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Church of the Holy Martyr Clement Sheptytskyi

The Church of the Holy Martyr Clement Sheptytsky is an architectural monument of the 17th century in Lviv. The former church at different times had different names: St. Catherine, missionary, charity, St. Casimir.

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The church is located in the central part of the city, on 1 Maksyma Kryvonosa Street (former Polish names of the street - Archbishop's and Teatynska), nearby there is the Church of the Barefoot Carmelites.

Foundation and development

Church of St. Casimir was founded for the monastic order of Reformats who came to Lviv from Przemyśl in 1630 with the assistance of Lviv elder Stanisław Mniszek and Catholic archbishop A. Pruchnicki. They were first settled in a wooden monastery built on the hillside. The land plot for this monastery was allocated by the Russian voivode Sofia Danylovych. In the same year, 1630, the archbishop invited the reformers to Lviv, and Kateryna Danylovych ordered a monastery and a church to be built for them”(Denys Zubrytskyi,“Chronicle of the City of Lviv ”).

The wooden church and monastery burned down during the siege of Lviv by Bohdan Khmelnytskyi’s troops in 1648. The brick church was built in 1656 at the expense of Mykola Bihanovskyi, a castellan from Kamianets. The founder and his wife Ursula are buried in the crypt, and their names are written on the columns at the main altar. The church was consecrated by Archbishop Jan Tarnowski in 1664 under the name of St. Casimir. A few years later, the construction of the monastery was also completed.

In 1772 the monastery had 12 chaplains, 10 clerics and 4 monks. In 1714, next to the church, Franciszek Zawadski founded the Hospital of the Sisters of Charity, which consisted of two buildings connected by the chapel of St. Francis, three outbuildings. The hospital was named St. Vincent.

In 1783, as a result of the reform of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II, the Reformers' monastery was abolished, and the monastery premises and the church with the monastery lands near the High Castle (with orchard, forest plantations, and pasture) were given to the Sisters of Charity for the elderly. The reformers were transferred to the church of St. Michael's Monastery of the Barefoot Carmelites.

In 1880, new hospital buildings were built according to the design of Alfred Kamienobrodzkskyi. The orphanage, which was run by the Sisters of Charity until 1939, removed the name of St. Casimir.

The area, where the ensemble of the church of St. Casimir was formed during the XVI-XX centuries, located on the southern slope of Castle Hill, between the High Castle and the city fortifications.

Castle Hill became the property of the city by decree of Emperor Joseph II of October 9, 1786. It is marked as Sandberg on the plans of the first half of the XIX century, because the city used it as a sand and stone mine for construction. Therefore, on the initiative of the provincial councilor Count Lazhanskyi, the joint efforts of the authorities and the burghers began to tidy up the slopes in 1839. Supervisor Benedykt Hrehorovych, describes these works in his memoirs, “There was a lot of work and difficulties, because land and water had to be transported to the mountain in order for the trees to be taken root. Despite this, the rains often washed away and shifted the work for several weeks, so to protect the trees made fences, but they often shifted. Hard work overcame all obstacles as soon as the trees took root".

Seedlings were grown on the site of the later built archbishop's palace on 32 Vynnychenko Street.

The territory of the monument from the north borders on the slope of the Castle Hill, or rather the church of St. Casimir and the monastery were built on a hillside, where there was also an Imperial-Royal warehouse of gunpowder 1 and a gatehouse. A wide terrace was leveled, formed for the construction of the hospital and landscaping of the terrain, which, in addition to the construction of the monastery, later planted with apartment gardens, which have not survived.


The main buildings – the church, the monastery and the hospital are located along Kryvonosa Street. The complex forms a panorama of the city from all points of view and it is one of the dominants in the panorama, which opens from the lower terrace of the High Castle park. The complex of the church of St. Casimir, together with the Palace of the Archbishops and the Encounter Church, forms a unique architectural environment of buildings of different times and styles, which are harmoniously combined with each other. Due to the space of the square, which ends Vynnychenko Street, the church of St. Casimir closes the prospect of the street. The complex is an important formative element of the Ensemble of the historic center of Lviv.

The church is built in the Baroque style of stone and brick, with a rectangular apse. The main facade with a high pediment has stone amphorae at the edges and in the center. On the facade there are two niches of lost sculptures. The roof is gabled with a baroque signature. A crypt with a baroque pediment was added to the main entrance. The interior design corresponds to the canons of the construction of churches of the Order of Reformers. The side walls are cut by a blind arcade of three arches. The pilasters formed in this way pass into the supporting arches of the vault and divide it into three vertices. The vault of the nave is cross. Choirs are arranged above the main entrance.

The building of the monastery is adjacent to the temple from the southwest and consists of several blocked large volumes - three-story from the courtyard, two-story - from Kryvonosa Street, covered with gabled roofs. The walls are plastered, painted, divided by profiled cornices. The building forms an enclosed courtyard together with the church building.

Nearby (east of the church) there is the building of the former chapel and the hospital and house of the poor St. Vincent de Paul. The building of the former chapel is two-story, with high basements. From the side of the main entrance there is a terrace with a brick fence. The main facade of the building is oriented to the west. The facade is completed with a pediment with vases on the sides and decorated with flat pilasters. At the level of the first floor there is an arched niche for sculpture decorated with stucco. Window openings of facades are rectangular and with arched finish. The walls of the facades are divided between the floors by profiled cornices. Roofs are arranged above the entrances to the educational buildings. The surface of the walls of the facades of the two-story building from Kryvonosa Street is rusted; protruding parts of the facade (in the form of projections) are built on a level with the brick fence. An institution entrance was built into the fence, as well as between the church and the monastery premises. The planes of the facades are completed with cornices.

The hospital and the house of the poor are connected to the monastery buildings by a wooden glazed passage on the second floor. The hospital building is brick and two-storey. The surface of the facade at the level of the first floor is embroidered with rust. High plinth is rusted, with vents. A profiled cornice is arranged between the ground and first floors. There are window openings with a profiled frame.

The main facade of the house is completed with a triangular pediment. In the arched niche of the tympanum of the pediment there is a sculpture of St. Vincent with children (author A. Popel, 1910) and two rectangular windows. The roof of the house is quadrangular, covered with metal sheets.

Historical memories

Agricultural lands and vineyards are painted on the oldest engraving of the city of the beginning of the XVII century, made by Hohenberg according to the drawing of the Italian engineer Aurelius Passaroti (not later than 1618), under Kniazha, Zamkova and Lev mountains on the site of the present ensemble of the Temple. In the direction of the valley between Kniazha and Zamkova mountains, a large house can be seen. However, J.F. Gaffner’s engraving of the late XVIII century has already visible brick church with a monastery in a spacious area surrounded by a wall.

According to the schematic plan of the fortifications of Jan Behrens (1672), the walls of the monastery became part of the integral defense system of the city. According to the plan of 1750 of the city of Lviv with its suburbs, the area surrounded by the walls from the east was added to the area with the buildings, apparently, of the hospital and the orphanage of the Sisters of Charity.

In a guide to Lviv, published in 1925, the author M. Orlovich describes the interior of the church. "In the halls there is a portrait and baroque epitaph of Franciszek Zawadski (1745), the founder of the adjacent hospital of the Sisters of Charity. On the choirs there are portraits of the founders and art. Vyzhynskyi (1757). A mixing pillow has survived from the monuments, offered by Stanislav August with damask embroidered with silver. At the hospital there is a small church of St. Francis with three altars, usually closed".

Church today

Since the 50s until the 70s of the XX century in the building of the orphanage there was the children’s correctional labour colony No. 1 for underage girls. A police school was housed in the St. Vincent’s hospital. On the site of the garden to the west of the monastery, a stadium was arranged. Since the 1980s, the entire Sisters of Charity complex has been used by the Ministry of the Internal Affairs. Now the educational buildings of Lviv State University of Internal Affairs are situated at the territory. And on Epiphany 2008 church services were resumed in the temple. It was consecrated as the church of the Blessed Father Clement Sheptytsky. Nowadays, thanks to the efforts of Father Sebastian Dmytrukh, the part of a large collection of sacred art is exhibited in the church.

Interesting Facts

The archival materials contain a description of the construction of a wooden monastery and the church of St. Roch and Sebastian. The mountain under which these buildings are located was high and precipitous up to the city fortifications, and its steepness hindered construction. The land had to be levelled, but there was not enough labour force. Then Father Bonaventure, a good preacher and future hegumen of this monastery, in his sermons promised everyone who would join in the levelling of the construction site as much merit before God and the community as much wheelbarrows of soil they would bring down from the hill. Many Lviv residents joined the work, and soon the mountain was levelled.

Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is a beautiful architectural monument with a 400-year history which is located on one of the picturesque areas of Lviv State University of Internal Affairs.

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The ancient temple which was previously called the Church of the Holy Cross, with adjacent monastic buildings occupies the area between the current streets Zamarstynivska and prospect Chornovola is one of the four Armenian churches that existed in Lviv.

Foundation and development

A wooden Armenian church of the Holy Cross was erected on the banks of the Poltva River in princely times. It was built by Armenian Yuri Ivashkevich at his own expense. The first mention of the temple dates back to 1590. The temple was built outside the defensive walls of Lviv of early Art Nouveau, in the northern suburbs, and was an example of fortified suburban church. In princely times the site on which the temple is located was part of so called Pidhorodia – the oldest residential part of Lviv placed down the Prince’s castle.

The temple was destroyed by fire in 1623. In 1629-1637, under the sponsorship of Sagak Agopsovych, a rich Armenian merchant from Suceava, a stone church of the Holy Cross and monastery premises were built on the site of a wooden building.

In 1671, thanks to the efforts of the Armenian Archbishop Mykola Torosevych, monks of the Roman Catholic Order of the Teatyns came to Lviv from Rome. The same year, Mykola Torosevych transferred part of the monastic cells to the Teatyns Fathers, leaving the church and cemetery to the Armenian Catholics. In the received buildings of the monastery, Teatyns opened their own educational institution, the so-called “papal college” – a theological seminary for the education of Armenian youth.

During the siege of the city by the Turks in 1672, the church and monastery premises were severely damaged by fire and were thoroughly rebuilt and renovated after.

Over time, the number of students in the college increased so much that in 1738 the Teatyns began the construction of a new building down the High Castle in 6 Kryvonosa Street. At the same time, in 1744 the church and monastery premises were reconstructed (architect Bernard Meretyn).

After moving to a new building in 1747, the Teatyns sold the monastery at the Church of the Holy Cross to the monks of the Lazarist Order, also known as Missionaries. In 1769 the missionaries also occupied the church of the Holy Cross. Gabriel Vartanovych was the last Armenian priest of the church.

Under the secularization reform of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II in 1782, the Order of Missionaries was abolished and the missionary monks were evicted.

During the secularization reform of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II in 1782, the missionary order was abolished and the missionary monks were evicted, and in the former monastery a hospital was set up. And then in 1824 barracks and a garrison military prison known as Zamarstynivska were built.

The Church of the Holy Cross, which was in the courtyard of the former monastery, was changed into a military chapel, and the Church of St. Casimir (located on the territory of Lviv State University of Internal Affairs in 1 Kryvonosa Street) was rebuilt into a garrison court. After a new, so-called Great Barracks Building was built nearby (now 7 Zamarstynivska Street), a military court with its own prison was placed there.

Under Soviet rule, the prison in 9 Zamarstynivska Street was named NKVD Prison № 2, and the chapel was closed. On June 26, 1941, before the escape of NKVD from Lviv, mass executions of detainees took place in the prison - most of the more than half a thousand prisoners were killed by the prison guards. On the morning of June 28, 1941, before the escape of NKVD from Lviv mass executions of prisoners took place in the prison. More than half a thousand prisoners were killed by the prison guards. On the morning of June 28, 1941, after the prison guards escaped, Lviv residents released 65 men and 5 women from the cells, those whom NKVD did not manage to destroy.


On the plan, the temple is single-nave of an elongated semicircular apse with a rectangular porch. The building is made of brick and stone, plastered. The eastern and western facades are decorated with pediments. A cantilever frieze is placed under the massive cornice. Lancet Gothic windows are decorated with profiled frames. The interior of the nave is covered with cross vaults with rosettes at the intersection of the groups; the original stone columns, pointed arches, portals, vaults have been preserved. The former monastery buildings are located around the temple. The church is a monument of sacred architecture of the late Renaissance, which has preserved some forms of Gothic.

Temple today

Today the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is used alternately for liturgies by Greek Catholic and Orthodox communities of Lviv. And the territory on 9 Zamarstynivska Street belongs to Lviv State University of Internal Affairs. Here is Law Faculty of Lviv State University of Internal Affairs.

Interesting Facts

The history of the temple is associated with a legend. On the site of the future temple in the garden of the Armenian Yuri Ivashkevych a tree was growing. When cut into two halves the fruit of the tree resembled a cross. In that place the wooden church of the Holy Cross was built.

A stormy episode from the history of the Armenian community of Lviv of the 17th century is associated with this church. S. Ahopsovych did not support the union with Rome, but professed the Eastern Armenian rite. Therefore, he had a dispute with the Uniate Archbishop M. Torsovych, who seized the shrine by force. In 1626, the Armenian “Catholicos” – Patriarch Melchizedek – came to Lviv.

The Armenians of Lviv did not have a bishop at that time, and the elders of the Armenian community chose their own candidate for this position. But the Patriarch did not accede to the wishes of the community and appointed Mykola Torosevych, whose authority among the Armenians was ambiguous, as according to the testimony of the unfavorable part of the Armenians, Torosevych pledged church property and lived with the abducted nun Olena.

Torosevych was ordained as bishop secretly at night in the church of the Holy Cross. But the Armenians found out about it and broke into the closed church through an underground gallery, attacked the Patriarch and tried to snatch Torosevich out of his hands. However, the Patriarch resisted and nevertheless ordained his candidate. Later, in protest, Armenians smeared a portrait of Torosevych with mud and punched it with a nail.

According to the testimony of opponents, in order to preserve his dignity, the new bishop tried to gain the support of the king, secretly promising him to accept a union with the Roman throne and persuade the Armenian community to do so. On May 6, 1629, the king approved the election of Torosevych as the Bishop.

Armenians sent the protest to the new Catholicos Moses, who secretly sent Bishop Isfahan Christopher to Lviv for verification. Bishop Isfahan Christopher recognized Torosevych as an apostate and cursed him. Armenians did not allow Torosevych to their temples, despised him. In response, on October 24, 1630, Torosevych converted to Catholic faith and sought the support of the king and Lviv magistrate. The Catholic clergy did not intend to allow Torosevych go of his contrivances. Elena was sent to a distant monastery, and Torosevych was sent to Rome, where the question of his future fate was being decided. Later, Torosevych waged a long struggle with his faithful and ultimately accepted the ecclesiastical union with Rome. In 1638, even the Polish King Wladyslaw IV, whose secretary in the past was Torosevych for some time, was engaged in this business.

The Armenians began a lawsuit against the magistrate, the bishop, which lasted until 1646. During that time, great split between the warring communities began in the Armenian society. A significant part of the supporters of the traditional Armenian church left Lviv, and the rest had already forgiven Torosevych by that time. A delegation was specially sent to bring Torosevych back to Lviv, where he was greeted as a hero. And yet, in 1654, Torosevych also took possession of the monastery.

A little bit down the old monastery, almost close to the railway, there is a small square, most of which is occupied by the house of a school adjacent to the buildings of the former Armenian monastery complex. More than 300 years ago, in 1695, Tatar invaders suddenly appeared there. According to the residents of the suburb recall, the Tatars flew, as always, unexpectedly, and not from the east, but from the north, forcing the frozen swamps of Zamarstyniv. Hetman Stanislaw Jablonowski, taking into account the inequality of forces, chose the only correct option – he began to retreat, drawing the Tatar cavalry into the narrow streets of the Krakiw suburbs. There the suburbans joined the battle – and not only men but also women and children. Stones flew on the heads of the Tatars, boiling water was poured. And Yablonovski continued to retreat. When the battle reached the beginning of the modern B. Khmelnytsky Street, an armed Lviv militia ran out of the Krakow Gate. The Tatars started to flee. But by that time the heavy cavalry was alerted. And the last battle began on the square... Few Tatars escaped from Lviv at that time. The defeat was so significant that the Tatars no longer dared to attack Lviv, although their campaigns in Galicia lasted until the middle of the XVIII century.

It is known that the church was covered with tin plates, which had to be given as an indemnity to the troops of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. There was an Armenian cemetery near the church, after the liquidation of which the tombstones were moved to the courtyard near the Armenian Church in the city center.

During the time of Independence of Ukraine, a memorial complex was erected in Zamarstynivska Street in memory of the victims of political repressions tortured to death in the prison, on the territory of which the temple is now located. The monument is in the form of a bronze figure of a crucified prisoner framed by a marble cross.

Chapel of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Chapel of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary is located on the territory of the educational and training department “Vereshchytsia” of Lviv State University of Internal Affairs in the village of Vereshchytsia, Yavoriv district, Lviv region.

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Its construction began in 2016 on the initiative of the General of Police of the third rank Sereda Valery Vyacheslavovych, the rector of a higher education institution at that time. With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine Filaret, on October 14, 2016, a cornerstone was laid and the foundation of the Chapel of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary was consecrated. The rite of consecration was performed by Metropolitan of Lviv and Sokal Dymytriy and Archbishop of Drohobych and Sambir Yakiv. Since Cossack times, the Patron Saint of the Ukrainian Army was considered the Blessed Virgin, so it was quite symbolic to lay the cornerstone on this day.

On December 26, 2016, Police Colonel Roman Ihorovych Blahuta was appointed Rector of Lviv State University of Internal Affairs, who supported and continued the initiative to build the Chapel.

The solemn consecration of the Chapel of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary took place on February 8, 2019. With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphany, the consecration of the Chapel of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary was performed by Their Eminence Bishops of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine – the head of the Synodal Administration of the Military Clergy, Metropolitan of Cherkassy and Chyhyryn Ioann and Archbishop of Drohobych-Sambir Yakiv. The solemn ceremony was attended by the head of Lviv Regional State Administration Oleh Syniutka, the head of Lviv Regional Council Valentyn Kharlov, the head of the Main Directorate of the National Police in Lviv region General of Police of the third rank Valery Sereda, the head of the Yavoriv District State Administration Igor Samardak, the head of the Yavoriv District Council Volodymyr Sychak and of the village council of Ivano-Frankove Ivan Semeryak.

This Chapel will become a center of peace of mind for every believer who studies and works at Lviv State University of Internal Affairs. It will be one of the important elements of fostering a sense of responsible service to Ukraine in future law enforcement officers; will contribute to the development of their spirituality.


© 2021 Lviv State University of Internal Affairs.