Bernardine Cathedral and Monastery in Lviv

Situated in the south of the market square, Bernardine cathedral and monastery in Lviv is one of the beautiful sites of the western Ukrainian city. The cathedral is located in the city’s old town. The Bernardine cathedra,l presently known as Greek –Catholic Church of St Andrew is the perfect example of Lviv architecture of late renaissance. The Cathedral was constructed in the 17th century. The church and the monastery were constructed with the influence of Italian and Dutch architectural mannerisms. The Cathedral facades is preserved by the statue of the sacred order of Bernardine and the niches of the second tier houses the images of Mary, Jesus and the apostles Peter and Andrews.

The church‘s interior was reconstructed in the baroque style within the years 1738-1740. Its interior is virtually overstated with curved wooden altars that were made during the 18th century restoration. The ceiling and walls were beautifully covered with colorful murals of B Mazurkiewicz symbolizing the triumph of St. Francis. There is a red marble monument of the patron and protector of the cathedral (St Jan of Dukla) in the main part of the church. Jan of Dukla was considered the patron of Lviv and led a righteous life. He died in Lviv in September 1484 and was quickly canonized.

The monument of the Bernardine Cathedral and Monastery in Lviv was established in the memory of those on the Polish side who perished during the Khmel’nyts’kyi upspring. The Impressive column that stands against the cathedral houses a sculptor of St Jan. The sculptor was constructed in 1736. For a long time, Bernardine monastery building remained in its wooden structure. Only after 17th century it saw reconstruction. The Monastery is surrounded by high wall, which is the part of city wall. A high tower called Glinyanskaya is erected at the centre of the wall. The tower and the wall still exist in the monastery area. The height of the Bernardine Cathedral and Monastery in Lviv is 22 meters and the length is 57.5 meters. The church features German, Italian and Netherlands architectural style.

The three stored Façade of the church fascinates with its embellishment. There are more than 20 sculptors in the church. The church houses a statue of Mary with Jesus, coats of arms of Poland and Lithuania, figures of Christ and dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit. It also has many stone figures of Bernardine saints occupying the pediment. They are dressed with the cloak typical of Bernardine monks and holding the attributes of monastic order. Each figure is interesting in its own way.

The Bernardine Cathedral and Monastery in Lviv managed to avoid closure by the Austrian emperor Joseph II. A part of the monastery was taken over by the city archive. The church remained closed after the end of the Second World War till the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since 1991 the building is under supervision of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Basilian order and also undergone several renovations and restorations.