A predominantly Eastern Orthodox country, Ukraine however has a rich catholic heritage. There are more than 800 Catholic churches, each having its own unique history. It is incredibly difficult to choose the most beautiful of them as the Christian church always invited the best architects, sculptors and artists to create true masterpieces. So we will leave out the popular destinations that are in every article about Ukraine and make a list of amazingly beautiful temples that you probably missed.
Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Fastiv
This Roman Catholic church in the Kyiv region founded in 1903 is one of the few historical monuments preserved in Fastov. The church is asymmetrical, which makes it graceful and elegant. Its bas-reliefs and sculptures were created the famous sculptor Elio Salya, who also worked on the House with Chimeras, the Opera Theater and the St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral in Kyiv.
Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, Kamianets-Podilskyi
Historians are still wondering when the Peter and Paul Cathedral was built. It carries a lot of mysteries and unusual details. Its bell tower apparently was meant to be a fortified tower - at the time of its construction even the Kamianets-Podilskyi castle had thinner walls. The entrance was high up, and the ladder could be destroyed in case of attack, as in medieval fortresses. The Turks, who took the city in 1672, turned the cathedral into a Sultan's mosque and erected a 38-meter-high minaret out of curved limestone blocks. ow this is the only Christian church in the world with a minaret - when the city was returned, it was simply used as a pedestal for the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ternopil
This Dominican cathedral took about 30 years to built. Graceful church in the late Baroque style is decorated with carvings and sculptures. Two intricate towers with high multi-
Church of St. Stanislav, Chortkiv
The first catholic church in Chortkiv was erected in 1610, and met the 17th century as a powerful fortification with thick walls and a watchtower that served also as a bell tower. Locals were hiding here from the turkish attacks. Over time the need for defense disappeared and the number of the parishioners grew. The large scale reconstruction that began in 1903 lasted 8 years. The architect changed the project more than once, aiming for perfection. Now it is a majestic church in a unique neo-gothic style with romanesque details, which can be seen from every part of the city. Its interiors are as striking as the architectural harmony. The high ceiling of the cathedral resembles a staircase into the sky.
Church of the Assumption of Mary, Kamianka-Buzka
The neo-Gothic church is a project by the famous architect T. Talovsky, who designed almost a 100 churches, and the beautiful Church of Sts. Olha and Elizabeth in Lviv is amongst them. Construction lasted for 20 years - the First World War delayed its completion. The Second World spared the church. Oddly enough, the church of such beauty does not appear in the register of architectural monuments of our country. We hope that almost a century-old church will soon receive the status.
Assumption of the Madonna Cathedral, Zolochiv
An outstanding example of baroque architecture with rich decor and sculptures, as well as almost completely preserved interiors of the XIX century. Even in Soviet times this temple remained opened. At the same time the temple is forever "unfinished". There is only one tower - on the left. The second was never built.
St. Lawrence's Church, Zhovkva
The main Roman Catholic church in Zovkva is considered one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in our country, and its portal can outshine many of the European churches. Unique frieze carries the silhouettes of hussars, archers, wounded soldiers, compositions with weapons, laurel branches and eagles. The former defensive tower next to the church, which became the bell tower, is the second “Leaning Tower of Pisa” because of its small incline.
St. Clare`s Church, Gorodkivka
The church that looks like a small castle on the lake entered the XXI century in its original form. The tower, buttresses, forged elements give you the feel of the neo-Gothic style, although the church is rather eclectic. It was the Polish writer E.Ivanovsky who started its construction in 1903 in honor of his mother Clare. After his passing his will was carried on and the church was finished in 1913 by the Zmigrodsky family, who inherited the estate.
Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Murafa
The previous catholic church in Murafa was founded in 1624 by Dominican monks, but during the Khmelnytsky Uprising it was destroyed by the cossacks. The church in the Baroque style that we see now was built at the expense of Count J. Potocki. Luckily it stayed almost untouched since then and even in Soviet times was only briefly closed. Thanks to this we can admire the spectacular stained glass windows made in Warsaw in the 19th century, ancient bronze chandeliers, high-relief paintings, massive carved pulpit, wall frescoes. It posesses the miraculous icon of the Mother of God (XVII century).
St. Anna`s Church, Bar
The church is the best example of neo-Gothic architecture in the whole Vinnytsia region. Locals consider it a more modest copy of the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Kiev. It is also interesting how closely it coexists with the Orthodox Church - only a small fence separates the two of them.