/ / The Aglona Basilica

The Aglona Basilica

The Aglona Basilica is the center of pilgrimage and Catholicism in Latvia. The famous Basilica is located in the village of Aglona between the cities of Daugavpils and Rezekne, in Latgale - the Eastern region of Latvia.

In 1699, landowners Ieva and Datzeberg Lastovicka called for here monks of the Dominican order from Vilnius, in a wonderful location in the middle of the lakes and Ciresu Ages the Church was erected of wood. In 1768-1789 years on the site of the old Church was built a brick Church in the Baroque style together with the adjacent building of the monastery. The Basilica was built in honor of the assumption of the virgin. Icon of the virgin was placed above the main altar. It was created in the XVII century by an unknown artist.

In 1863 the Russian authorities had prohibited the admission of new novices in the Catholic order. At the end of the XIX century in Aglona became the latest friar, and the Church passed into the control of the diocesan priests. In 1920 he was ordained the first Bishop of Latvia Il - Anthony Springwich who turned Aglona in the centre of Riga reborn of the bishopric.

In July 1944, when the offensive front, the priest managed to take the icon and keep it in the barn on the farm. Later the icon was returned to the altar of the Church.

In 1980 the Aglona Church celebrated its 200th anniversary. And in honor of this occasion, Pope John Paul II granted it the status of "basilica minoris", which means "minor Basilica".

Two-towered Baroque Church is a three-nave four-pillar Basilica, whose chancel (the raised platform for the altar) closed polygonal apse. The lower tier of the majestic main facade, oriented to the South multi-accented framing of portals, which resembles theatrical scenery. The decoration of the cross of arches, vaults, walls and pillars of the interior used primarily rocaille Curling jewelry created in the plaster layer in grisaille technique. The supports of the arches of the side naves, which are powerful bases and pedestals, interpreted as part of the arches and deprived imposts and capitals.

The composition of the Central altar bunk included letner, window openings and the spherical ceiling of the apse. The altar stands out the picturesque location of the different scale of the order of the elements, supplemented by figures of saints, cherubs and rocaille Curling decorative details in the style of classicism. Also classicism can be seen in the construction and decoration of the side altars, located on the transverse axis of the temple and of the Department. In the interior are preserved paintings of the late XVIII - early XIX centuries, the wooden sculpture and the body (the nineteenth century).

Under the office of the Dean Andrejs Aglonietis in 1992-1993, the Basilica and the adjacent territory were renovated. In January 1993 the Church was established choir "Magnificat", consisting of 40 participants (organists, musicians, doctors, teachers from all over the Eastern part of Latvia), conductor and artistic Director of which became the organist Ieva Lazdane. The choir's repertoire consists of more than 200 works. It is a spiritual chorales, cantatas, hymns, masses, and secular music. The choir takes part in all the major religious holidays. During a meeting of the Taize movement in late 1993 - early 1994 choir "Magnificat" was in Munich. In 1996, at Easter, the choir visited Holy places in Europe: Zakopane in Poland, Altering in Germany, Lasalette and Lourdes in France, Montserrat in Spain.

9 Sep 1993 Aglona was visited by Pope John Paul II. He celebrated the Pontifical Mass, which was attended by about 380 000 pilgrims.

The most important holiday Aglona Basilica is a 15 August - ascension Day of the virgin. Here is annually visited by about 150,000 pilgrims.