Sacred places of West Ukraine (Pidkamin' - Pochaiv - Kremenets)
One day trip to 3 old towns of Lviv region will open a possibility
for every tourist to open the part of the history of glorious Ukraine.
While visiting the architectural masterpieces of all towns you will
think once more over the past and look into the future. You will walk
along the street of ancient cities, discover religious and cultural
aspects of our country, plunge into the heroic past and even attend an
ethno festival held every year in a summer period in Pidkamin. If you
have an opportunity you are welcome to do this trip.
The village takes its name (translatable into English as "below the rock") from an inselberg,
called the "devils rock", located on the adjacent hill. Pidkamin became
know for a Dominican monastery. It was first established, by twelve
monks from a monastery established by Saint Hyacinth in Kyiv,
who were forced to flee from the city when it was ravaged by
Mongols. During the 17th century a fortified abbey was
constructed. Pidkamin hosted a wonder working icon of the Blessed
Virgin Mary (a copy of the famous Protectress of the Roman People from
the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome), crowned in 1727 by the Latin Rite bishop of Lutsk Stefan Rupniewski, assisted by other Roman and Greek Catholic
bishops, with a crown conferred by Pope Benedict XIII. After World
War II the icon was removed from Pidkamin to rescue it from communists
and today remains in the Dominican church of St. Adalbert in Wroclaw,
Poland. During World War I Pidkamin was largely destroyed by Russian
artillery in 1915. After World War II in 1946 the monastery was closed
by the soviets and turned into a jail. Later the monastery was used as
psychiatric hospital, which still
exists, and the church was turned into a stable. After the collapse of
the soviet union and the emergence of independent Ukraine, the ruins of
the monastery were given to Ukrainian Greek Catholic Studite Monks.
Pochaiv It is the eastern orthodox monastery (lavra) in Pochaiv (Ternopol
region). It is the most sacred eastern orthodox holy place in Volyn and
the second-important one after Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in Ukraine. According
to the legend, the monastery was founded by monks of Kyiv-Pechersk
Lavra, who fled from Tatar invasion in 1240. The first records in
chronicles about it are dated back to 1527. In 1597, Pochaeva Lavra
obtained a wonder-working icon of the Blessed Virgin, which was brought
to Ukraine in 1559 by Bulgarian metropolitan – Neophyte. In 1675,
Pochaivs'ka Lavra was besieged by Turkish, but then they suddenly left the
town. The prosperity of the monastery falls at the second half of XVII
century due to the activities of hegumen Iov Zheleza (1602-1651). From
1730 Pochaev printing house was operating, which printed 187 books.
This Lavra is rich in murals, sculptures and ornaments and worth visiting as a healing and holly place.
The tourist site of the Kremenets town is the Castle Hill,
and visitors to the castle ruins do not even need tickets. Thousands of
people come here to admire the fortress walls and wonderful panorama of
the city commanded by the hill. The gothic arc of the entrance gates
leads to the castle yard. Once a local television relay tower stood
here, but now only the ruins of the fortress walls overlook Kremenets.
Also here there was once a well. In the 1530s it was hollowed out in
the rock by soldiers of the garrison, because without water it would
have been impossible to survive the long hostile besiegement. According
to legend this is the well where Bona appears on Easter with the keys.
She searches for those to whom she will pass on her underground
Oh, these old legends...