Johann Christoph Glaubitz

Facade of St. Johns' Church in Vilnius, Glaubitz's finest work

Johann Christoph Glaubitz (ca. 1700 30 March 1767) was an architect of German descent who is generally considered to be the most prominent Baroque architect in the lands of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Glaubitz was born in Schweidnitz (Świdnica), Silesia, and spent the first 37 years of his life there. After a devastating fires occurred in 1737 in Vilnius, he was called to rebuilt Lutheran St. Johns' Church, which in 1555 had been funded by German merchants.

Glaubitz, who was among the leaders of the Lutheran community[1] of Vilnius, is credited for developing a distinct Lithuanian school of Baroque architecture, known as Vilnian Baroque, which is best reflected in the cityscape of the Old Town of Vilnius. This has contributed to the widespread naming of Old Vilnius as the "City of Baroque".

There are at least four churches in Vilnius reconstructed by Glaubitz, namely the Church of St. Catherine (1743),[2] the Church of the Ascension (1750), the Church of St. John, the monastery gate and the towers of the Church of the Holy Trinity. The magnificent and dynamic Baroque facade of the formerly Gothic Church of St. Johns (1749) is mentioned among his best works. Many church interiors including the one of the Great Synagogue of Vilna were reconstructed by Glaubitz as well as the Town Hall in 1769.

A notable building by Glaubitz was the former Carmelite church of Hlybokaye, Belarus, which he reconstructed in 1735; it is now the Orthodox Church of the Birth of Theotokos. Other towns with architecture by Glaubitz include Mahilyow, Lida, and the Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Polatsk in Belarus and Daugavpils in Latvia. The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Berezovichi, now part of Hlybokaye, was built in 1776 and demolished in the 1960s and 1970s. Its replica was constructed in Białystok in the 1990s.

Primary sources

  1. Wilfried Schlau: Tausend Jahre Nachbarschaft. Die Völker des baltischen Raumes und die Deutschen, Seite 281, Stiftung Ostdeutscher Kulturrat (Hg.), Verlag Bruckmann, 1995, ISBN 3-7654-2404-8 bzw. ISBN 978-3-7654-2404-5 (Auszug)
  2. Christiane Bauermeister: Litauen, 2007, Seite 70 (Digitalisat)
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