By the late 19th century, Saint Barbara Church accommodated approximately 2000 parishioners despite its capacity was for only 150 people. Due to frequent overcrowding, a decision was made to construct a new brick church with greater capacity. Engineer-architect Victor Piotrowski was responsible for the design of the new Catholic church. On December 4, 1885, the new brick church was consecrated by Roman Catholic priest Motush and dedicated to Saints Barbara and Joseph. Adjacent to the church, wooden residential quarter for the priest and a small infirmary were also constructed.

Костёл святой Варвары в начале XX века
The Church of St. Barbara, early 20th century 

In 1935, the church was closed and repurposed as a warehouse. During the Great Patriotic War (the eastern front), the church towers were partially destroyed. Over the course of 45 years, the church gradually fell into disrepair. Restoration efforts began in 1988, initially planning to repurpose the building as a concert hall, but in 1993, it was returned to the parish and fully restored. In 1999, the church became the cathedral of the new Vitebsk diocese.

The Church of St. Barbara Today

The cathedral is a three-nave basilica made of red brick with two two-tier towers on the main facade, adorned with tented roofs and crosses. The naves are separated by four massive columns, and the central nave ends in a semi-circular apse.

Костел Святой Варвары (Барбары)
The Church of St. Barbara

Surrounded by a fence and gates, the church is included in the Cultural heritage of Belarus as a nationally significant object, representing an important monument of Neo-Romanesque style. Next to the church, the Chapel of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross has also been restored. Inside the Saint Barbara Church, a pipe organ has been installed, enhancing the atmosphere of prayer services and musical performances. 

It is a unique place not only for believers but also for anyone interested in the history and cultural heritage of Vitebsk.