Saint Barbara Orthodox Church

Saint Barbara Orthodox Church was located next to Holy Trinity monastery on Kramczewska Hill. Saint Barbara’s was venerated chiefly for being a patron saint of good death, her cult was widespread and particularly developed in Bug area. In the second half of 17th century the orthodox church was used as a hospital. Later, it was transformed into trapezna, i.e. refectory of Troicki monastery. Its date of construction is not known but it functioned in Drohiczyn at least from eighties of 16th century and it was situated ...outside the town limits... The orthodox church was repaired and rebuilt many times. It was used more intensively in subsequent period when Troicka temple was not suitable for exploiting and it assumed Troicka temple functions.

According to the list made in 1693, an iconostas located there was so decayed that it was replaced with a new one. On January, 20th 1789 consistory in Perejasław (Perejasław Chmielnicki oblast), which was in charge of orthodox monasteries in Drohiczyn, ordered a listing of sacral objects that belonged to Holy Trinity monastery. We learn that inside Saint Barbara Orthodox Church there was a new iconostas, not yet painted, filled with icons only in altar places. The icon of Great Martyr Barbara was replaced separately. Father Grzegorz Sosna quotes publications from the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century due to which there was supposed to be a piece of Life-giving Cross of the Lord in the icon, and the sacred image itself was famous for grace and miraculous healings.

The orthodox church was probably tiny and it consisted of a small room with very little windows of lead frames divided by iconostas into two parts: the altar and for believers to pray. The information about the temple’s look from the eighties of 19th century is taken from N.P. Avenarius notes and sketches as well as orthodox church wealth inventory lists. One of them made in 1789 describes: The trapezna orthodox church, small and warm, named after Great Martyr Barbara, made of pine tree bars, with one dome. It is covered with shingle and there is a small iron cross on the top. There are no clapboards on the sides of the building, inside there is a green tile furnace and earth floor. One entrance door on iron hinges with hanging lock. Six quarter-windows. Next to the orthodox church, there are two small hallways with two doors on iron hinges. Avenarius’s sketch depicts the orthodox church building made significantly longer due to penthouse treated as a separate chamber. The inventory list from 1789 describes that ... at one of the orthodox churches under one roof there is a small monastic chamber with box room in the ground and little hallway covered with shingle. There is also earth floor. Four doors on iron hinges to the hut and to the hallway. Three glass quarter-windows. Bricked furnace (...). On the top of the orthodox church roof and hallways themselves there is a small bell tower made of pine tree bars, covered with shingle. Inside of it, there is a small iron cross and six bells: three little ones and the remaining three even smaller... Still, in the year of 1888 there was a chamber occupied by hieromonk located in the penthouse facing altar. Awenarius found a considerable number of 18th century manuscripts and valuable old prints. Undoubtedly, the closet with manuscripts and printed books was a remnant of monastery library. It was noted in 1789 that among the books found there was also Akafist s służboju i żytijem welikomuczenicy Warwary published in Kijev.

The temple had survived in its original form until the year of 1940 when it was demolished by Russians during border line clearing.


  1. Lech Pawlata "Budowle sakralne Drohiczyna w świetle źródeł archeologicznych i historycznych", Biuletyn konserwatorski 2011
  2. Jerzy Hawryluk "Swjataja Warwara cerkwu zbudowała...", Przegląd prawosławny, grudzień 2003


Tłumaczenie tekstu / Translation by - Jakub Bujno