The Watch

Pervomaisk Church

near Uzda, Belarus

2002 World Monuments Watch

The sixteenth-century Pervomaisk Church was built as a Calvinist Protestant Church, becoming, in 1648, a Catholic church and family tomb owned by the Radziwill Zawisha family. It remained so until 1920, when it was plundered, then neglected in the wake of the October Revolution of 1917. Stylistically, Pervomaisk Church is a harmonious blend of late Renaissance and early Neoclassical architecture. Built of brick faced with white lime mortar, the lime stucco is badly worn and the underlying brick construction is failing at critical points of support, such as cornices, vaulting, and tower domes. The granite-tiled floor is in a 50 percent state of collapse. From 1938 to 1968, the building was used to house a thermoelectric power station with vibrations contributing to structural damage. Since 1974, it has been in the hands of a local agricultural college, which does not have the resources necessary to preserve it. Its nominators would like to restore the building and convert it into a museum.

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