In 1937, the design of Biliakiemis Church was produced by a young graduate of Vytautas Magnus University construction engineer Pranas Indriūnas. Through the care of the dean of Utena Jonas Asminavičius and with the donators’ funds the church was built within three years and in 1940 it was consecrated under the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A monumental stone was placed in the churchyard to the Dean’s credit. As of 1940, the painter and poet priest Petras Markevičius was a priest in Biliakiemis. The picture of St Aloysius painted by the priest Petras Markevičius adorns the right altar of the Church. The bold priest was one of those who signed a letter of protect to the leaders of the Soviet Union after World War II.

The Church is noted for its modernist architecture. This is one of the few well-preserved sacral buildings of the style of modernism/functionalism. Rectangular areas creating the geometrised silhouette of the building, the minimalist décor and round windows of the middle nave create the whole characteristic of interwar modernism . The frame Church is built on a high stone masonry socle; it has a rectangular plan, three naves, is basilica-like with two side vestries and a three-wall apse. An untraditional modern solution is applied to the Church – a tower is built on the right-hand vestry. An 18-metre tall rectangular tower-belfry with long narrow acoustic openings and a cross crowned with a flat pyramid-like capping. The main area has a gable roof, which is sloping and creates the impression of a flat roof characteristic of modernism. The side naves have mono-pitched roofs; the apse has a roof of three pitches. The roofs are covered with roofing iron. The main façade is symmetrical, made of three areas. The central part is adorned with a wide two-leaved door lined in herring-bone to which broad stairway with three steps lead. Over the door there is a window consisting of three parts, which lights up the choir. The window is decorated with an unusual modern casing with a stepped décor element on the top. This is the only decorative element of the church facades. Large rectangular side windows of the naves and the apse with casing and round small windows of the higher central nave lighten up the inside of the Church very well. The Church is lined with horizontally arranged planks.

The interior of Biliakiemis Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary is modest, lined with wood. Slender rectangular poles separate the naves. The pulpit is exceptional, with statuettes of the saints. The painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, of the Gates of Dawn, hangs in the central part of the neo-classical altar with casing.



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  • State/county: Utena district
  • Country: Lithuania