured many people from different ailments.
The icon was evacuated to Russia in 1915 and got lost there. Today the church keeps its replica while the search for the original image continues.