The parish church in front of you is one of the oldest churches in Lithuania and undoubtedly the oldest building in Merkinė. The church in Merkinė was supposedly built right after the Christianization of Lithuania sometime between 1387 and 1392. It was a privilege granted to the town by the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Władysław II Jagiełło. The first church could have been wooden and was most probably burned down during an attack of the Teutonic Order at the end of the 14th century or the beginning of the 15th century. The masonry church was likely built by Vytautas the Great in the beginning of the 15th century. The age of the church is further reinforced by its Gothic compositional and architectural elements inherent to the 15th century. The Merkinė Church also has large buttresses that give a reason to believe the building could have also had a defensive function. You must have already noticed that the church also has several elements inherent to Baroque. They were added in the middle of the 17th century after the building was heavily renovated. Many of the rulers of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth had undoubtedly said their prayers in this very church. The wake of the King Władysław IV Vasa was also supposed to be held in Merkinė Church after his death in this town on May 20. 1648. If you enter the church. you can admire many pieces of art that have been brought here from the demolished churches of the Dominicans and the Jesuits. The painting of the Madonna gifted by King Alexander at the end of the 15th century and placed at the second tier of the altarpiece of the Holy Family Altar is undeniably the oldest and most valuable piece of art in this church.