Cathedral of the Divine Saviour, located in the center of Ostrava, is the second largest Roman Catholic cathedral in Moravia and Silesia. This three-nave Neo-Renaissance basilica with a semi-circular apse and two 67m high towers dates from 1889 (building started in 1883). The church was designed by Gustav Meretta, the official architect of the Archbishop of Olomouc, and the interior by Max von Ferstel.
The main nave is 14 m wide and 22 m high, the two side aisles are 7 m wide and 10 m high each. The seating capacity of the cathedral is 4,000 people. On May 30, 1996 Pope John Paul II established the Diocese of Ostrava-Opava, and soon after the basilica has been dignified into a cathedral. In 1998, a new neo-baroque organ has been installed.
The foundation stone was laid by Mayor Anton Lux and the Reverend Josef Spurný on October 4, 1883. AT that time church committees were competing in Moravia which was established under provincial laws dating from 1864 and 1874. It was the supervisory and executive bodies, which were often the purchaser of furniture projects and new churches, significantly encroached into their final form. Their arguments focused, in particular, on situations where the parish volume was small. The church of the Divine Saviour would serve 4 municipalities which, upon its construction, should contribute a proportionate financial amount. However these villages managed their own parish church and, therefore Ostravanians' contributions to the construction of the church were often the cause of discord. Other financial flow was rather paradoxical. The Archdiocese of Olomouc, who took patronage of the church, was obliged, by patronage law, to pay a third of construction costs, worth just under 33,000 florins. Contributions also flowed in from Jewish entrepreneurs, like Baron Rotschild and the Gutmannové brothers.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.