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The Church of the Holy Spirit

The Church of the Holy Spirit

Dominikonų St. 8 , Vilnius
Tel. +370 5 262 9595
This is one of the oldest and most lavishly decorated churches in Vilnius, which belongs to the period of mature and late Baroque. It is thought that the first church stood there in the times of Gediminas, even before the country’s conversion to Christianity. At the beginning of the 15th century Grand Duke Vytautas built the Church of the Holy Spirit, which later was given to the Dominican monasticism, which was oldest in Lithuania. In 1679-1688 the Church was extended and reconstructed. In the middle of the 19th century the Tsar authorities closed down the monastery, and turned the Church into a parish one.
Today it is a parish church of the city’s Polish community. The inside of the church is lavishly decorated with a profusion of Rococo faux marble, stucco, frescoes and paintings, its interior is one of the most valuable of all churches in Lithuania. The vestibule, which forms a passage leading at a right angle from the street, contains several old frescos, and portal cartouches with coat-of-arms. There is an abundance of decoration, and 16 separate altars. The impressive organ, perhaps the only almost original instrument of the 18th century, draws everybody’s attention. The church contains 45 paintings, which are considered to be monuments. The most famous of them, the 20th-century painting entitled God’s Compassion, which is said to be miracle-working, depicts an apparition seen by Sister Faustyna Kowolska and was painted by a local artist Eugenij Kazimirowski. Copies of this picture are spread all over the world.
The Church is famed for its crypt, with its nine side chambers, crammed with about 2 000 mummified corpses from the 17th-18th century. It is thought that among them there are bodies of the plague victims and copses from the Napoleonic Wars. In 1501 a Dominican friary was established at the Church. However at the beginning of the 19th century it was converted into a prison. Philaretes (members of an illegal anti-Tsarist Society of students of Vilnius University,

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