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State Historical and Architectural Reserve in Berezhany

In this article we present the results of research on the defensive church in the
village of Bishche. Construction of the church began in 1624. The church had an
autonomous defense system. The territory of the temple is surrounded by defensive
moats and ramparts. Powerful walls with arches were built on the ramparts. The
shooting ranges were also in the upper tier of the nave above the vaults. The temple
seemed to repeat the features of a small defensive castle. After all, the church with rough
stone walls controlled the Lviv-Berezhany road, which passed through the Danube-
Peremyshlyany. The church is also a unique monument in the region of Opillia in terms
of its architectural and artistic structure. In the interior as well as on the facade, works
from the studio of the famous European sculptor John Pfister have been preserved.
Fragments of the main altar and sculptures of saints have been preserved. The interior
has carved rosettes and capitals of columns by the same master of wood and stone. We
owe the preservation of wooden sculptures to the former director of the Lviv Art Gallery,
Borys Voznytsky, who transported them to the reserves of the Olesky Castle Reserve.
Bishche was a holiday destination, and every year on August 15, communities of pious
pilgrims from Berezhany, Peremyshliamy, Pomoriany, Dunaiv and surrounding villages
and neighborhoods came here to celebrate the Assumption of the Mother of God.
However, in Soviet times the church was closed, and in the 70s of XX century Soviet
authorities turned the church into a warehouse of chemicals.
The works of art associated with the church are carved in the studio of John Pfister -
figures of the patrons of the Synyavsky family - St. Jerome, St. Catherine, St. Nicholas,
St. Elizabeth. The heads of the seraphim angels have also been preserved. The crucifix
of Jesus Christ carved in wood from the altar of the southern chapel of the church was
taken to Lviv in 1965. It is in the storerooms of the Lviv National Art Gallery. The church
is a unique example of a shrine surrounded by an outer defensive belt of ramparts,
ditches and stone defensive walls.

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