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The Dormition or Assumption Church (Ukrainian: Успенська церква, Uspenska tserkva) is the main Orthodox church in the city of Lviv, Ukraine. At present it is leased to the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
History of the church buildings
The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lviv (commonly known as Uspieńska church, or the Wallachian Church) is an Orthodox Church in Lviv, located in the Old Town, in Renaissance style. The current building replaced an earlier church structure, and was built in the period 1591-1629 by Paul Roman, Wojciech Kapinos and Ambrose Przychylny; the bell tower was erected in the years 1571-1578 by Peter Barbon.
The Orthodox Church complex is located at ul. Ruska and consists of the Uspensky church, bell tower (the tower Korniakta) and the Chapel of the Three Saints.
The founder of the first church was Moldovan hospodar Alexandru Lapusneanu (hence it carries the common name of Vlachs). The second church was erected on the initiative of the Brotherhood of Ouspensky, and the founder of the bell tower and the chapel was Constantine Corniaktos, a Greek merchant. Korniakta Tower is considered one of the most precious monuments of Polish architecture of the sixteenth century Mannerism architectural style.
In the years 1547-1549, a church was built in this place with money donated by Moldovan hospodar Alexandru Lapusneanu, which left a permanent mark in its name: Church of Wallachia. Little is known about the appearance of the church at that time. It had a buttressed facade, three turrets with cupolas, and mural paintings in the interior. Peter from Lugano, known as the Italian, led the construction. In 1568 master builder Felix began construction of the tower and work will continue under Peter Krassowski. In 1570, some of the towers collapsed, and in the next year a fire burned down the whole church.
Second church (current buildings)
It was constructed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries with funds provided by the Greek merchant Constantine Corniaktos and other members of the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood, a local bratstvo which also operated a well-known Orthodox school and press. The work was supported by many others, such as Hetman Piotr Konaszewicz-Sahajdaczny, Moldavian hospodars Ieremia Movila and Simion Movila, and even the Russian Tsar Feodor I. Interestingly, Simion Movila's son, Peter Mogila, became the Metropolitan of Kiev, Halych and All-Rus' from 1633 until his death, and later was canonized as a saint in the Orthodox churches of Romania, Ukraine and Poland. A memorial plaque to Peter Mogila is affixed to an outer wall of the church.
The church's architecture bears the mark of the Renaissance. This especially applies to the profusely decorated façade of the adjacent Chapel of the Three Hierarchs, built between 1574 and 1591 to Piotr Krasowski's designs.
Nearby is one of Lviv's most conspicuous landmarks, the Korniakt Tower, which was carried to its present height of 65 meters after a conflagration in 1695. This ornate bell-tower was originally commissioned by Corniaktos from architect Piotr Barbon in the 1570s.
- Памятники градостроительства и архитектуры Украинской ССР. Киев: Будивельник, 1983—1986. Том 3, с. 92.
- Ion Turcanu. Illustrated History of Romania, Ed. Litera, Bucuresti-Chisinau, 2007 (in Romanian).
- Media related to Church of the Assumption, Lviv at Wikimedia Commons