St. Nicholas Orthodox Church


St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

Jakub Ciecierski – Drohiczyn steward – and his wife Konstancja Kuczyńska as well as their relatives of Chądzyńscy family founded the Uniate Church of Saint Nicholas next to Drohiczyn’s marketplace. He also built a monastery adjacent to the temple for Basylian monks which came to Drohiczyn.

When the parish Orthodox church (also named after Saint Nicholas) was burnt in 1805, the rector of the ruined temple conceded the parish for Basylians. He decided to join the Basylian order shortly afterwards.

The Basylians of Drohiczyn conducted the Uniate school until the order dissolution in 1828. After the November Uprising monks were deported and their church was closed. The building of the Uniate temple was transformed into the Orthodox church in 1839 (side altars, the pulpit and the organ were removed) and it was rebuilt in classical style in 1848. The icons placed in iconostas dated back to 16th ~ 17th century and the second half of 17th century. The belfry contains a baroque bell with a latin inscription from 17th century. The monastery buildings were demolished in the second half of 19th century.

The Saint Nicholas parish included the following villages and towns: Drohiczyn, Chutkowice, Chrołowice, Lisowo, Putkowice, Klekotowo, Bujaki, Sieniewice, Runice, Tonkiele, Kłyzówka, Zajęczniki i Mińczewo. The parish belonged to Drohiczyn deanery which had 177.66 tithes. In 1989, a second-class parish Orthodox school was created.

After regaining the independence, Drohiczyn parish was closed. The Orthodox church along with Orthodox believers was attached to Narojki branch of Siemiatycze parish. This bureaucratic absurdity exsisted throughout the whole interwar period – a nine-hundred-year-old parish was a branch of the Orthodox church in Narojki. During the interwar period the parish was deprived of its properties.

In 1980s, thanks to the rector mitrate Grzegorz Misiejuk the Orthodox church was enriched by adding a polychromy made by M. Sc. Sotyrys Pantopulos. The stucco works and sculptures of projects for casting were made by sculptor Wiaczesław Szum.

Archaeological survey conducted by Krzysztof Burek in 1980 revealed a piece of a wall and a foundation on the southern side of the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church - remnants of no longer existent monastery buildings. The carried out excavations were not enough to reconstruct the full size of the building. The sketches provided us with the information about the L- shaped monastery building and its pitched roof.  The side facing the marketplace had two-storeys while the side facing Mazowiecka street had one. The excavation works of A. Piotrowski in 1989 were done in the east and the south-east of the Orthodox church site. They revealed existence of a burial site with a few skeletons dug, which date back to 18th century and the first half of 19th century, connected with the functioning of the Orthodox church mentioned.


Sources

  1. ks. Eugeniusz Zabrocki "Zarys historii Prawosławia w Drohiczynie"
  2. Józef Jaroszewicz "Drohiczyn - Opis historyczny", Athenaeum 1847
  3. Lech Pawlata "Budowle sakralne Drohiczyna w świetle źródeł archeologicznych i historycznych", Biuletyn konserwatorski 2011
  4. Grzegorz Sosna "Święte miejsca i cudowne ikony, Prawosławne sanktuaria na Białostocczyźnie", Białystok 2001

Translation

Tłumaczenie tekstu / Translation by - Jakub Bujno