Old Believers orthodox churches
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
Old Believers orthodox churches

collection

Old Believers orthodox churches

2

Old Believers orthodox churches

The history of the Old Ritualists dates back to the 2nd half of the 17th century, when there was a split in the Orthodox church (so-called raskol). The reason for the split were actions of Patriarch Nikon and Aleksey Mikhailovich aimed at reforming the Orthodox Church. One of the reforms introduced new (revised) liturgical books. Part of the faithful, not accepting the changes, stuck to the old tradition. The order of tzarina Sophia of 1685 on the death punishment for those who will defend the old faith, and later reforms of Peter I, led to persecution and separation of the community of Old Ritualists. Within the community itself, there were also disputes and splits related to the tradition and rites, which led to the separation of two main factions: Popovtsy and Bezpopovtsy.

In Poland, the Old Ritualists settled in three regions: Augustów region, Suwałki and Sejny region, and Mazury. The earliest ones probably came in the region of Suwałki and Sejny as early as in the second half of the 18th century. In the interwar period, there were 6 major centres here: Aleksandrowo, Głęboki Rów, Pogorzelec, Suwałki, Sztabinki, and Wodziłki. In these centres, there were houses of prayer – molennas. By molennas, nastavniks (clerics) lived. Until today, four molennas have been preserved in the region of Suwałki, all of them very similar to one another in architectural terms. They represent a later type of these buildings. They are located in Gabowe Grądy, Giby (the one erected in Pogorzelec and transferred to its current location is used as a Catholic church), Suwałki, and Wodziłki. They feature a single-space layout with three or five windows in each of the longer-side walls and are preceded by a square vestibule extended upwards with tower-belfries. On the internal eastern wall – as the most sacred part of the Old Ritualist church, there are icons. It is preceded by a slightly elevated kliros – the place for the nastavnik (leader), his assistants, and the choir. The kliros is separated from the main room and preceded by a balustrade.

Sites from that collection