Christian PilgrimagePilgrimages in LithuaniaJohn Paul II and Lithuania

Mary, Protectress of Lithuania, watch over us, we beg you!
Danos Buinickaitės fotografija
Piligrimų kelias
Trakų bažnyčia

The Church

Reconstruction in the 17th century, and the addition of towers above the vestibule in the 18th century, gave the formerly gothic edifice the type of two-towered late baroque profile with classicist traits that is common in Lithuania. Thereafter the building‘s form did not change until 2008, when renovation work raised the roof, added skylights, replaced the tin roofing with ceramic tiles and made the signature tower higher than the western towers.

The impressive baroque main altar has three sections, the second of which is embellished with reliefs and wooden sculptures. The silver frontal on the mid 18th century altar portrays the Trakai Mother of God, Christ the Saviour and St John the Evangelist. The first level of the altarpiece contains the miraculous image of Holy Mary, which is “held aloft” by two angel sculptures. Statues of David, Zachariah, Joachim and Simeon are interspersed among the columns. At the centre in the second level is a relief of the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and sculptures of the prophetesses Anne and Elizabeth.

The church cherishes the memory of its distinguished founder, Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas, whose portrait hangs in the northern nave above the entrance to the sacristy. At the south wall of the presbytery is the Römer Family Chapel, built in 1700 in the spirit of classicism. In 2006, fragments of Byzantine style frescos were uncovered, which suggest the existence of a distinctive school of Byzantine wall painting in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the late middle ages that may have survived until the 15th century or even later. The frescos, located in the presbytery, probably were plastered over during reconstruction after the war with Moscow in the 1760s.