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The Holy Shroud Monastery

The group of buildings at the Holy Shroud Monastery includes the Holy Shroud Cathedral, the Church of Holy Virgin Lady of Ozeriana, Kharkiv Diocesan Administration and Theological Seminary. In 2001, two memorable symbols were installed here: one in honour of the 2000th anniversary of Christmas and the other one to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Kharkiv diocese.

Situated on the site of the Holy Shroud Monastery, the Holy Shroud Cathedral is the oldest stone construction in Kharkiv and a monument of architecture of national significance. Funded by the Cossacks, the Cathedral was erected in 1689 as part of the fortifications. The graceful Cathedral designed in the style of Ukrainian Baroque skillfully combines the traditional forms of Ukrainian national cult architecture and the techniques and details of Russian architecture. Certain data suggest that the Cathedral was erected by a team of architects who also built a number of cathedrals in this style in other towns of the Left-Bank Ukraine — Nezhin, Baturin, Izyum.

Designed by architect V. Nemkin who fancifully combined the Roman and Old-Russian motifs, the Church of Holy Virgin Lady of Ozeryana was built in 1896. Though the Cathedral was designed as a basilica, it is decorated with 13 small domes and stone ornaments. The name of the Church is connected with a miracle-working icon of Our Lady of Ozeriana found in the Village of Ozeriana not far from Kharkiv in the mid-17th century and kept here for a short period of time.

It is only the icon copy that has been preserved today and is now displayed at the Church.

In the 18th century the Holy Shroud Monastery was home for Kharkiv College. Being an educational institution of Kiev-Mohyla Academy type, it trained students for religious and various secular activities. In 1759–1764 an outstanding Ukrainian educator, poet and philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda lectured there. In the monastic metochion, a stone plaque was erected in his honour. Being the first educational institution of this sort in Sloboda Ukraine, the College provided education to children of different social background. Before being enrolled, the students had to complete a basic elementary course in one of parochial schools or in the College bursa situated very close to the College itself — where the main building of the Academy of Arts is presently situated (4, Bursatsky Descent).

The building of the Eparch’s House (1826) — now the diocesan administration, brethren living quarters, a complex of cells with a fratry and the superior’s house (1892) — now the seminary, are preserved on the site of the Monastery.

The mission of the Girard’s Factory owned by Hille and Dittrich (10, Universytetska St.) now housing the Museum of Church History is considered to be one the most beautiful buildings in Kharkiv. Built in the middle of the 19th century, the house was twice reconstructed. In the course of the latest reconstruction, architect V. Pokrovsky moved towards a more modern style. Intricate contours of cornices, distinguished outline of roofing, floral ornaments, asymmetry of the front elevation — the entire exceptional look of the building marks it out of the range of buildings in this street.