Stone Crosses of Turov – Žytkavicki rajon, Belarus - Atlas Obscura
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Žytkavicki rajon, Belarus

Stone Crosses of Turov

The centuries-old crosses "growing" in the cemetery are steeped in local lore and are believed to have healing powers.  

A mysterious stone cross said to have miraculous healing powers pokes through the earth in a Turov cemetery, pushing up from the dirt like a spring flower preparing to spurt skyward.

According to local legends, about a dozen crosses drifted to Turov from Kyiv during the Middle Ages, somehow coming ashore despite traveling against the river’s current. The crosses were pulled from the water and erected on the riverbank, where it was hoped they’d remain standing as a testament to their miraculous appearance.

But when Soviet regime was established in Belarus, everything associated with religion fell under disdain. Officials decided in the 1930s that the crosses had to be disposed of. To prevent this, locals took down the crosses and hid them, leaving no hints about their whereabouts.

Less than a decade later, two crosses again miraculously appeared from the river. They’re now held in local churches. A third one was also found in the river, but the fisherman who discovered the cross decided to bury it at the local cemetery. But it didn’t remain beneath the earth for long. The cross has been gradually emerging from the ground for years, “growing” about a centimeter annually.

Supposedly, this cross that refuses to remain buried is warm to the touch all year, even during the winter. Locals say it’s a place of miracles, where people can come to solve their problems and heal their ailments. Of course, they also say these wondrous healings only happen for those with high amounts of faith.

Not a long ago, a smaller “baby cross” began appearing from the ground in the cemetery as well. Though not yet as sought-after as the first cross, it supposedly has its share of miraculous healings, too.

Know Before You Go

The coordinates lead to the cemetery containing two of the crosses. Four crosses are known. One is displayed inside the Church of All Saints. One is in the yard of Cathedral of St. Bishops Cyril of Turaŭ and Lawrence of Turaŭ. Two crosses are in the cemetery that is located outside the town (a short 10-minute walk from the town center).