Church of Holy Olga and Elizabeth

The first calling card of Lviv, the tourist sees when coming to the station – a magnificent neo-Gothic church with high towers and pointed spires of St. Olga and Elizabeth (the former church of St. Elizabeth). Today is the highest temple (and structure!) City, and its height reached by various sources 85-88 meters.

Church of Holy Olga and Elizabeth

This temple has not even centuries, but  has extremely interesting history.

In the second half of the nineteenth century in Europe began to develop intensively connections, especially rail. In the western part of the city railway station was built with the infrastructure and the surrounding area started building dwellings for railway, so-called “koliyivky.”

The population of this district came from the central regions of Poland and neighborhoods of the city. Large growth rates, especially the Polish-residents, required to meet their religious needs. Polish-population Why? At that time Ukrainian could not get in western Ukraine education for service rail transport and ethnic Poles were able to get it in schools in Germany and Austria-Hungary. In addition, the railway has always been considered a strategic industry, and for some reason there were not allowed Greek Catholics and Orthodox.

Church of Holy Olga and Elizabeth

The place chosen construction area Solar, on both sides of the street Horodotska. The choice was made so that the church building from the main station closed view of the Cathedral. George, who was Greek Catholic, and reminded everyone who was coming to the city railway that live here Ukrainian.

Church was built at the expense of railwaymen for their parish. Was held a design competition, which was attended by 19 participants. The best project was recognized under the motto “Trio” made of Lviv Polytechnic Institute Professor Theodor Talovskym (1857-1910) – the famous architect of his time, a disciple of Vienna and Lviv Polytechnic National University, Lviv architect Julian student Zakhariyevych.

When designing the building of the church was put into an existing architectural ensemble. Architects and builders took the only right decision – to build a future temple in the tradition of Gothic architecture. Construction of the church began in autumn 1904 under the leadership of engineer Carol Rihtmana laying of foundations, originally planned to complete construction in 1907.

Church of Holy Olga and Elizabeth

Consecration of the church took place in autumn 1911, and the interior of the church was almost completed only in 1913.

Church suffered significant damage in 1939 when its tower was equipped Polish army observation post, which was later destroyed by German aircraft, and during the Second World War because of the bombs hit the house across the street. The church is very damaged by debris.

Church of Holy Olga and Elizabeth

After the war, the communist authorities closed the church and its buildings were transferred confectionery factory “Torch” by staff. No restoration work was conducted as a result of the barbaric attitude of the then owners building suffered considerable damage. Not once Lviv oblast communists and atheists were asked about the demolition of the church, as such, to the detriment of atheistic and communist propaganda.

In 50 years the Communists decided to hold in Lviv “campaign removal of crosses”, which began with the highest church tower. Cross remove and failed. A person who has agreed to do it, fell from the tower and clogged death. Those wishing to repeat the experience predecessor was found, and then Lviv party bosses and their lackeys had to give up such a plan.

In the 90 years the church transferred Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and renamed the Church of St. Olha and Elizabeth.

Church of Holy Olga and Elizabeth

Temple built in neo-gothic style, stands tall towers with spared end, large pointed windows with tracery characteristic Gothic windows and rosettes. Fabricated of brick on a stone foundation, with the use of white and molded with details. The western facade of the church is crowned with three portals above the outlet monumental crucifixion.

The composition – one of the characteristics of handwriting T. Talovskoho. The facade of the two symmetrically flanking towers are completed high acute and spikes topped by crosses. On the north side of the church stands the 85 meter high clock tower (lost), completed high spire with the figure of St. Elizabeth on the northwestern edge.

In the interior is dominated by a marble main altar, which is one of the best works of the famous Lviv sculptor late XIX – early. The twentieth century. Peter Voytovych. The altar – one of the rare works of the direction and the more interesting, preserved in its original location. In addition to the main altar in the church also preserved the figure of Christ in the chapel, which completes the left nave, and three crucifixes, which are located under the gallery and in the crypt.

When u come to  Lviv, do not forget to visit the church of St. Olga and Elizabeth.

Author Martha Galajun

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