CYCLE ARTICLES ABOUT VOLYN
"ST. PETER AND PAUL CATHEDRAL IN LUTSK"
There are not many cities in the world that managed to save medieval spirit in their appearance till nowadays. However, Lutsk succeeded in it. Its wonderful, interesting and mysterious sights of attraction deeply impress both citizens and city guests. One of the most interesting, beautiful and valuable architectural monuments of Lutsk is St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, located in the Old city at the address of 6, Kafedralna street.
It took Jesuit monks more than thirty years (1606-1639) to build this church. A famous Italian architect Giacomo Briano designed the project and directed the construction works. From the point of view of church architecture the building of this monastery is unique. It is constructed in the Baroque style that was popular at those times. However, the main peculiarity of St. Peter and Paul cathedral significantly differing it among similar constructions is that the building was aimed to serve not only as a church but as a part of Lutsk fortifications as well. This fact is proved by three-storey cellar, impressively thick walls and heavy loophole towers. The cathedral itself and the city seemed to be invulnerable to any sieges.
For almost four centuries of its existence, St. Peter and Paul Cathedral has really eventful history. It also changed its owners several times. From the very beginning of its existence, the cathedral played an important role in the life of Lutsk, being its spiritual, cultural and educational center. There existed a huge library, Jesuit collegium, student theater.
After collapse of Jesuit order in late XVIII century, the cathedral was given to the Catholic episcopate. After the fire of 1781, St. Peter and Paul Cathedral was profoundly renovated, as most part of the building had been damaged by fire. After this reconstruction the cathedral gained its modern appearance, its interior was decorated with wonderful molding, sculptures, pilasters, and paintings of such famous at that time artists as Vilyani, Kunitsa and Pragtl. Façade of the building also gained a radically new stylistics. One of peculiarities of this cathedral consists in its towers at the main entrance. You won’t notice at the fist sight, but closer look will reveal that the left tower is octagonal and the right one is four-cornered.
Another remarkable place of St. Peter and Paul Cathedral is its three-storey cellar which is considered to be the most mysterious place in the city. There is a metal door to the right of the cathedral main entrance that leads to an absolutely different, mystical world. Excavation works have been performed here for several decades. Despite all the findings (including a lot of ancient things, furniture, burials), the mystery of this dungeon is still uncovered.
After the Second World War the Cathedral of Saint disciples Peter and Paul was closed and its premises were used as a warehouse. Later on, an atheism museum was founded here that existed for 20 years. And only in 1991 the building of this monastery was given in possession of the Catholic Church. There is a traditional organ in the cathedral. Everyone wishing to enjoy rich finery of the interior in subdued light and feel the amazing atmosphere of majesty and mystery is welcomed at any time.
Building of St. Peter and Paul Cathedral is monumental and graceful at the same time. It is rightfully called the most beautiful and majestic construction of the city. The cathedral is surrounded with the aureole of mystery and carries Lutsk’s secrets through centuries. This building managed to save the spirit of olden times and it still raises the feelings of delight and admiration, wish to watch, investigate and admire its unrivaled appearance.
Author Marina Melnichenko