Belarusian Gothic

Belarusian Gothic (Belarusian беларуская готыка) is the architectural style of ecclesiastical buildings constructed during the 15th and 16th centuries in parts of modern-day Belarus, Lithuania and eastern Poland. Although these buildings have features typical of Gothic architecture such as lofty towers, flying buttresses, pointed arches and vaulted ceilings, they also contain elements not typically considered Gothic by Central and Western European standards.

History of the concept
For the first time the concept of the Belarusian gothic advanced in the 1920 ‘s. Belarusian art NN Schekotihin in his ” Sketches from the history of Belarusian art “, it was supported by MI Kaspiarovich, A. Yankyavichene, T. Gabr, AM Kushnerevich . Schekotihin unlike their predecessors, Polish and Russian researchers consider “the Belarusian gothic church” as a result of the artistic creativity of the peopleAnd not only as a material basis of opposing the Russian-Polish clerical – chauvinist position, and focuses on the national roots of this cultural phenomenon.

In his conception of art M. Schekotihin adhered to a consistent theory of the progressive development of architectural forms on the basis of the prototype borrowed, resulting in sometimes exaggerated influence on the local temple construction of the German Gothic style, it was a natural at the scientific concepts that dominated the contemporary European art history. Modern research shows that the impact of the German Gothic style was certainly significant, but not the only one and there is, rather, indirectly, through the lock construction. According to the researcher, the genesis of the 4-tower Orthodox churches Belarusian Gothic occurred thus: architecture dvyuhvezhavaga church of St. Anne influenced architecture laterVilna Bernardine church with three towers on the corners, and one – the formation chatyrohvezhavyh compositions defensive churches in Belarus, which became the quintessence of the identity of the Belarusian Gothic. It is obvious that in the forefront researchers attribute the gradual quantitative increase in the towers, without taking into account the specificity of their functional, artistic style and chronology of the construction of these buildings. Some studies inaccuracies T. Gabr explained a lack of knowledge regarding the dating and the number of Belarusian Gothic monuments.

Few historical and architectural study of the postwar period (Yu Egorov, M. Katsar, A. Mityanin, VA Chanturia), only with more affect the Belarusian Gothic objects, discarding has monuments of Vilnius, basically repeated the concept of art history M. Schekotihina. On the border of 1960 – 1970-x years. circle studied monuments of architectural Gothic Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Bel. (Author.)) is white. greatly expanded the work of the Moscow scholar A. Kvitnitskay and several Lithuanian scholars such as A. Yankavyachene, V. slumber, standing.

Certain analogues of the Roman-Gothic forms as kilepadobnyya arches and many raskrepovka blades, can be seen in the Vitebsk Annunciation Church, Polotsk Savior Transfiguration Church and the Cathedral of Sts Belchitsy monastery of the XII century. That time is almost exactly corresponds to the appearance of the first forms of Gothic architecture in Western Europe.

Due to the remoteness of the region from the environment of origin and expansion of the Gothic style, the distinctive social and political circumstances of formation of statehood, as well as predominantly Orthodox, not Catholic religious orientation of the bulk of the country becoming a Gothic population in its religious architecture occurred with considerable chronological delay and in a very peculiar forms due to the dominance of the preliminary stage is Byzantine archetypes.

The penetration of Western forms of Gothic architecture, and in the first place – from Italy and Germany, in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania contributed to the socio-political and economic circumstances. It happened at the end of the XIV century. with the official baptism of Lithuania in Catholicism through the activities of squalid religious orders Franciscan and Bernardine and Hanseatic merchants. The first Gothic stone churches were built in major cities of the state – Vilnius (Church of St. Nicholas. Russian., Bernardine andSt. Anne) – and Kaunas (” Vytautas spotlight “), which is the Niemen had developed trade relations with the lands of northern Germany), so they have observed a clear influence of the German Gothic style, and notes that the majority of researchers.

On the territory of modern Belarus the first stone church in the Gothic style built in the XIV century. (Church of St. John the Baptist in Usielub, St. Trinity in Ishkoldi, All Saints in Novogrudok, St. Peter and Paul in Ivie). On the border XV – XVIII centuries. Gothic elements infiltrated the Orthodox hramabudavnitstva, znitavalisya traditional Byzantine three-dimensional structure of the Church that determined the artistic feature and uniqueness of the local Gothic (church-fortress in Suprasl, Synkovichi, Murovanka, Boris and Gleb Church in Novogrudok). Architectural forms Gothic (archesand nervyurnyya vaults) are present at this time in the castle construction in Belarus (Mir and Novogrudok castles). With the 2nd quarter of the XVI century. Gothic style of the Catholic opposition becomes hramabudavnitstva against the Reformation movement. The most expressive features of Gothic has retained the Archangel Michael church in Gniezno (1527). At the end of the XVI century. in Catholic art has expanded the style of Baroque, but Gothic elements such as buttresses, existed in the architecture of temples to the middle of the XVII century..

Temple structures were built from brick red Bruskova (average size bricks is 26 – 32 × 13 – 7 × 16 – 9.5 cm) in the art Gothic masonry (except Nativity Virgin in Murovanka where used Renaissance masonry – alternating in one row of several pole). buildings volumes are resolved sculpted, with soft lines drawing, architectural decoration plays a minor role (Ishkold). The main decorative elements – framed portals and window openings, a variety of drawing niche and arcature (Novogrudok). In window and door frames applied pointed arch with a small lifting boom (Navahradak, Synkovichi, Supraśl, Kohden). Often completion openings and portals were not specific to the Gothic arched and semicircular shape. Grass aisles blocked nervyurnymi and crystalline arches of different configurations (found in all monuments). In order to discharge the walls used buttresses (Novogrudok, Synkovichi, CODENI). The ends of a gable roof is closed gabled shields (found in all monuments).

All Orthodox churches applicable architectural type so-called knitting basilica where all naves are the same height. In addition to the relative ease of performing this type of increasingly responsible Orthodox worldview and liturgical practice, although the architecture of Mazovia, whose influence is clearly felt in these monuments, knitting type was the least common. But, if the aisles basilica churches, even a relatively small (two or three kiddle), subordinate to the principle longitudinal centerline of the spatial organization, the Orthodox churches of the hall is constructed as a centric space.

For Catholic were characterized by the following types of temples: three-nave Bezbashenny (Ishkold, Ivye) adnaslupavy Bezbashenny (Usielub) and one-nave mono-tower (Gneznavski church of St. Michael, Deravnovski Church Annunciation). Adnanefavyya temples with towers – bell on the main facade represent monumental and compact volumes, reinforced by buttresses, contrasted with high bunk vertical towers, which gave the building features of the dynamic asymmetry.

On a significant impact architecture of Mazovia to the Belarusian gothic, evidenced by a number of characteristic features – building techniques. For Mazovian architecture characterized by the use in the finishing of the outer wall surface of paired recesses inscribed in a semicircular niche; and the inner surface of the recess bleached and beyond neoshtukaturena brick wall, thus creating a vivid contrast of red and white, which takes place in Synkovichi, Murovanka and other monuments. In Mazovia furthermore used parebryk (facade shield church Russian. In Plock). A similar piece we see in the basement Malomozheykovskaya temple. Mazovetsky Church Russian. in Łomża it has a larger image ribs arch in the central nave and smaller in the side, which allows to draw a parallel with the arches constructs temple Murovanka in.

These gothic elements in the monuments of Belarusian Gothic represented a relatively “modest”. There are no bold design solutions specific to the scale of the cathedrals of France Russian., England, Germany Russian. Where dominant, it is usually covered with a wide central nave which is supported outside the flying buttresses resting on buttresses. the absence of flying buttressesdue to the fact that the type of knitting construction of thrust transmitted to the central aisle side, he equal in height. And the room lighting problem is solved by the use of windows in the walls of the southern and northern facades of.

The main common feature of Belarus sacral Gothic with the pan is the presence in the overlapping system structures nervyurnyh arches (Phillips and stellate). As in other countries, brick Gothic, ribs were performed with a shaped brick instead of stone. Their strength lower limit value flown vaults, leading to crushing ribs network that facilitated the use of stellate and later cellular (or crystal) gothic arches. In the last nervyurny frame filled with crystal-like three-edged pyramid, which have their own internal spatial rigidity. Manifestation of late Gothic vaults decor is a networkdiamond pattern ribs. Since the beginning of the XVI century. architecture stone temples, next to the Gothic forms and designs, trends are beginning to be felt renaissance.

Belarusian Gothic monuments
From well-known to date in the territory of modern Belarus Catholic hramabudavnitstva stone monuments of the earliest example of Gothic architecture it is in its authentic basis of the Church of St.. John the Baptist in the village Usielub, founded in the first half of the XV century.. Appearance uselyubskaga church considerably changed numerous rearrangements in the XVI – the XX-th c. Originally consisted of the main square in terms of volume, and lower pentahedral apse quite considerable size. On the north side to the presbytery adjoins a small sacristy with pent roof, blocked nervyurnymi star-ribbed vault. The bulk was set high gable roof shingle, which was separated from hipped roof over apse stone gable. High stone shield on the main facade decorated with three high lancet arched niches. A similar silhouette and had windows. In total, the building was five windows, two windows located on the south, one – on the north façade, two – on the front and southern edges of the apse. On the main western facade asymmetrically relative to the central axis was arched semicircular niche.

The next step in the development of the Belarusian Catholic hramabudavnitstva stone is Trinity Church in Ishkoldi (Baranovichi district), built in 1471 city of architectural composition ishkaldskaga church is much more perfect interpretation of Central European Gothic forms.

Ishkaldski church is rectangular in plan with the volume zalavy rovnavysokay elongated pentahedral apse chancel with sacristy north side. At the point of attachment to a large two-storey sacristy of the bulk located in the tower-like volume of a quarter circle. The bulk high wedge covered roof which is height wall structures. Are unique gothic roof structure, which retain the stigma of the masters, the analogues of which can be found in the architectural structures of Western Europe, in neighboring Poland and Lithuania. temple wall in structural units strengthened by buttresses. On the main facade of the corner buttresses support the massive stone shieldroof slopes which have powerful step-plastic shape, flat arched semicircular niche on the shield are performed simultaneously and loading decorative function.

Within the space of the main volume is divided into three naves, of which the lateral half of the narrower central but equal to him in height. All the grass, covered with cross ribbed vaults.

Brick Catholic hramabudavnitstva in the XVI century. It was slow. Among the few late Gothic Catholic churches stands the church of St. Michael the Archangel in Gniezno, which marked the emergence of the Belarusian Catholic hramabudavnitstve late Gothic elements of the Renaissance.

Wide rectangular nave gneznavskaga church complete with a three-sided east chancel. The building covered with high gable roof hips on the altar. No elevation changes roofs of the nave and the apse, which is typical for earlier Gothic churches. The absence of the apse of the chancel and sacristy makes gneznavski church, despite its considerable size, like the chapel or the Protestant churches of later times, who had dedicated the altar room. Furthermore, gneznavski church originally had napavpademnuyu crypt. Thin walls pierced gothic great looking lancet windows and arched openings reinforced by buttresses, rectangular niches, equal to the height of the windows, the walls give the interior structural rigidity.

Lancet windows above the openings there are traces raspalubok, indicating the existence of Gothic arches. Researchers suggest that initially overlap maintained six supporting pillars disposed respectively external buttresses. In this rather narrow aisles. Rather, arches church gneznavskaga system initially repeating gothic architecture of ishkaldskaga Church.

Multi-storey towers westwork attached to the main facade of masonry without dressing, which indicates that it was built later than the main volume, but shortly afterwards.

Another monument Catholic Gothic hramabudavnitstva XVI century. Church of the Franciscans in Ashmyany, hard hit by the recent reorganizations and destruction. To date stored Gothic lower parts of the walls in the altar of the temple included in the later classic building.

In Navahradak (Grodnensk region) in the first quadrant XVI in. Cathedral was built St. Boris and Gleba, originally, to rearrangements XVII -XIH cc., Is tri dvuhpraslavym with pentahedral structure adnachastkovay apse, overlapped gable roof .

In Vilnius (now the capital of the Republic of Lithuania), several stone Orthodox churches were built in this period. Assumption (Prechistenskaya) Cathedral (1511-1522) built on the site of the temple of the same name, built in the XIV century. This initially, until the later rearrangements, three-nave, trohpraslavae, covered gabled roof, flankavanae four corner towers crowned over syarodkryzhzha dome structure knitting type ternary faceted altar .

Church of St. Nicholas (second half of 1510 – early 1520-ies.) – originally (before rearrangements mid XVIII – early XX centuries.) With three naves, trohpraslavae, knitting structure with a three-part semi-circular altar and a square plan bell tower, adjacent to the southwest corner, covered gabled roof, which has wooden cupola ridge .

Holy Trinity Church (second half of 1510 -. The beginning of 1520-ies)., Originally, to rearrangements XVII-XIX centuries, is a traditional temple-fortress in Belarus. Church represented nave, shestistolpny, trohpraslavuyu, knitting a three-part construction with a semicircular altar, covered with a gable roof with wooden head on the ridge, at the corners of four towers flankavalasya . On the top and in the towers were praprezanyya loopholes. Typologically Holy Trinity Church in Vilnius, the closest to the church-fortress in Synkovichi, which, for a variety of architectural and artistic features, was constructed by the same craftsmen almost simultaneously with it (but probably later) at the beginning of the XVI century.Also, they may have had one investor – Constantine Ostrog. The main argument in favor of this solution is similar to the altar part of the temple and the presence arkaturno belt around the eastern tower and altar apses at the level of the cap structures.

On the border of the XVI and XVII centuries the church was extended forward. The original main façade with two towers was demolished Bakwa stead were additionally attach the porch with the choirs above him. To the left was attached sacristy, and the right – the chapel of St. Luke. Since 1760, for a period for 25 years the temple and the whole monastery were rebuilt in the Baroque style by Jan Christopher glaubitz. In the days of the Russian Empire, Basilian monastery ceased to exist. After 1845 a completely abandoned monastery, it was decided to transfer the Russian Orthodox Church, the church has undergone a nearly complete overhaul in the style of historicism.

In Suprasl (now the Republic of Poland, Podlasie) in 1503-1510 gg. It was constructed Annunciation Cathedral – nave, trohpraslavae, knitting-faceted dome construction with an apse, square in plan porch (attached to XVII in.) high gable roof and four cylindrical corner towers. In 1944, he was blown up by the retreating Nazi troops. In 1998, the 500-year anniversary of the monastery church as a whole has been restored according to the original appearance, the researchers recorded the beginning of the twentieth century .

Architectural shapes, designs and construction machinery Gothic is more characteristic of the castle architecture 16-17. (Grodno Old Castle, Novogrudok Castle, Mir Castle). The wooden architecture individual elements Gothic maintained until the 18th century.

Source from Wikipedia