The buildings of the former Uniate Basilian monastery are situated on the east side of the square. The ensemble of monasteries began to take shape in the early 17th century and by the 1650s comprised a church and two buildings for male and female monastics. The buildings formed a closed square courtyard.
The ensemble was dominated by the church with a richly adorned multi-tiered facade in which one could clearly trace the influences of the Northern Renaissance. Frescoes of saints were placed between the pilasters and in the flat arched niches. This type of synthesis of architecture and decorative art is rarely found in the iconic European architecture and is a distinctive feature of the Belarusian architecture in the times of the Renaissance.
The design of the church also incorporated elements of the Gothic style – its side walls were cut through by tall lancet windows. The blend of Gothic and Renaissance elements is also characteristic of Belarusian architecture of those times.
In the 19th century the church underwent radical transformation which led to the construction of the three-aisled Church of Peter and Paul in the Pseudo-Russian style. In 1937 it was demolished.
Now the restored building of the former church is one of the main attractions of the square. Here you can find the Verkhni Gorod Concert Hall and enjoy musical performances in different styles.
The women's monastic building has remained mostly unchanged and is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Minsk. Currently it houses children's music school named after Eugene Glebov.
Looking at the men's monastic buildings, it is difficult to glean any of its past features as it was rebuilt in the 19th century in the Classicist style. It now is the location of several cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy your meal and, while observing the majestic arches and vaults, think about the rich history of this building that went from a monastery to public offices to a men's gymnasium to the regional house of trade unions.
Nearest metro station: Oktyabrskaya/Kupalovskaya, Nemiga
Bus routes: 1, 69, 119с
Address: 23a Svobody Sq. (church), 23 Svobody Sq. and 19 Internatsionalnaya St. (men's building), 1 Engels St. (women's building)
GPS: 53.903694, 27.557203
Verkhni Gorod Concert Hall (Upper City Concert Hall)
See what's on at http://minskconcert.by/afisha/vse-kontserty
Box office open on
Mon-Fri: 12:00—19:00, Sat: 12:00—17:00, Sun - day off
Box office phone
+375 17 327 39 44, +375 44 577 39 24
+375 17 327 35 84, +375 17 327 37 5