BACK

Church of Saint Mary’s Scapular in Druskininkai

5°C
I. Fonbergo g. 15, Druskininkai
Listen
Routes

In the middle of the 19th century, in the square located at the start of today’s Vilniaus Avenue, arose a neo-Gothic church, which in its forms reminds more of an Orthodox house of prayer than a Catholic one. Perhaps it’s because it was said to have been designed by an architect from Grodno (at the time the resort belonged to the Grodno Governorate of Tsarist Russia). In this church, the father of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis worked as an organist, whilst the young artist was also inspired by the church bells. The building, which dates from a period stretching from 1912 to the interwar period, is the only Catholic church in Druskininkai.

In 1909, it was decided that the Catholics of Druskininkai deserved a more spacious house of prayer. Its design was prepared by Stefanas Šileris (Stefan Szyller), a graduate of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. In his works, he didn’t avoid the quotations of history. He also valued the Baroque and Renaissance styles. Nevertheless, he continued with the neo-Gothic tradition whilst designing the church. According to architecture specialists, the architect based his design on Gothic traditions from the Netherlands and Lithuania. You can really see the similarities with the Church of St. Anne in Vilnius.

The construction of the church was sponsored by the town’s Catholic priest Boleslovas Valejka (Bolesław Wołejko). At the same time, he founded a secret Polish school in the resort, and in 1942 was shot in Grodno. Other sources say that the sponsor was actually Henrika, the wife of doctor Ksawery Wolfgang (who was also the publisher of a magazine Druskininkų šaltinių undinė (literally, The Mermaid of the Springs of Druskininkai), and another local rich man offered funds only on the condition that the church entrance was visible from his villa. The priest Valejka (Wołejko) didn’t support this idea.

War stopped the construction works for a little while and the tower and the inside of the building weren’t finished. The church was eventually consecrated during the interwar period. Press archives provide an interesting detail, namely that even Juzefas Pilsudskis (Józef Piłsudski), the First Marshal of Poland, who was already a dictator during this period, enjoyed visiting the new house of prayer.

During the Soviet occupation, a priest from Vilnius named Juozas Vaičiūnas was sent to Druskininkai. He would sometimes be visited by such people as the linguist Juozas Balčikonis, the writer Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas and others. They’d usually stay at the clergy house nearby.

In 1991, a 4.5 metre sculpture of Christ Blessing the People, created by Kęstutis Juozapas Patamsis, was built on the church’s façade.

Church of Saint Mary’s Scapular in Druskininkai

I. Fonbergo g. 15, Druskininkai

In the middle of the 19th century, in the square located at the start of today’s Vilniaus Avenue, arose a neo-Gothic church, which in its forms reminds more of an Orthodox house of prayer than a Catholic one. Perhaps it’s because it was said to have been designed by an architect from Grodno (at the time the resort belonged to the Grodno Governorate of Tsarist Russia). In this church, the father of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis worked as an organist, whilst the young artist was also inspired by the church bells. The building, which dates from a period stretching from 1912 to the interwar period, is the only Catholic church in Druskininkai.

In 1909, it was decided that the Catholics of Druskininkai deserved a more spacious house of prayer. Its design was prepared by Stefanas Šileris (Stefan Szyller), a graduate of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. In his works, he didn’t avoid the quotations of history. He also valued the Baroque and Renaissance styles. Nevertheless, he continued with the neo-Gothic tradition whilst designing the church. According to architecture specialists, the architect based his design on Gothic traditions from the Netherlands and Lithuania. You can really see the similarities with the Church of St. Anne in Vilnius.

The construction of the church was sponsored by the town’s Catholic priest Boleslovas Valejka (Bolesław Wołejko). At the same time, he founded a secret Polish school in the resort, and in 1942 was shot in Grodno. Other sources say that the sponsor was actually Henrika, the wife of doctor Ksawery Wolfgang (who was also the publisher of a magazine Druskininkų šaltinių undinė (literally, The Mermaid of the Springs of Druskininkai), and another local rich man offered funds only on the condition that the church entrance was visible from his villa. The priest Valejka (Wołejko) didn’t support this idea.

War stopped the construction works for a little while and the tower and the inside of the building weren’t finished. The church was eventually consecrated during the interwar period. Press archives provide an interesting detail, namely that even Juzefas Pilsudskis (Józef Piłsudski), the First Marshal of Poland, who was already a dictator during this period, enjoyed visiting the new house of prayer.

During the Soviet occupation, a priest from Vilnius named Juozas Vaičiūnas was sent to Druskininkai. He would sometimes be visited by such people as the linguist Juozas Balčikonis, the writer Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas and others. They’d usually stay at the clergy house nearby.

In 1991, a 4.5 metre sculpture of Christ Blessing the People, created by Kęstutis Juozapas Patamsis, was built on the church’s façade.

Your comment

Send
Comment successfully added