Saturday, January 21, 2017

Wooden Tserkvas in Ukraine

In 2013 UNESCO inscribed on the WHS list 16 wooden tserkvas, 8 from Ukraine and other 8 from Poland. From Ukraine I already had a card of St. George Church in Drohobych and now I also have cards of Lord's Ascension Church and Descent of the Holy Spirit Church. 

Lord's Ascension Church in Yasinya is considered to be one of the finest examples of the Hutsul architectural style and few modern alterations have been made to the building. 
According to a Hutsul legend the church was built on the site where a flock of sheep miraculously survived through the winter unharmed after being left behind by a shepherd in a snowstorm. 
The Church of the Ascension was built in 1824 on the site of an older church, though some accounts suggest the current church is from the late 18th century. 
As a perfect example of the Hutsul style it features a floor plan in the shape of a cross, a large central dome above the nave with an onion dome at the top and four much smaller onion domes at the four corners of the building. A minor addition was added to the structure of the church in 1994 when a wooden entrance room was added onto the side in the same style as the rest of the church. 
Unfortunately the interior of the church is not in its original state, and the icons and iconostasis are crudely crafted versions of the originals. - in:

Descent of the Holy Spirit Church was built in suburb of Potelych, Ukraine in 1502 on the place of a church that burned down by tatars. It is the oldest wooden church in Lviv Oblast. 
he structure consisits of three wooden naves and a brick sacristy. - in: wikipedia

Friday, January 20, 2017

Lviv Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life - Ukraine

These two beautiful wooden churches can be visited at the Lviv Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life. This is an open-air museum containing 120 monuments of folk architecture including six wooden churches. Hardly any museum in the world can boast with so many old religious buildings. - in:

This wonderful wooden church was the first structure in the museum's collection. It was originally constructed in 1763 in the small village of Kryvka and moved to the museum in 1930. 
Today, Saint Nicholas church is the museum's main attraction and a superb example of the Boyko wooden church. Boyko churches are identifiable by a building plan with three steeples where the tallest steeple is the central one.

I'm not 100% sure, it wasn't easy to find information about this church, but this is probably St. Vladimir and St. Olga church, copy of a 1831 church in Kotány village. It was built thanks to the donations of Lemkos of USA, Canada and Lemko community of Lviv.
The distinctive wooden architectural style of the Lemko churches (as opposed to their neighbouring sub-ethnic groups such as the Boikos) is to place the highest cupola of the church building at the entrance to the church, with the roof sloping downward toward the sanctuary. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lviv's Opera House - Ukraine

This is not a castle, this is not a church, this is Lviv's Opera House, one of the most beautiful theatres in Europe. 
Constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, designed by architect Zygmunt Gorgolewski, the Grand Theatre in Lviv has been compared to the Paris and Vienna opera houses. 
This building comprises various European architectural styles fashioned in all their lavishness. 

The façade forms are very complicated and diverse: columns, balustrades, and niches filled with allegorical sculptures. Statues of eight muses rise above the main cornice of the façade, and above them stands the grand  ten-figure composition of The Joys and Miseries of Life. The fronton above is completed with a sculptural triad of the winged bronze figures of the genii of Drama, Comedy and Tragedy, and in the centre stands Glory with a gold palm branch in her hand. These sculptures were created by the hands of the outstanding Lviv artists Popiel, Baroncz, and Viytovych.  
The interior of the Lviv Opera House is no less amazing than the exterior. The internal decoration is gilded (with a few kilograms of gold), adorned with different-coloured marble, decorative paintings, and sculptures. The four-circled lyre-shaped hall accommodates over a thousand people. Embellishing the stage, the decorative curtain Parnassus (1900), painted by Henryk Siemiradzki, represents an allegorical image of the meaning of life in the Parnassus figures. The hall of the Lviv Opera House is remarkable for its perfect acoustics. On offer are performances by celebrated opera and ballet troupes of Ukraine as well as distinguished guest performers from abroad. The Lviv Opera House is the host venue for the recently revived Vienna Balls. - in:

Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Fortress - Ukraine

This fortress is the main attraction of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, a 2500 years old town, considered to be the oldest town in Ukraine.

It is the biggest fortress in the country, and a unique monument to the defensive architecture of the 13th -15th centuries. Despite its 'venerable' age and the historical events to which it was a first hand witness, the fortress managed to preserve its original structure, and today it is considered to be the best preserved medieval fortification facility in Ukraine.

The Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi fortress was founded on the ruins of the ancient town Tyr. The reason for the fortress’s construction was the need to protect the town from the constant invasions of its enemies. It is awe-inspiring with its power and size: the total length of its walls is over two kilometers.
For two centuries, the outpost served as good defense for its owners. In the late 15th century, however, after a prolonged siege, the fortress surrendered to the Ottomans. The Turks renamed it ‘Akkerman’ (which means 'White Fortress'), and ruled the territory for over 300 years. In the early 19th century, the Russian Empire claimed the fortress as a spoil of victory after a Russo-Turkish war. Over time, the fortress lost its defensive importance. For over a century, this impressive historical and architectural monument has been protected by the state. - in:

Ostroh Castle - Ukraine

Menacingly towering over the twenty-meter-high hill in the age-old town of Ostroh not far from Rivne, the Ostroh Castle is seen as a token sample of the Ukrainian fortification architecture and is recognized as one of the Volyn’s most interesting historical and architectural monuments.

In the 14th century, the castle complex was raised on the place of the Old Russian town, which was destroyed by Mongolian Tatars in 1241. It remained Ostroh princes’ residence for more than three centuries. They were the richest and the most powerful magnates, who owned a lot of lands on the territory of the modern Ukraine.
Consisting of stone and wooden buildings, the castle was well fortified: it was protected by the steep from two sides and by the deep ditch, dug in place of the former ravine, from the other two. The Ostroh Castle was repeatedly rebuilt and modernized during its centuries-long existence. Two towers – Stone and Round – Epiphany Cathedral with gate belfry, and fragments of defensive walls survived until now. - in:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle - Ukraine

I've swapped 37 cards with Andrzej, I think, and the country I picked more cards from, was Ukraine!! Castles and churches, the country has some beautiful ones worth to visit. I know I'd love to visit Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle. 

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle is a former Ruthenian-Lithuanian castle and a later three-part Polish fortress located in the historic city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine, in the historic region of Podolia in the western part of the country.
Historical accounts date the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle to the early 14th century, although recent archaeological evidence has proved human existence in the area back to the 12th or 13th century. Initially built to protect the bridge connecting the city with the mainland, the castle sits on top of a peninsula carved out by the winding Smotrych River, forming a natural defense system for Kamianets-Podilskyi's historic Old Town neighborhood.

Oleg Zharii
Its location on a strategic transport crossroad in Podolia and made the castle a prime target for foreign invaders, who rebuilt the castle to suit their own needs, adding to its multicultural architectural diversity. Specifically, the complex consists of the Old Town fortified by King Casimir IV, the Old Castle rebuilt by Kings Sigismund I and Stephen Báthory, and the New Castle founded by Kings Sigismund III and Władysław IV. However, in spite of the many architectural and engineering changes to the original structure, the castle still forms a coherent architectural design, being one of the few medieval constructions in Ukraine that is relatively well preserved.
Along with the Old Town neighborhood, the castle is listed as part of the National Historical-Architectural Sanctuary "Kam'ianets" and the National Environmental Park "Podilski Tovtry". The complex is a candidate UNESCO World Heritage Site, nominated in 1989 by the Ukrainian representatives, and also one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.
Today, the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle is the most recognized landmark of the city, serving as an important regional and national tourist attraction. - in: wikipedia

Corvin Castle - Romania

I've been thinking about a trip to Romania, there are many places there that I'd like to visit. This castle is definitely one of them. Look how beautiful it is!! 
Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara, Romania. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and one of the Seven Wonders of Romania. I can see why.

The most spectacular Gothic-style castle in Romania, Corvin was built by the Anjou family on the site of a former Roman camp. The castle served as a fortress until the mid-14th century when it became the residence of Transylvania's voivode, Iancu de Hunedoara (Ioannes Corvinus in Latin, Hunyadi in Hungarian).
Iancu upgraded the fortress transforming it into a stunning Transylvania castle.
The castle's courtyard features a 100-ft. well dug into stone, in the 15th Century.
Legend says that the well was dug by three Turkish prisoners who were promised freedom when job was done.
It took them 15 years and 28 days to reach water. - in: