November 20, 2015

2053 BELARUS (Brest) - Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Brest Fortress


In 1795, when the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth was partitioned for the third time, the city of Brest was annexed by Russia. In the 19th century, the Russians demolished the Polish Royal Castle and most of the Old Town "to make room" for a large fortress which was built in and around the city. During the years 1851-1876 an Orthodox Church was built in the fortress, dedicated to Saint Nicholas.

Designed by the academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, architect David Ivanovich Grimm, it is a domed building, church basilica in the Byzantine style, in which 8 columns were installed. Light came through 7 windows in the altar area and the same number of windows on each side. The church was painted in the Romanesque style. In the early 20th century St. Nicholas’s Garrison Church was the main temple of the western Russian region, one of the most beautiful temples built in the center of Europe.

After signing the Treaty of Riga (1921), the temple which was that time in the territory that belonged to Poland, was rebuilt into the Roman Catholic garrison church designed by polish architect Julian Lisiecki. According to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact the territory around Brest was assigned to the Soviet Union. On June 22, 1941, the fortress and the city were attacked by Nazi Germany on the first day of the anti-Soviet Operation Barbarossa.

During the battles, the building became an important point of defense, as it was situated at the highest point of the island. The building was seriously damaged and was kept as a memorial to the war in the post-war years. In the late 1960s the external conservation of the building was done and it was included in the memorial. For the first time after the war, on June, 22 1991a lity for the fallen soldiers was held near the temple. In 1994 the building was returned to the Orthodox Church and there began work on its restoration.

About the stamp
The stamp is one of the two of the series Decorative Applied Arts - Gobelins, issued on January 4, 2014:
• Hoarfrost / 1988 / Galina Stasevich (A)
• Horses / 1997 / Larisa Gustova (M) - It's on the postcard 2053

References
St. Nicholas’s Garrison Church - Brest Fortress official website

Sender: Anna /  (postcrossing) BY-1746868
Sent from Minsk (Minsk / Germany), on 22.10.2015
Photo: T. Kuznyatsova

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