DEFENSIVE CHURCH OF SAINT NICHOLAS AND THE MONASTERY OF BERNARDINS IN BEREZHANY

2020;
: 143-156
Authors:
1
State Historical and Architectural Reserve in Berezhany

The article is devoted to the history of the monastery of the Order of
Bernardines in Berezhany in Ternopil region. The analysis of the architectural features of
the complex is main purpose of the work. The monastery is located in the northwest corner
of the city. The territory of the was surrounded by defensive bastion fortifications. The
monastery fortifications were a part of the city defensive lines. The mountain, on which the
monastery located, is called - "St. Nicholas Mountain". On the place of the present
monastery was a boyar's manor in the XIV century, and then the orthodox church of St.
Nicholas.The construction of a defensive complex of monastic buildings began in 1630.
The Bernardine complex includes - the Catholic Church of St. Nicholas, the house of the
monastery cells, defensive walls and ramparts. The complex occupied the highest position
in the north-western wing of the city's defense system. It was an important strategic point
that controlled the Lviv-Berezhany road. The construction of all the objects of the
monastery lasted 112 years until 1742.In 1809–1812, the Austrian authorities liquidated
the city's powerful defenses. In particular, the ramparts and bastions that were on the
territory of the monastery were eliminated. Today there is only a fragment of a defensive
wall and a moat on the southern slope of the mountain, which separated the territory of the
monastery from the urban areas of the New Town. The fortifications of the monastery are
shown on the map of 1720 by Major Johann von Fürstenhof.
The bastion belt of the monastery had underground structures. In 2010, murals were
found in the interior of the church. According to the author, the carved stone decoration
of the church (columns, capitals) was made by the sculptor Johann Pfister (in 1630–1642).
The altars, with carved figures of saints, were probably made by the artist Georg Ioan Pinzel
from Buchach. The architecture of the monastery's defensive structures needs further
research.
In the temple there are several valuable icons of the prophetic series of iconostasis.
These are works originating from the famous Krasnopushchany iconostasis by Gnat
Stobynsky and Fr. Theodosius of Sichynskyi. This iconostasis was donated in 1912 by
Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyi. Restoration work on the monastery began in 2007 after
a visit by President Victor Yushchenko. First of all, the roof of the temple was repaired.
Work is underway to restore and recreate the interior of the temple. Archaeological
research of lost fortifications needs special attention.

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