Holy Trinity Orthodox Church


Holy Trinity Orthodox Church was built simultaneously with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary church and it was located on Kramczewska Hill, separated from the main part of the town with deep lin. The name derives from Slavic temples situated there and it was adapted from “Chramczewska Hill”. The brotherhood of Czerńce resettled in the upper monastery, next to Troicka Orthodox Church, and the sisterhood was established in 1659. It was still under the authority of brotherhood hierodeacon. Written sources dating back to 15th century mention royal privileges given to this temple. There was a hospital for sick and poor ran by nuns near the monastery.

The inventory records describe the building characteristics in 1789: (...) the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church made of wood, old, with two thrones, one of the temple at the top of the stairs and the other one in honour of Annunciation of Holy Virgin (...) with a bigger and two smaller domes (...) . Made of pine bars, covered with board on sides and shingle roof on the top (...) two domes covered with white sheet metal. There are three iron crosses on each of the domes. Lunettes painted gold – first one, and green – second one. The interior painted with chalk and covered with boards, altar covered with bricks. Ten quarter-windows made of glass. There was one entrance leading to the temple with iron hinges, locks and bolts. There was also a wooden iconostasis – richly painted and partly sculptural. The tsar gateway was sculptural and gold-plated. Among others, the icon of Saviour and Holy Mother with numerous silver gates donated by believers were placed in the iconostasis.

Monastery buildings were also made of wood. There were two cells with small box rooms attached, out of which one was a main chamber while the other was monastic. Both were made of pine bars and covered with pine boards. Furnaces inside made of green tiles in the main chamber and a brick one in monastic chamber. The floor lined with bricks in the main chamber and earth floor in monastic chamber. There were quarter-windows. Seven doors with iron hinges led to a hut and hallway. Another monastic structure included a wooden kitchen lodge covered with hay with seven regular windows and four doors leading to the lodge and hallway. Opposite the main cell there was a garner made of thin pine bars and wooden floor with one door, covered with shingle. The other garner, for crops and consisting of two chambers, was also made of pine bars. Its floor was lined with wooden boards and its roof was covered with shingle. There were two double-doors leading to the garner. Next to it or under, there was a small cellar for vegetables dug in the ground with two double-doors locked with padlocks. Among monastic structures there was also a small brewery, for making beer or vodka, made of thin pine bars and covered with shingle. A single door led to this building. A distilling furnace made of bricks was located there along with medium-sized copper container. Another large building covered with hay contained a room made of pine bars for grain which was attached to hay shed, the wall of which was made of wattle. In addition to mentioned buildings there were also: a wooden garner, a stable and piggeries. Entire monastic complex was surrounded by pine bars and the only entrance to monastic area led through the penthouse gate.

In 1985 Alina Karwowska did random sample testing in this area. In southern parcel of the historic area where all excavation was concentrated there was no trace of buildings. It is probable that monastic buildings were situated further to the north.

Józef Jaroszewicz, Podlasie historian, in the article published in 1848 claims: Today in Drohiczyn we have two parochial orthodox churches; post-Basilian Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church is a village parish and Holy Trinity Orthodox Church is – after the monastery was closed – a town one. However, Holy Trinity Church is in danger of collapse because of its age, therefore it is closed and masses are celebrated in the nearby situated Saint Barbara Orthodox Church which was its chapel in times of monastery existence (...).

In the end of 19th century Holy Trinity Orthodox Church did not exist. There was a commemorative wooden cross located where orthodox church was. Monastic cells which served as rector’s house after monastery shutdown were unoccupied. The temple was demolished probably in the second half of 19th century.

Feliks Zygmunt Weremiej describing the remenants of the orthodox monastery situated on Kramczewska Hill before the Second World War said: (...) there is only a very old wooden chapel under the invocation of Saint Barbara located in the Hills, in the suburbs of present-day Drohiczyn, according to the sources. This orthodox church is closed due to relocation of celebrations to parochial orthodox church in Drohiczyn and services are held once a year only – on Saint Barbara’s day (...).

There are no visible traces of monastic buildings located next to present-day Piłsudskiego street. Archaeological research were not conducted here and historical ground was built-up. One of the above mentioned building’s traces were found probably in 1970s. During a street construction, in the place which was called the Hills, two temple bells and remnants of a wooden building were dug up. There is no specified information concerning the chronology and further history of this finding.


Sources

  1. Lech Pawlata "Budowle sakralne Drohiczyna w świetle źródeł archeologicznych i historycznych", Biuletyn konserwatorski 2011
  2. Józef Jaroszewicz "Drohiczyn - Opis historyczny", Athenaeum 1847
  3. Feliks Zygmunt Weremiej "Stolica Jaćwieży"

Translation

Tłumaczenie tekstu / Translation by - Jakub Bujno