St. George's Cathedral is a baroque-rococo cathedral located in the city ofLviv, the historic capital of western Ukraine. It was constructed between 1744-1760 on a hill overlooking the city. This is the third manifestation of a church to inhabit the site since the 13th century, and its prominence has repeatedly made it a target for invaders and vandals. The cathedral also holds a predominant position in Ukrainian religious and cultural terms. During 19th and 20th centuries, the cathedral served as the mother church of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC)( Eastern Rite Catholic)
Designed by architect Bernard Meretin and sculptor Johann Georg Pinsel, St. George's Cathedral reflects both Western influences and the traditions of Ukrainian church construction. An expressive statue of St. George the Dragon-slayer, by Pinsel , stands in the church attic. Pinsel's hands also created the stony images of St. Leo, the Pope and St. Athanasius who stand on guard over the church portal "warning with their stern look about their readiness to fight against anyone not showing enough venerability In contrast, the architecture of the courtyard has a more soothing effect on visitors.
An icon for the Church parish by Luka Dolynskyi depicts the banishment of merchants from the Temple. Another icon, Apostles, conveys a very strong expression of pain and desperate begging of the human being to the Almighty so that He would bestow eternity on "a feeble soul stiff with the fear of death
The architectural ensemble of St. George's Cathedral also includes a belfry, the Baroque Metropolitan Palace and chapter house, as well as a garden, enclosed behind two gates.
This unique castle is one of the most valuable architectural and historical monuments of XIV-XVII centuries. And its beautiful name "Palanok" it received due to ditch fences Palanka around it in a deep ditch.
Looking from afar, like a single structure, Palanok castle actually consists of three parts, which are called according to their position: Upper, Middle and Lower Castles. The oldest of them, the Upper Castle, originating in XIV-XVI centuries, is located on a mountain top, the Middle Castle, built in the XVII century, is located 6 m below the Upper castle, and, ultimately, the Lower Castle, dating from the same XVII century, is built on a 10 m below the average. There is another ledge, 10 meters below the third castle, on which in the beginning of XVIII century there was built a guard tower and the road along the western slope of the mountain, leading to the castle. The tower was destroyed in the early twentieth century, and the road remained up to this day.
The entire palace complex is surrounded with stone 3-3.5 m thick walls and deep ditches, which you can go through only on several wooden bridges. Also around the castle Palanok there are 8 bastions that were built in the XVII century to contain artillery.
Near the gates to the Lower Castle, where was the watch post, there are two large globular bastions, which covered the entrance to the castle in case of enemy attack.
Surrounded by 4 bastions the Middle Castle had a few three-storey buildings, which served as location for the barracks for the garrison and the arsenal, knight’s hall, kitchen and storage facilities.
Upper Castle was a residence of the immediate owners of Mukachevo castle, and consisted of a large courtyard, protected from all sides, the two-, three-storey buildings, the luxury of princely houses, three round towers, completed in the XVII century and the castle chapel. From the North the Upper Castle was protected by two bastions, from the South - 85-meter well, which, according to some reports, had two secret passages in the southern and northern directions in its depths.
However, the history of the castle starts not in the XIV century and, although the exact date of the castle on this hill is almost impossible to determine, nevertheless the archaeologists have reason to believe that some sort of fortifying at this place was in the IX century, when the Carpathian lands belonged to the territory of Kievan Rus, which means that Mukachevo castle originally belonged to Rusich. The cause of the building of the castle was, of course, the profitable and strategic position, as exemplified by the fact that, despite frequent raids of nomadic tribes, Mukachevo castle had never been captured. This lasted until the eleventh century, until the army of the Hungarian kingdom captured all the Carpathian lands and the castle. From this period there have been found the first written evidence of Mukachevo Castle as the only one the citadel of the Carpathians, which withstood a five-day siege in 1086 and conquered the Polovtsian troops under the leadership of Khan Kuteska. During the Mongol-Tatar invasion, Mukachevo castle also remained untouched; the troops of Batu Khan did not even try to conquer it. And after the departure of hordes of Carpathian castle fortress considerably strengthened to withstand further attacks of enemies.
During XIII - XIV centuries, the future Palanok Castle belonged to Hungarian royal dynasties Arpadovich and Anjou, and served as the protection of military and strategic ways with a permanent garrison on their territory. At the end of the fourteenth century, in 1396, Mukachevo Castle acquired a new owner - a relative of the Hungarian King Zsigmond, Podillya Prince Theodore Koryatovich.
Few sights in Ukraine can boast with such a long and interesting history as castle Palanok has. Now the castle attracts over 100 thousand tourists a year. Try to visit it and you. A lot of impressions from contact with the past in conjunction with the magnificent nature is guaranteed. Moreover, it’s quite easy to find Palanok Castle - from the center of Mukachevo there is the taxi to it.
Until modern times there preserved few monuments of ancient Russ during the reign of Yaroslav the Wise, and theGolden Gates is one of them. The construction of the gate is mentioned in chronicles in 1037.
Of course, Kiev, gaining strength, had to be surrounded with the fortified walls with watch towers and gates. The Main Gate, similar to Constantinople ones, opened access to the main Christian shrine of the city – Saint Sofia Cathedral and the surrounding monasteries. This explains its name - Gold, as in Constantinople.
But it had differences. Golden Gates of Kiev were multipurpose: watchtower, grand gates of the capital and the temple - the gate Church of the Annunciation. Everyone, who enters Kiev, should know that this is a Christian city. After restoration works the church was renewed as a single-domed church with hidden adders in the thick walls, so that they do not project from the facade. At the same time there wereconducted the restoration works and found pieces of fresco plaster smalt, which is evidence of the existence in the church frescoes and mosaics. To improve acoustics and reduce the weight of the vaults of the Golden Gates there were used jugs. The gates were located in the southern part of the city and were used for ceremonial entry into the capital. Among the three major gates of the city the main ones are the Golden Gates. And in front of the gates there was dug the trench with depth up to 8 meters. The watchtower of the Golden Gates was a powerful stone building, and the height of the preserved walls reaches 9.5 meters.
Golden Gates carried out its purpose up to the XVIII century, they were destroyed and looked like the ruins. In 1832 there was made a decision to preserve them. And in 1970 there was created a museum of history of the Golden Gates, it was located in a pavilion next to them, then it was moved into the building of the gates, which was successfully restored.
Golden Gates were erected also in Vladimir city by Andrei Bogoliubsky. They proved its value: when in 1238 the Tartars besieged the city, they did not try to storm the Golden Gates, and broke through the wall to the south of them.