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St. Francis Xavier Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Grodno, Belarus. Originally a Jesuit church, it became a cathedral in 1991 when diocese of Grodno was erected.

The construction of the church started in 1687. The completed building in Baroque style was consecrated in 1705 to St. Francis Xavier. The monastery was dissolved in 1773 and the church became a parish one. The church survived World War II with no serious damage. In 1960 it was officially closed for a public-religious service (for 27 years). The communist authorities tried to convert the building into a museum or a concert hall. Despite this the people attended the church every Sunday for a common prayer, songs and rosary. The religious services were restored in 1987. In 1990 the church was granted the title on minor basilica and a year later it became a cathedral for a diocese of Grodno.

There are 13 altars in the church, main is wooden and was made in 1736 in late baroque style. The temple is decorated with frescoes (XVIII century) and sculptures. In one of the towers there is a huge clock. Its unique mechanism was made in XV century, but it still is working. Certainly, its the oldest working clock in Europe.

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Additional Photos by Zbigniew Kalinowski (fotka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 552 W: 9 N: 1447] (6565)
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