Church of the Dormition of Mary the Thetokos
We have prepared some practical multimedia materials, which we hope will bring closer to these beautiful historic Polish Orthodox churches. Watching an introductory video with comments from the guide and spiritual guardian of the temple, decorated with moody Church chants, you can emphasize with its atmosphere. Going on a virtual tour, which includes 360 panoramic photos, you can quite imagine yourself inside the temple. For active tourists we have prepared a proposal for a cycling route. We invite you to a virtual tour of the orthodox church, and in the future to visit it in person.
Church of the Dormition of Mary the Theotokos belongs to the Zamojski deanary of Lublin – Chelm Orthodox Diocese. This is at least the ninth church in the city’s more than 600-year history.
Hrubieszow is a city on the Polish-Ukrainian border, located 120 km from Lublin. The history of this ancient Ruthenian town dates back to the 13th century. Since then, it has been a place of Orthodox worship, as was noted in the old Ruthenian Ipatiev’s Chronicle in 1255. In 1400 Hrubieszow obtained the city rights. The first documented mention of the existence of the church in Hrubeszow is reflected in the privilege (decree) of Zygmunt 1 the Old in 1510.
The present church of the Dormition of Mary the Thetokos was built in 1875 and concecrated a year later by Chelm and Warsaw archbishop Leoncius. In 1915, Orthodox parishioners from Hrubieszow became refugees and for 6 years the church was closed. In 1921, liturgical life was reborn, and after three years the temple became the seat of the Orthodox decanoate. During the difficult period of World War II, the Church in Hrubieszow survived in good condition. However, in 1945 the local population was displaced to Soviet Ukraine. The culmination was the tragic consequences of the “Vistula” action in 1947, when the rest of the Orthodox inhabitants of Hrubieszow were forcibly displaced to the so-called reclaimed lands… and the church was closed. After four years in 1951, some of the displaced returned to paternity. Prayer returned to the church of the Dormition of Mary the Theotokos. And it continues to this day.
The church of the Dormition of Mary the Theotokos is a unique building. It is the only 13-douminion temple in Poland and one of the few in the world. The Orthodox church in Hrubieszow represents the Byzantine-Russian style. It is a oriented, stone building. Against the background of other Orthodox churches, dating back to the 2nd half of the 10th century, it is distinguished by the number of domes – it has thirteen. It is a three-part structure, built on the plan of a cross, with a square nave, a rectangular double porch (pritwor), a presbytery and two sacristies on the plan of a circle.
On the outer walls, the frescoes representing the Saints, located in blind window niches, draw attention to themselves.
Among the interior decorations of the temple draws attention to the two-row gilded iconostasis, made of oak with icons of the St. Petersburg icon painter Silaev. He is also the author of the polychromy in the altar part. At the same time, the frescoes in the nave appeared much later, only in 1936, and its creator is Alexander Tsikutski.
The church has perfectly acoustic, and as you know, the chant best emphasizes Orthodox prayer.
Here is a proposal of a cycling route for active tourists. To use it, download the file to your computer by clicking the button on the left, unzip it, upload the .gpx file to any GPS device for navigation… and on the road. We wish you a successful and fruitful journey.
The first renovations in the church were carried out in the 70s of the 20th century. and their initiator was Metropolitan Basil.
However, the general reconstruction of the temple was started only in the 21st century. Thanks to funds from the European Union, in 2019 it was possible to complete the final stage of renovation works in the church of Hrubieszow and restore its original splendor.