Towns are like people. Some are rich and influential from their conception; others need to acquire such qualities over centuries. Minsk is an example of the latter though founded as a border fortification in the Polatsk Principality, over its millennial history Minsk has managed to be the predominant centre of power in an appanage, capital of a province and at long last the capital of an independent nation counting 10 million people. Well, as Minsk is more that 900 years, it is quite enough to speak about its antiquity. But unfortunately almost all traces of old times are lost. There are practically no ancient buildings in Minsk, but the hero-city tries to keep memory about its past. And nowadays numerous names of the streets and squares, churches remind us not about the stormy past of Minsk, but of our country. And the first place that is worth visiting is the Red Church (the church of St. Simeon and Helen). It was built in the early 20th c. under the sponsorship of the Vaynilovich family (a Slutsk judge, landowner Vaynilovich and his wife Olyrnia) who donated all their money to commemorate their children Simon and Helen who died unexpectedly of an unknown disease. Their names are given to 2 small towers, white the big one as the symbol of eternally mourning parents. The church is mainly decorated in Roman style with its majestic forms, balance, quiet strength though some details of Gothic style could also be seen. The sculptural composition of Archangel Michael who kills a winged dragon symbolizes the victory of the divine army over the forces of darkness. Nowadays, the red church building, which has already served as Belarusian SSR's National Polisk Theatre, a film studio and a cinema, has since 1990 been returned to believers, but it serves not only a religious purpose. Concerts of organ music, religious music concerts of world-famous composers are held here, one-actor theatre performances are staged and sketches are played. The Church of the Holy...
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