Traveling to the shrines of Ukraine: top 12 most beautiful churches and monasteries
Churches and cathedrals today are not only centers of pilgrimage, but also cultural heritage of Ukraine, because some of them are real works of art and architecture. Learn more about the most beautiful churches and monasteries in the country, near which you want to hold your breath
Orthodox and Catholic churches, synagogues, mosques, Karaite kenesas, and Lutheran churches fascinate every traveler who decides to touch this incomprehensible beauty and grandeur that cannot be expressed in words.
We are going to tell you about the most beautiful churches in Ukraine, through which you can see the biography and history of the whole country.
The largest and oldest Orthodox monastery in Ukraine, founded in 1051. The monastery's unique architectural ensemble was completed in the late 19th century. The main church of the monastery is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, founded in the Byzantine style and rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style. The large 96-meter-high Lavra bell tower is the tallest in Kyiv.
The dungeons of the monastery and many museums located on the territory are popular with tourists.
Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra
This famous monastery is located in the Ternopil region and is the second largest after the Kyiv Lavra. The founder of the cathedral is considered to be the holy monk Methodius. Today, the church houses an icon of the Mother of God, donated by the famous landowner Goiska. The building with a wonderful atmosphere is surrounded by a picturesque park with a source of holy water.
Holy Cross Monastery
The Poltava Holy Cross Monastery was founded in 1650 on the banks of the Vorskla River at the expense of Colonel Pushkar, Poltava officers, and citizens. This cathedral is the only surviving seven-domed Baroque church in Ukraine. The complex also includes the Trinity and Semenivka churches.
It is interesting to note that during the war with Sweden, the complex housed the headquarters of Charles XII.
St. Sophia Cathedral
The history of the Orthodox Church begins in the first half of the XI century, when King Yaroslav built a cathedral in the Byzantine style. The cathedral is the main church of Kievan Rus and the burial place of the Grand Duke of Kyiv, and the 400-year-old buildings of the monastery have survived to this day.
Here you can see 3000 square meters of authentic medieval frescoes, 260 square meters of mosaics and wall inscriptions, including the autograph of Volodymyr Monomakh.
Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
It is impossible not to notice that this neo-Gothic church in Kamianka-Buzka has a very high tower. In the nineteenth century, this church was almost destroyed, but Theodore Talovsky rebuilt it. Soon the war broke out, and Soviet troops turned the church into a granary. Later, philanthropists from Poland took up the restoration of the church and brought a copy of the icon of Jesus Christ here.
Pochayiv Assumption Lavra
The Pochayiv Assumption Lavra is located on a high hill in the city of Pochayiv, Ternopil region, and its bright facade and golden dome can be seen from afar.
According to legend, the monks expelled from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra by the Mongol-Tatar army in the 13th century fled to these places and built a new monastery here.
Around 1771-1791, the construction of the late Baroque cathedral was completed.
Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The Roman Catholic church, founded in 1903, is one of the few historical buildings in Fastiv that have survived to this day.
The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is interesting because its asymmetry gives it a special elegance, and the bas-reliefs and sculptures were created by the famous Italian sculptor Elio Sala, who also designed the House of Chimeras, the Opera House, and St. Nicholas Church in Kyiv.
St. Nicholas Church
The Roman Catholic Church, which houses the Ukrainian National House of Organ and Chamber Music, was built in 1899-1909 in the Neo-Gothic style by the famous Kyiv architect Vladyslav Horodetskyi.
The building is characterized by slender proportions, lightness, and a clear compositional structure. In 1979, a specially designed organ with 3846 pipes was installed in the church.
Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
The church was built in 1610 in Chortkiv as a powerful defense structure with thick walls and a watchtower-bell tower. Over time, the need for defense against the Tatars disappeared, but more space was needed to accommodate the parishioners. Today, the church is a majestic temple made in a characteristic neo-Gothic style with Romanesque details.
The interior is as impressive as the harmony of the exterior. The stepped ceiling of the cathedral resembles a staircase to heaven.
Holy Annunciation Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Annunciation is a real gem of Kharkiv: for more than 100 years it has been inspiring city guests with its grandeur and monumental beauty. Having boldly incorporated eclectic elements into the Byzantine style, the architect gave the cathedral hemispherical outlines, contrasting its massive volume with the lightness of the bell tower. The richness of details and polychrome facade design give the building an original look.
Church of the Holy Eucharist
The Roman Catholic Dominican monastery was founded in Lviv in the XIV century. The current Eucharistic Church was built by the Ukrainian architect of Dutch origin Jan de Witte in the second half of the 18th century.
It is one of the most impressive monuments of European Baroque architecture, characterized by the grandeur and splendor characteristic of this style.
Church of St. Lawrence
Founded as the church of the Queen of Heaven, St. Lawrence and St. Stanislav, the Zhovkva Collegium is considered one of the best Renaissance buildings in our country, and its portal surpasses all European ones. The unique frieze depicts the silhouettes of hussars, archers, wounded soldiers, weapons, laurel branches, and a heraldic eagle.
The former defensive tower next to the church, which later became a church bell tower, is known as the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" because of its slight inclination.
Each of these unique churches can be easily reached by train or bus. You can choose plane, bus or train tickets within Ukraine and between cities around the world here.
For your convenience, we also recommend booking a hotel in the desired region of Ukraine in advance. And in order to protect yourself from unexpected expenses during your vacation, we advise you to take care of reliable health insurance.
Ukrainian churches are breathtaking in their appearance. These amazing churches undoubtedly amaze with their beauty, architecture, and centuries-old history. To see with your own eyes the spectacular views of the domes and icons of the country's sacred architecture, you can choose a tour of Ukraine to your liking.
Main photo: Shutterstock
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