Krekhiv Monastery Fortress
Posted by: UKRDOUG
N 50° 02.061 E 023° 47.901
34U E 700392 N 5546201
Quick Description: Stanislav Zholkievski donated land in 1618 and the monastery began to develop. In 1660 a fortified wall was built around the complex with four defensive corner towers and a fifth tower over the main gates.
Date Posted: 3/27/2012 11:28:35 AM
Waymark Code: WME2XQ
Basilian Monastery of St Michael
12 km from Zhovka in the Roztocze hills is the Basilian Monastery of St. Michael above the village of Krekhiv. According to legend two monks from the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Joel and Sylvester, came to these hills in 1612 and hammered out monastic cells in the rocks called “Joel’s Rock”.
Stanislav Zholkievski, founder of the fortress in nearby Zhovka, donated land nearby in 1618 and the monastery began to develop at its current location. In 1660 a fortified wall was built around the complex with four defensive corner towers and a fifth tower over the main gates. Three wooden churches were erected: Christ’s Transfiguration, St. Nicholas, and Holy Trinity. A wooden chapel was built over “Joel’s Rock” called the Veil of our Lady.
The monastery was attacked by a Muslim Tatar detachment in 1672. The Cossack leader Ivan Mazepa led the successful defenders. The Tatar khan’s nephew was killed in the milieu. An 8-foot (3-meter) tower in honor of the defenders greets visitors today as they drive up to the monastery.
The stone church of St. Nicholas was built in 1751 and houses two sacred objects – the miraculous appearance of Verkhrata Mother of God and miraculous appearance of St. Nicholas. The icon of Verkhrata Mother of God was originally in the Verkhrata Monastery near Rava-Ruska and passed to Krekhiv Monastery in 1808. This miracle-performing icon first wept in 1688. It was hidden in Lviv during the Soviet period but has been returned since renovation. Pilgrims come every May 20-22 to pray for a miracle from these two icons.
This wooden church and bell tower was built in the village of Krekhiv in 1724 and recently transported into the monastery walls.
The park around the monastery is exceptional, designed by the best gardeners of Lviv a hundred years ago. From the monastery a trail leads up to the top of the hill called the “Way of the Cross.” Worshippers are invited to make the devotional trek while meditating on what the Lord did for us on that first Easter weekend. Towards the top of the hill are rock sculptures of various scenes. The descent on the other side leads to a chapel of the Tomb of Jesus.
The monastery suffered when the region was absorbed into the Soviet Union after World War II. Soviet authorities shut down the church in 1949 and many of the monks died in prison while the others lived their lives in hiding. Since Ukrainian independence in 1991 the monastery has been restored.
Accessibility: Full access
Admission Charge?: no
Website: Not listed
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