Photos of the Day for September 30, 2015

September 29, 2015 7:00 pm

Feast of Mary Magdalene (I/III), Orthodox church of St. Mary Magdalene, Alhomjel’ 2015.  Прастольнае сьвята Сьв. роўнаап. Марыі Магдалены (I/III), царква Сьв. роўнаап. Марыі Магдалены, Альгомель 2015 г.

The central Polesian village of Al’homjel’ has two churches, the classic Polesian wooden church of the Resurrection (1817) and, to accommodate the revival of the parish after the end of Soviet occupation, the church of St. Mary Magdalene (1994).  The August 4 feast of Mary Magdalene is always enthusiastically attended, not only by the parish but also by pilgrims from surrounding villages; a dozen or more priests officiate.

Blessing of the icon of Mary Magdalene.  Асьвячэньне абразу Сьв. роўнаап. Марыі Магдалены.

Children’s communion.  Дзіцячае прычасьце.

Blessing of children.  Дабраслаўленьне дзяцей.

Photos of the Day for September 29, 2015

September 28, 2015 7:00 pm

Architectural patrimony of Belarus:  expedition to the northern districts of Mjory and Braslau led by Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Спадчына Беларусі:  вандроўка па Мёрскім і Браслаўскім раёнах з Антонам Астаповічам, старшыням Беларускага дабраахвотнага таварыства аховы помнікаў гісторыі й культуры.

Part VIII/VIII:  inter-war Polish functionalism, Braslau 2015.  Частка VIII/VIII:  міжваенны польскі функцыяналізм на беларускіх землях, Браслаў 2015 г.

The post-World War I architectural style known as functionalism grew out of Soviet constructivism and ideas generated earlier by Italian futurism and even articulated earlier by American sculptor Horatio Greenough and American architect Louis Sullivan (form follows function).   In the interwar Polish Republic, a search for a national style of architecture led to the combination of functionalism with the Zakopane style (for the latter see, e.g., http://culture.pl/en/artist/stanislaw-witkiewicz-creator-of-the-zakopane-style).  Polish architects most notably used functionalism in commissions for administrative buildings and housing — both apartment blocks and single-family or semi-detached dwellings — for officials and other civil servants.

Despite World War II destruction and subsequent Soviet and more recent neglect or brutal reconstruction, a number of interwar Polish functionalist structures survive intact in Belarus.  Juliusz Kłos (1881-1933), in Belarusian Юлюш Клос, was one of the most prominent developers of this Polish national style.  An outstanding example of Kłos’ work is this small housing estate (“colony”) for local officials in Braslau.  A similar residential ensemble of his survives in Hlybokaje, to the southeast of Braslau.

Photos of the Day for September 28, 2015

September 27, 2015 7:00 pm

Architectural patrimony of Belarus:  expedition to the northern districts of Mjory and Braslau led by Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Спадчына Беларусі:  вандроўка па Мёрскім і Браслаўскім раёнах з Антонам Астаповічам, старшыням Беларускага дабраахвотнага таварыства аховы помнікаў гісторыі й культуры.

Part VII/VIII:  Braslau 2015.  Частка VII/VIII:  Браслаў 2015 г.

Churches of Belarus (part CXVIII):  Roman Catholic church of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1824, 1897).  This church is the goal of the annual pilgrimage for the August 22 celebration of the miraculous image of the Mother of God – Queen of the Lakes.

Касьцёлы Беларусі (частка CXVIII):  касьцёл Нараджэньня Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі (1824, 1897).

View of the church from the city hill (site of the first fortified settlement).  On the right stands the Orthodox church of the Dormition.  Касьцёл з гарадзішча.  З правага боку царква Ўсьпеньня Прасьвятой Багародзіцы.

Baptism.  Хрышчэньне.

Stonework with a rare example of patterned gallettes.  Рэдкі прыклад узору з разынак.

Photos of the Day for September 27, 2015

September 26, 2015 7:00 pm

Architectural patrimony of Belarus:  expedition to the northern districts of Mjory and Braslau led by Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Спадчына Беларусі:  вандроўка па Мёрскім і Браслаўскім раёнах з Антонам Астаповічам, старшыням Беларускага дабраахвотнага таварыства аховы помнікаў гісторыі й культуры.

Part VI/VIII:  Slabodka 2015.  Частка VI/VIII:  Слабодка 2015 г.

Churches of Belarus (part CXVII):  Roman Catholic church of Divine Providence (1903; formerly the church of the Sacred Heart; reflecting the church’s former name, the feast of the Sacred Heart is still a major parish celebration).

Касьцёлы Беларусі (частка CXVII):  касьцёл Божага Провіду (1903 г.; раней касьцёл меў назву Найсьвяцейшага Сэрца Езуса й сьвята Сэрца Езуса застаецца адной з галоўных урачыстасьцей парафіі).

Photos of the Day for September 26, 2015

September 25, 2015 7:00 pm

Architectural patrimony of Belarus:  expedition to the northern districts of Mjory and Braslau led by Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Спадчына Беларусі:  вандроўка па Мёрскім і Браслаўскім раёнах з Антонам Астаповічам, старшыням Беларускага дабраахвотнага таварыства аховы помнікаў гісторыі й культуры.

Part V/VIII:  Druja town fabric:  vernacular architecture and Jewish cemetery.  Частка V/VIII:  Друя:  горадабудаўнічы ансамбль і жыдоўскія могілкі.

Commercial buildings (late 19th or early 20th century) on the town square.  Judging by their style, brick construction, and placement, these buildings would have been built by Jewish merchants, and would have belonged to them until World War II.

Камяніцы на рынку (канец 19-а – пачатак 20-а ст.).

Houses with carved decorative elements (early 20th century).  Дамы з выразанымі ўпрыгажэньнямі (пачатак 20-а ст.).

Brick house.  Again, by its materials and style, this house would most likely have been Jewish-owned until World War II.

Камяніца.

Like all other towns and cities in the Russian empire’s imposed Pale of Settlement, Druja had a large Jewish community.  By at least one account there were 1,500 Jews in Druja in 1939, almost half the town’s population.  This community was destroyed in the mass murder of Jews under the Nazis’ policy to subjugate or annihilate the nations and other peoples living in the territories they invaded and occupied during World War II:  at most sixty of Druja’s Jews survived (see http://www.eilatgordinlevitan.com/druya/druya.html ).

Jewish cemetery (begun in the 18th century).  There are two reasons for the empty spaces in this and other Jewish cemeteries in the greater region.  First, German occupiers in World War II used Jewish gravestones to pave roads.  After repelling the Germans and re-occupying Belarus, Soviet authorities also allowed use of Jewish gravestones as building material.  Second, many Jewish families who emigrated during a renewed wave of Soviet anti-Semitism in the Brezhnev era took gravestones with them to maintain a tangible link with their forbears.

Жыдоўскія могілкі.

Photo of the Day for September 25, 2015

September 24, 2015 7:00 pm

Patrimony of Belarus:  expedition to the northern districts of Mjory and Braslau led by Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Спадчына Беларусі:  вандроўка па Мёрскім і Браслаўскім раёнах з Антонам Астаповічам, старшыням Беларускага дабраахвотнага таварыства аховы помнікаў гісторыі й культуры.

Part IV/VIII:  Druja 2015.  Частка IV/VIII:  Друя 2015 г.

Belarus in faces (part CLXXI).  Беларусь у тварах (частка CLXXI).

Photos of the Day for September 24, 2015

September 23, 2015 7:00 pm

Architectural patrimony of Belarus:  expedition to the northern districts of Mjory and Braslau led by Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Спадчына Беларусі:  вандроўка па Мёрскім і Браслаўскім раёнах з Антонам Астаповічам, старшыням Беларускага дабраахвотнага таварыства аховы помнікаў гісторыі й культуры.

Part III/VIII:  Druja.  Частка III/VIII:  Друя.

A selection of other churches.  Іншыя храмы.

Churches of Belarus (part CXIV):  ruins of the Orthodox church of the Apostles Peter and Paul (late 18th century, built as a Greek-Catholic church), Druja 2015.  Цэрквы Беларусі (частка CXIV):  руіны царквы Сьвятых апосталаў Пятра й Паўла (канец 18-а ст., пабудавана як грэка-каталіцкі храм), Друя 2015 г.

Churches of Belarus (part CXV):  Old Believers’ church of the Dormition, Druja 2015.  Цэрквы Беларусі (частка CXV):  стараверская царква Ўсьпеньня Прасьвятой Багародзіцы, Друя 2015 г.

Churches of Belarus (part CXVI):  ruins of the Orthodox church of the Annunciation (nave built as a Roman- or Greek-Catholic church in the 1740s; the bell-tower was added after the Orthodox Patriarchate seized the church in the mid-19th century), Druja 2015.  Цэрквы Беларусі (частка CXVI):  руіны царква Дабравешчаньня Прасьвятой Багародзіцы (нэф пабудаваны як рыма- ці грэка-каталічкі храм у 1740-ых гг., Праваслаўная царква прыбудавала бабінец і званіцу ў сярэдзіні 19-а ст.), Друя 2015 г.

 

Photos of the Day for September 23, 2015

September 22, 2015 7:00 pm

Architectural patrimony of Belarus:  expedition to the northern districts of Mjory and Braslau led by Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Спадчына Беларусі:  вандроўка па Мёрскім і Браслаўскім раёнах з Антонам Астаповічам, старшыням Беларускага дабраахвотнага таварыства аховы помнікаў гісторыі й культуры.

Part II/VIII:  Druja.  Частка II/VIII:  Друя.

Druja, in the Belarusian border zone, is accessible for non-residents only with special permission.  Lying on the left bank of the river Dzvina at the border with Latvia, Druja was long an important fortified town of the Polatsk lands, important enough to win self-governing privileges by 1506 (Magdeburg Rights in 1620).  In various wars the town was repeatedly ravaged by Muscovite forces (1515, 1632, 1654-67), not to mention depredations during the 1701-21 Northern War, the effects of harsh German occupation in World War II, and the Soviet regime’s severe neglect of the town’s rich architectural patrimony.  The population has slowly declined from a peak of 5500 at the beginning of the 20th century to about 1100 today.

Churches of Belarus (part CXIII):  Roman Catholic church of the Holy Trinity (1643-46 and late 18th century), Druja 2015.  Касьцёлы Беларусі (частка СХІІІ):  касьцёл Сьвятой Тройцы (1643-46 і пасьля 1760), Друя 2015 г.

On the right-hand side is the former Bernardine monastery attached to the church.  Касьцёл з былым кляштарам бернардынаў.

Interior (see also photos of the day for October 8-10, 2014).  Інтэр’ер (гл. таксама фотаздымкі дня 8-10 кастрычніка 2014 г.).

Photos of the Day for September 22, 2015

September 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Architectural patrimony of Belarus:  expedition to the northern districts of Mjory and Braslau led by Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Спадчына Беларусі:  вандроўка па Мёрскім і Браслаўскім раёнах з Антонам Астаповічам, старшыням Беларускага дабраахвотнага таварыства аховы помнікаў гісторыі й культуры.

Part I/VIII:  Mjory and Idouta.  Частка І/VIII:  Мёры й Ідоўта.

Churches of Belarus (part CXI):  Roman Catholic church of the Assumption (1907), Mjory 2015.  Касьцёлы Беларусі (частка СХІ):  касьцёл Унебаўзяцьця Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі (1907), Мёры 2015 г.

Churches of Belarus (part CXII):  Roman Catholic church of Our Lady of the Scapular (1937-39), Idouta 2015.  Idouta lies in the Belarusian border zone and is thus accessible to non-residents of the zone only with special permission.  This church is one of only three or four Belarusian churches in a style which mixes Italianate and “1930s modern” features.

Касьцёлы Беларусі (частка СХІІ):  касьцёл Маці Божай Скаплернай (1937-39), Ідоўта 2015 г.

Photo of the Day for September 21, 2015

September 20, 2015 7:00 pm

Belarus in Faces (part CLXX).  Беларусь у тварах (частка CLXX).

Blessing of flowers at the Orthodox Christian feast of Mjadovy Spas/Makauje (VIII/VIII):  Davyd-Haradok 2015.  Мядовы Спас/Макаўе (VIII/VIII):  Давыд-Гарадок 2015 г.