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The Church of St. Teresa is one of the most perfect monuments of the early Baroque period in Vilnius. During hard times, most churches were damaged or even closed down, however the Church of St. Teresa was never closed down. After the Monastery of the Barefoot Carmelites was closed in 1844, it became a parish church along with the Chapel of the Gate of Dawn.
The Church of St. Teresa was built by the Barefoot Carmelites in 1633–1654. The full name of the church is the Church of St. Teresa of Ávila. Today, the church stands in close proximity to the Chapel of the Gate of Dawn. It became part of the large and spacious monastery with several inner courtyards.
In 1621–1627, Ignotas Dubavičius and Steponas Dubavičius built a monastery for Carmelites who came from Lublin. A wooden church was built in 1627, and the current brick church was built in its place in 1633–1650 from the funds of Steponas Pacas. It is believed that it was designed and built by architect Ulrichas Hozijus, while the main facade was designed by Konstantinas Tenkala. In 1654, the church was consecrated by bishop Jurgis Tiškevičius.
A masonry arch roof and a bell tower was built after a fire in 1760. Its interior was decorated with sculptures and murals in 1763–1765. Pociejai Chapel was built in 1783. French soldiers destroyed the interior of the church during the war in 1812. The church was restored after the war. In 1844, the monastery was closed down.
In 1927–1929, the church was restored by architect Juliusas Klosas. In 1971–1976, it was repainted and its interior was restored (with the supervision of architect Vidmantas Vitkauskas).
The church has the style of the early Baroque period, an asymmetric plan, and characteristics of a basilica with an added chapel and bell tower. The interior has three naves separated by pillars covered with cylindrical vaults. The two-storey brick gallery connects the church with the Chapel of the Gate of Dawn of Mary the Mother of Mercy.
This church is the first Baroque style monument with no towers. A square four-tier bell tower is situated next to it. It is crowned with a weathercock – a little angel holding a trumpet. The interior of the church has a vivid synthesis of the arts. It was built according to the Italian Baroque style of the 17th century, however this style was significantly damaged during a fire in 1760.
The Church of St. Teresa has two chapels: the Chapel of the Mother of God and the Chapel of Pacas. The latter was built in 1783 by Mykolas Pacas and has the style of the Rococo period with features of the Classical style. This chapel was decorated with sculptures depicting the Passion of Christ. The upper part of the altar holds a large cross with the wooden figure of Jesus. Coffins of Pociejai family are buried under this chapel.
The courtyard of the Church of St. Teresa borders with one of the symbols of Vilnius – the Gate of Dawn which is a Catholic shrine famous both in Lithuania and abroad, and respected by other faiths.