Catholic church of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Vladimir, Gogolya street, 12
56.12500328, 40.39486948

The Church of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the only Catholic church in the city of Vladimir, is located near the Golden Gate, behind the regional drama theater. Together with the red Trinity Church in front of the theater, this imposing red-brick building in pseudo-Gothic style, with a high tower and ogival windows, creates a very beautiful, harmonious in its own way architectural ensemble.

The Catholic church was built in 1892-1894, on the means of the military of the Polish-Lithuanian troops, exiled to Vladimir by the tsarist government (that is why the people call the church "Polish"), as well as the inhabitants of the city of the Catholic faith. The Catholic parish of Vladimir at that time numbered more than 1300 people. The church was built according to the project of provincial architects A.P. Afanasyev and  I.O. Karabutov. The temple was named in honor of the feast of the Holy Rosary (traditional Catholic prayer beads) of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated by Catholics on October 7. Near the church, in a single ensemble with it, a priest's house was located. The construction of a Catholic church in the center of the city testified to the tolerant attitude of the Orthodox Church.

In 1930, worship services in the Catholic church ceased. Since 1939, the high bell tower of the church was adapted for the operation of a radio repeater. And the church itself was divided by a ceiling and rebuilt into a two-storey residential building. The priest's house was also given for habitation, up to 12 families lived in it, among which – the former parishioners of the temple, trying to preserve the historical memory of the community.

In the late 1970s, on the initiative of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve, the priest's house was given to the exhibition hall and office rooms of the museum. In the late 1980s a concert hall of organ music was opened in the church.

In 1992, the temple was returned to the Catholic Church, and in 1993 it was again consecrated. This is the only Catholic church in the Vladimir region and the first in Russia, opened in the post-Soviet period. Catholics from Germany and Italy helped in the revival of the church. The Vladimir Catholic community now has up to 2,000 parishioners. Today the church has become a significant cultural center: charity concerts of spiritual organ music are held here, courses of the Polish language are conducted. Together with the Vladimir diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vladimir State University, the Catholic parish holds the annual international church and social scientific conference "Intercession Readings".

Author: V. Korolkova