The Monastery Complex of the Discalced Carmelites

  • The Monastery Complex of the Discalced Carmelites at 22 Vynnychenka Street, today the Greek Catholic Monastery of the Studite Order and Church of the Archangel Michael, is a religious building of the 17-19th centuries designed in the Baroque style with elements of Classicism.

    On a picturesque tree-lined hill across from the Gunpowder Tower rises the Church of the Archangel Michael. Steep stone stairs lead up from Vynnychenka Street to the church. This hill affords the most marvellous view of Lviv’s old town. The Church of the Archangel Michael was built at the beginning of the 17th century for the Order of the Discalced Carmelites by Jan Pokorowicz, an Italian from Lombardy. The solid defensive fortress walls were erected simultaneously with the monastery.

    The monastery-fortress endured many sieges of the city, including the Turkish Siege of 1672 and the Tatar Siege of 1695; however, it was captured by the army of Swedish King Karl XII in 1704. The defensive walls have enclosed a monastery garden on all sides to the present day.

    The church entrance features a fine forged iron gate. Inside one of the largest churches in Lviv there are several gravestones of leading Lvivites and benefactors; among the most prominent is the poet Count Josef Dunin-Borkowski (1815). A black marble gravestone dated 1762 located in the right part of the church bears a very peculiar epitaph for nobleman Petro Branytsky: “a man apt to lechery throughout his life.”    

    The vault of the main nave was painted by Giuseppe Pedretti in the early 1730s. The altars, created by monk Hryhoriy Chaykovsky, depict Carmelite monks. The main altar of black and red marble has been preserved since the establishment of the church.    

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