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Kuršėnai church of St. John the baptist


It is supposed that the first wooden chapel was built back in 1523 (up to 1597 it was appropriated by evangelical reformers). In 1622, the church owned 31 Wallach of land. In 1700, the church along with all the parsonage buildings burnt down during the fire of the town. A new church was built the same year. In 1801, it underwent major repairs. In the beginning of 19th century, a parish school was opened by the church. In 1838, it was asked for a permit to build a new church, however the orthodox authorities did not express their oipinion for 4 years and this way obstructed obtaining of the permit. A wooden church was built in 1842–1844 (project by architect Krasinskis). On 13 April 1863, priest Petkevičius read a proclamation of rebels in the church. In 1909–1914, a unit of the Lithuanian Catholic Temperance Society operated there. The church was destroyed during World War I. In 1927–1933, the current stone church was built. On 29 September 1933, it was consecrated by bishop Justinas Staugaitis. Canon Vaclovas Dambrauskas supervised the construction. The church was badly damaged during World War II. The destroyed tower was not rebuilt after the war. It was rebuilt under supervision of priest Julijonas Miškinis. The church bears the features of historicism, is of a rectangular shape, basilica, with small towers. The interior consists of 3 naves (lateral are lower), and has 12 altars. The churchyard is fenced by stone and tracery brickwork fence.