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31/10/2012

Bernardine Monastery


Bernardine Monastery

Bernardine Monastery - an old historical and architectural landmark of the XV century, which until now never ceases to please the eyes of Lvov citizens and guests of our city. Former Bernardine Monastery is located on the square, which is now called the Cathedral. At one time it was called Bernardine. It is very simple to get to the monastery - there is a street Serbska from the Town Hall up here. Now the main church of the former monastery - St. Andrew Church – is owned by the Greek-Catholic believers. And before that it was the main center of the Roman Catholic Order of Bernadine in Ukraine.

It is interesting to know, in Europe there were two orders of Bernardine. In Western Europe, it was the former Order of Cistercians, which was renamed in honor of Bernard of Clairvaux. This cleric was still living in the 12th century. He was an active promoter of the Crusades, and participated in the creation of the spiritual and the Knights Templar, actively fought against the heretics. But in Poland and Lithuania Bernardine Order was called an offshoot of the great Franciscan Order, mostly, Franciscan observant. Members of this order have rather strict rules: they do not have the right to own property and capital. For external strict asceticism, Franciscan observant is much respected. One of the most famous representatives of this order was Bernardine of Siena. This famous preacher died in 1444, and in 1450 he was canonized. And three years later, the Polish King Casimir IV Jagiellon built Franciscan church of the Bernardine of Siena for observant. Since then, the Order in Poland is called Bernardine. The first mention dates back to 1460 year, where the place of the present monastery was a small wooden church. Bernardine monastery was built outside the city walls that’s why it had its own system of fortifications, which can withstand more than one brutal siege. As of this time of the defense wall was only a Glinyanskaya tower (built in 1618) and the eastern part of the fortifications. The Church Basilica of St. Andrew was built over the 1600-1630's in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Next to the church, from the north, were built the monastery cells. The architect of the lower part of the temple was the most famous Italian architect in Lvov Paul Roman. Church was built of hewn stone, as Basilica in the Renaissance style. The height of the temple - 22m, length - 57.5 m. In 1618, Peter the Roman dies, his work is continued by his successor Swiss architect Ambrose Prihylny. For him and the Polish king Sigismund III the previous plan seemed too modest, so Ambrose made the new plan and built it in a shield-gable sophisticated, imaginative form. This is the most valuable part of the attraction of the Bernardine convent. The last third tier of the church completes Wroclaw architect Andreas Bemen. It is speculation that he was the author of 38-meter tower of the church, which in 1753 set the clock to fight. The tower is made in baroque style, the silhouette is of very complicated cut, but refined and harmonious. It also completes the facade. The first service in the church was performed on December 13, 1611, hence the name - Andrew Church.

On the facade of the temple there are sculpted statues of saints Bernardine Order, in niches of the second tier there is a sculpture of Our Lady, of the Apostles Peter and Paul. The interior of the temple is rich with murals of 1738-1740 and with 18 wooden altars from 1630-1640s. First floor of the temple was made of hewn stone, and in 1738 - converted to marble. In the temple there are metal doors of XVII century. In December 2007, in this building the mural was found in cells from the XVII-XVIII centuries - the only one self-painted in Ukraine. On the left from the main entrance to the church there is a well, which is shrouded in legends. Bernardine Monastery (Andrew Church) – is one of the main attractions of the city.

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