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Catholic church of Berzgale

Location: N56° 37` 56.1", E27° 30` 47.5"

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Bērzgale Catholic church belongs to the oldest Latgale wooden churches, which has been preserved in its initial place and has not been essentially changed. The church is located in Aglona rural territory, Preiļi region – between Rušona and Biržkalns lakes. The name of this church is derived from the nearby lake Bērzgale.

The construction of today’s wooden church started in 1744 after initiative from landlord Benedikt Sokolowski, who was also supported by Vilnius prelate Heronim Oskerko. The construction was active until 1750, and in 1751 the church was consecrated by Bishop Josef Dominik Puzyna, dedicating church to the Holy Trinity, Lawrence of Rome and St. Stephen.

It is known that this is not the first sacral building in this region – the oldest wooden chapel was located in Bērzgale, which in the 17th century was located in territory of the cemetery. There is a lack of information about this chapel, but today’s church is characterised wider in several documents of the 18th and 19th century.

It is a three nave wooden log building with vertical plank lining on stone outline. Its architecture is balanced and harmonious – a medium size wooden building with hardly distinctive side naves and simple cross-like form, which was made after an example of a large stone basilica. Two square side towers are decorating the main Western façade with small side scuffing. There towers are capped with octahedron type ends with flat, pyramidal roofs. Eastern end is closed with the altar room with polygonal apse, which in the construction volume is the continuation of the central nave. The furnishings are mostly made in the middle of the 18th century – central altar, organ prospect, organ (18th century, 1940), three confession stools, and stools (18th century). 

Side altar paintings, dated with the beginning of the 19th century are dedicated to church patrons St. Stephen and Lawrence of Rome. Altar tabernacle decorated with beams was made in the first half of the 19th century.