Church of St. Casimir, Vilnius

4.5
Church of St. Casimir (Šv. Kazimiero bažnyčia, Kościół Św. Kazimierza) is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius' Old Town, close to the Vilnius' Town Hall. It is the first and the oldest baroque church in Vilnius, built in 1618. The construction of the church began in 1604 in memory of the holy prince Saint Casimir: it was built by the Jesuits with funding by the Great Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Lew Sapieha. It is traditionally assumed that the corner stone (which can be seen on the façade wall) was pulled into the city by procession of 700 Vilniusites from the Antakalnis hills. The construction was finished in 1616, and the interior design completed in 1618. The Church of St. Casimir is one of the earliest exemplary Baroque buildings in the city, designed along the line of the famous Il Gesù church in Rome (Church of the Gesù). It was apparently designed by Povilas Bokša, and the construction was supervised by Jan Frankiewicz, a pupil of architect Giovanni Maria Bernardoni. In the middle of the 18th century the church was reconstructed by architect Tomas Žebrauskas. Under his supervision a stepped lantern cupola with a crown was erected. This large and impressive cupola is unique in the entire region of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Under Russia's occupation the church of St. Casimir was converted into a Russian Orthodox church. In 1915 Vilnius was occupied by the Germans and the church was converted into the Evangelical Lutheran prayer house of the Vilnius Garrison. In 1919 the church of St. Casimir was returned to the Catholics, but was damaged again during the Second World War, closed down and in 1963 converted into a Museum of Atheism. The church was reconsecrated in 1991.
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Church of St. Casimir Reviews
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  • 200 meters north of dawn, St. Casimir's Church, the baroque building is open for free, and you may want to visit the city as you walk around the city.
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  • It is one of the first examples of baroque in Vilnius. During the Soviet occupation, it was converted into a "museum of atheism" and only in 1991 was it returned to the Jesuits, who managed it. Beautiful its pink facade and equally beautiful its interior, in white and pink colors, very bright though a little bare. Note the marble altar and the organ on the cantoria.
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  • Despite being apparently one of the oldest churches in the city it’s in great condition and looks fantastic from the outside. The pink colour works really well in the area and it’s impossible not to admire from the streets in front. Best of all it is free to enter and admire the equally as impressive interior. Everything is clean and looking fresh, despite the history. There probably could be some additional signage for those wanting to appreciate the history more but it worked well for me and is one of the reasons why the Old Town is so beautiful. Make sure you pop by when walking through the city.
  • Church of St. Kazimierz in Vilnius is the first baroque Catholic church in honor of St. Kazimierz Prince. It was built in 1604–1618 as a votive offering after the canonization of St. Kazimierz Jagiellończyk (1602). The initiator of the construction was King Zygmunt III Waza, and the church belonged to the Jesuits. In the years 1624–1630 preacher and confessor was here St. Andrzej Bobola. After the destruction in 1655 by the Moscow army, and after the fire of 1706, the church was renovated, and the interior received then a rococo decor. After the dissolution of the Jesuit order, in 1812 the French army destroyed the interior and turned the church into a grain warehouse and then a prison for Russian prisoners of war. As part of the tsarist repression after the November Uprising, the church was confiscated by Catholics, and after the January Uprising it was rebuilt into an Orthodox church. After World War II, until 1949 he belonged to the Jesuits, and then was confiscated again, this time by the Soviet authorities. In October 1988 the church was returned to Catholics, in 1990 it was taken over by Jesuits and restored to religious use. - Kościół św. Kazimierza w Wilnie jest pierwszą barokową świątynią katolicką ku czci św. Kazimierza Królewicza. Został zbudowany w latach 1604–1618 jako wotum po kanonizacji św. Kazimierza Jagiellończyka (1602). Inicjatorem budowy był król Zygmunt III Waza, a kościół należał do Jezuitów. W latach 1624–1630 kaznodzieją i spowiednikiem był tutaj św. Andrzej Bobola. Po zniszczeniach w 1655 przez wojska moskiewskie, oraz po pożarze 1706 kościół został odnowiony, a wnętrze otrzymało wówczas wystrój rokokowy. Po kasacie zakonu jezuitów, w 1812 roku armia francuska zniszczyła wnętrze i zamieniła kościół na magazyn zboża, a następnie na więzienie dla jeńców rosyjskich. W ramach represji carskich po powstaniu listopadowym kościół został skonfiskowany katolikom, a po powstaniu styczniowym przebudowano go na cerkiew prawosławną. Po II wojnie światowej, do 1949 należał do jezuitów, a następnie został ponownie skonfiskowany, tym razem przez władze radzieckie. W październiku 1988 kościół zwrócono katolikom, w 1990 przejęli go jezuici przywracając do użytku sakralnego.
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