Armenian Churches of Lviv

Armenian Churches of LvivThe most remarkable Armenian churches in Lviv are the Church of Surb Hakob (Saint Jacob) and the Church of Surb Khach (Saint Cross). Apart from their architectural features, of interest to us is that they testify to the antique presence of Armenians in the city.

The Church of Surb Hakob was built in 1400 not far from the Monastery and church of St. Onuphrius, which was founded in the 13th century. The St. Onuphrius Church is being connected to Prince Lev Daniilovich who was also known as Onuphrius. The prince is supposedly buried in the monastery.

Near the church is also buried Ivan Fyodorov, one of the fathers of Eastern Slavonic printing. Having left Moscow, Fyodorov established a printing house in Lviv with the financial support of Armenian traders.

The Church of Surb Khach was the place where patriarch Melchizedek secretly ordained Nikolai Torosevich a bishop. But parishioners found out about this and through an underground passage broke into the closed church and attacked the patriarch in an attempt to snatch out Torosevich from his hands. The stubborn patriarch would ordain Torosevich nonetheless.

After the conversion of Lviv Armenians into Catholicism, the old buildings of the Surb Khach Church were reconstructed. In 1744, the buildings were rebuilt once again in the Baroque style by the project of a German architect Bernard Meretyn. Further renovations carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries significantly altered the interior of the church. Several annexes were added as well. Nowadays, the church houses the Faculty of Law of the Lviv Academy.

Ashot Abrahamyan

Monastery and church of St Onuphrius Lviv 03 Tylko we Lwowie


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