Sviatohirs'k History and Architecture Reserve
Extended St Mountains with a cloistral complex on its top can be noted by you on the slope of the right bank of the Sivers’kyi Donets’ River. This picturesque place buried in verdure of forests and located on cretaceous rocks annually attracts thousands of tourists, pilgrims and local residents. Being at this place, you might feel yourself as a part of something great, saint and primordial, that is impossible to explain and express in words. This is all about the Sviatohirs’k State History and Architecture Reserve, which united history and culture monuments of C16th – 20th.
More than 5 centuries ago, an orthodox cloister, which used to be called the Sviatohirs’k Hermitage of Virgin Mary, became a cradle of Russian monkhood. Caves and cells of monks-hermits and St Antoniy and Feodosiy underground Church, dug out in loessial rock, have been preserved till present days. Underground passages impress as they are hewed in cretaceous rocks and steeply lead to observation deck near St Mykolai Temple. It was founded in the 17th century on the cretaceous cliff to embody its continuation and harmoniously supplement an architectural complex of the reserve.
The next thing to impress you is a covered stair-gallery of St Kyrylo and St Mefodiy leading you to St Andriy Chapel. It was constructed in the 19th century and was made of huge sandstone with massive columns and arched aperture. You can expect unbelievably beautiful view of Sviatohirs’k and the valley of the Sivers’kyi Donets’ River. In the southeast there is a small wooden secluded monastery of All Saints and a new built church located next to it, as well as saint gaits, a refectory, cells where more than 10 monks live. This wooden building is surrounded with the monks’ farm from every quarter: an apiary, fields, a vineyard, ponds and a cowshed. Two towers from the east and west sides have been preserved and in former times they used to be watchtowers linking cloistral walls and now are perfectly in cloistral complex framing. Synod of Ukrainian Orthodox Church gave a status of Lavra to this cloistral complex in 2004.
During the excursion in Sviatohirs’k Lavra, you’ll see Church of the Intercession with a bell tower; for this construction Antonion, a master-self-taught, created a clock with wonderful melodies sounding all around. Unfortunately, the clock was lost and today we know only place where it was situated.
On the high stylobate, there is a main temple of Holy Dormition Lavra in the Russian-Byzantine style. Four column temple of an incredible beauty is crowned with domes which are plated with gold tinsel. They can be noticed from afar, showing the way to the monastery. By Lavra, there is a Hotel Yard for palmers. Do not forget woman must cover their head with a kerchief on the territory of Lavra.
Sviatohirs’k icon of Mother of God is considered to be the gem of this place. It was presented to the monastery by Monk from Athos to show admiration for its holiness and greatness. Also you can see other historical sights which were erected later: the Monument to Fedir Sergiiv, the Bolshevik-revolutionary, the Memorial in honour of Soviet Army, the Grave to V. Kamyshev, 19 years lieutenant, and the others.
Sviatohirs’k Monastery is a place of solitude, holiness, silence and calm, where you can find balance, feel in private with God and see a priceless man-made creation.