Carmelite Church

Przemyśl, Poland

The Roman Catholic order of Carmelites came to Przemyśl in 1620. Their church was founded by the duke of Podolia, Michał Krasicki, and constructed in the years 1627-1631 most probably according to the design of Galleazzo Appiani. The interior is explicitly Baroque, including a pulpit with a ship-like shape.

In 1772 after the First Partition of Poland the city fell under Austrian rule, which by a decree of Joseph II liquidated the order in 1784. The Austrian authorities also blocked the ongoing construction of a Greek Catholic Cathedral (an already erected belfry was later turned into a clock tower) and instead offered the town's Ukrainian population the confiscated Carmelite Church as part of a plan to solidify their rule over the newly acquired territory by setting its inhabitants against each other.

In 1884, Ukrainian architect Mykola Zakharevych, a professor at Lviv Polytechnic, designed and built an addition a dome modeled that was modeled on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome which also incorporated elements of Ukrainian wooden church architecture. This dome was meant to symbolize the Ukrainian congregation's connection to the Vatican.

Soon after the Second World War a Soviet controlled communist government expelled most of the Ukrainians from Przemyśl during the Operation Vistula, including most of the clergy and bishop Josaphat Kotsylovsky (Jozefat Kocyłowski), who was martyred.

In 1946 Carmelite friars, who were forced to leave their monasteries in Soviet Ukraine, settled in Przemyśl and returned to the empty church. In 1991, shortly after Poland regained full independence and the Church was able to freely operate, the church building became a focal point of Polish-Ukrainian tensions.

The Roman Catholic Church decided to transfer the building to the Greek Catholic Church for the period of five years during which the Greek Catholics would construct a new sanctuary in Przemyśl and then give the church back to the Carmelite Order. The Ukrainians, who perceived the return of the building as historical justice, had no intention of doing so. Local Poles occupied the church to prevent its transfer, and the Roman Catholic Church transferred a former Jesuit church to the Greek Catholics. Pope John Paul II wished to return the church to the Ukrainian Catholics who had used it prior to their expulsion by the Soviets.

The Carmelites begun modification of architectural details of the Cathedral to give it more of a Latin-rite appearance and erase traces of the church's links to Ukrainian Greek Catholicism. The belltower was a target due to its easily seen Cyrillic inscriptions. Roman Catholics in the city argued that the church which was originally Roman Catholic, confiscated and given to Ukrainians by Austrian authorities, was rightfully returned to the Poles. In 1996, against the orders of the conservator general of historical monuments in Poland, Prof. Andrzej Tomaszewski, the Carmelites destroyed the Habsburg-era dome of the church, claiming that it disrupted Przemysl's 'Polish' skyline, an act which sparked protests amongst Ukrainians in Przemyśl. The Carmelite church continues to serve the faithful of the Latin Rite.

The church includes a plaque commemorating victims of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

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Details

Founded: 1627-1631
Category: Religious sites in Poland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Halyna Myroslava (11 months ago)
The parish church of St. Teresa at the monastery of the Barefoot Carmelites in Przemyśl makes a great impression with its magnificent view of the hill. I had to walk past him several times, each time marveling at his majesty. It was anxious to go inside, I put everything off, later it was closed, I could only look through the openings of the gate into a darkened room. I don't even know if I'm sorry, because before I came here, I already knew the short history of this place and some unpleasant events around the church after the legal restoration of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, heard about the contradictions between Pope John Paul and the local authorities church. History is always painful for interconnected means and power, at least because it breeds harassment and extortion on the one hand and, on the contrary, hatred on the other, and here religions have changed several times: between 1784 and 1946, ie before the liquidation of the Greek Catholic Church in the Soviet Union and the brazen abduction of the bishop's bishop's palace in Przemyśl and its transfer to the NKVD. On the other hand, the monastery was built for the Roman Catholic Order of Carmelites with funds issued by the Crown Governor Martin Krasicki, collected mostly in Galicia, possibly in Podolia, put, by the way, in place of the Russian (Ukrainian) Orthodox Church, whose history lost after 1398, most likely the church ceased to exist due to the expansion of Roman Catholicism. But outwardly the temple itself, the walls, the bells evoke only light feelings and a desire to worship God, who is above all earthly weaknesses and strife.
Paweł Piejko (11 months ago)
A beautiful monastery, inside, it surprises with its appearance and details.
Magdalena Zachara (14 months ago)
For the reader, this is a beautiful story of Przemyśl, come and learn, I recommend it
izabela Sztukowska (16 months ago)
Beautiful only needs renovation
Edyta Dubiel (16 months ago)
A beautiful and atmospheric place I highly recommend visiting
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