The Church of St Michael the Archangel

The Church of St Michael the Archangel

Antanas B.
  The Church of St Michael was built by the Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Leonas Sapiega between 1594 and 1597 for a convent of Bernardine nuns, and also to serve as a family mausoleum. Its construction work was completed in about 1604. During the war with Moscow the Church was burned and plundered, however, it was restored between 1663 and 1373. The adjoining bell tower was built in the 18th century. In tsarist times the Church was closed down, but returned to the Sapiega family in 1903 and restored through their efforts. Later the Church was repaired once again. In 1956 the Church opened as the Museum of Architecture. The interior of the Church is various and of great interest. The early 17th-century marble altar and a few 17th-century tombstones have survived. The one commemorating Leonas Sapiega and his two wives is the largest memorial in Lithuania. In 2009 the Church opened as the Church Heritage Museum.
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