Olesko Capuchins Monastery

Baroque Olesko Capuchins Monastery which survived till nowadays was built in 1737 by Martyn Dobrabsky – an architect from Podol, who later served as a monk in this monastery. There are just a few baroque Catholic monasteries in Ukraine and the Olesko Capuchins Monastery could be called the real pearl. The baroque style of the monastery is rather restrained. The usual baroque finery is ascetic here. The monastery is decorated with the classical garden in baroque style.

Olesko Capuchins Monastery

History of Olesko Capuchins Monastery

In 1728 Severin Zhevusky, the army commander inherited Olesko. He decided not only to develop the beautiful Olesko castle but to build the Capuchins monastery next to the fortress. Capuchins got their name from the hood (or capuce) which covered their heads and were mandatory to wear as the part of clothes. The Order became a part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth due to the famous king Yan Sobesky the Third who was born in Olesko castle.

The calm life of the monks which lasted for centuries was interrupted when the monastery was turned into the war hospital by the order of the king of Austria in 1785. The valuable decoration of the monastery was damaged; the paintings in the Roman Catholic Church were impaired. The valuable articles were stolen and the unique library simply disappeared. In three years, in 1788 the building was partially returned to the Capuchins after the interference of Joseph ІІ, the king. After that the life in the monastery gradually improved.

Capuchins monastery acted till 1939. Later it was used as a prisoner of war camp, warehouse, Jewish ghetto and even the stables. Like with many sacral buildings after the war the authorities used it as a procuring office, agricultural school and even the shops. The same fate befell a lot of churches and monasteries located in the territory of the Soviet Union. The architects А. М. Shulyar and I. R. Mogitich, academician B. G. Voznitsky started the active renovation in 1980s of the 20th century. The premises, garden, ponds and yard were restored.

Today Olesko Capuchins Monastery holds the archives of the Lviv National Art Gallery. The monastery itself belongs to Olesko castle – the museum reserve.

Architecture of Olesko Capuchins Monastery

The monastery facade faces the Olesko castle and all the design follows this direction. Olesko Capuchins Monastery is a complex built in the traditional style of the classical baroque. The square building of the monastery is equipped with the cells on two floors, and the courtyard with a well. The monastery includes the chapter (the place where the monks gathered), refectory and kitchen. St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church is the composition center of the monastery. The façade and interior of the Roman Catholic Church were decorated with the wall paintings and the paintings were kept in the temple.

Three stone figures of the saints stand in front of the Roman Catholic Church: St. Anthony, St. Maria and St. Onuphrius. They were created by Leblanc – the famous sculpture (he worked in Olesko and Podgortsy in 1740s).

The monastery yard is surrounded with the 3-meter wall.

It was time when the monastery in Olesko had all necessary equipment and the working pharmacy and library in its territory. The monks worked in a big fruit garden, developed vegetable gardens and grew fish – they themselves dug two ponds for this.

Fabian, a theologist, Agrippin Capuchіn, a surgeon and pharmacy manager at the monastery, Kozmazh, a pharmacists, Andrey, a builder of the monastery were among the monks of Olesko Capuchins Monastery.

The family of Zhevusky – the founders of the Capuchins monastery – and the monks were buried at the monastery, in the kostel underground starting from 1751.

Legends about Olesko Capuchins Monastery

There is a legend about Casper monk who was a very restless person. You can read it in the article Olesko castle on our website.

There is one more version of monk ghosts: at time of restoration in the 20th century when monastery in Olesko was used as a school, the workers started to bring out the old graves of the monks out from the vaults and undergrounds. Possibly the disturbed monks appear now as the ghosts? The local inhabitants can tell you many stories how they met the monk-ghosts.

Olesko Capuchins Monastery. Modern time

Olesko Capuchins Monastery and Olesko castle found a new life due to the active work of Boris Grigorievich Voznitsky, academician, the director of the Lviv National Art Gallery, who is called the “guardian angel” of the Ukrainian museums and castles and his colleagues.

The experienced builders and museum employees take part in the restoration and renovation of the rooms. Now the Capuchins monastery is a part of architectural and art complex – Olesko castle museum.

Unfortunately the tourists are not able to visit the monastery in Olesko now. But the visitors of Olesko can enjoy the view from outside and from the gates you see the baroque traditional garden of the monastery, which has been already restored.

The souvenir kiosks and small coffee shops are located between the monastery and Olesko castle. There is a parking for the cars and buses.

Address of the Capuchins monastery: Zamkovaya street, Olesko settlement, Busky department, Lvov region.

The Capuchins monastery is located in front of the Olesko castle in Olesko settlement. See the detailed information about Olesko castle, festival in Olesko, address, castle restaurant and how to get to Olesko on our website and in the article Olesko castle.

Сакральный тур в Перу


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