Vul. Tershakivtsiv, 9 – The Most Holy Trinity church (the former church of the convent of the Benedictine Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament)
1739 – the corner stone of the cells buildings foundations is laid.
1743 – the construction of a church consecrated to the Betrothal of the Virgin Mary is started.
1773 – the construction of the convent is suspended.
1785 – the construction of the convent is resumed.
1881-1887 – the church is reconstructed under a project of architect A. Minasiewicz; a Neo-Baroque two-tier tower, crowned with a dome, is built over the porch.
1884 – a marble altar is installed in the church (sculptor Sosnowski).
1950s – the convent premises are adapted to serve as the Zoo-Veterinary Institute dormitory; a gym is arranged in the church; the former school (northern building) is turned over to the academic departments; a student disco club named Danko is arranged in the former refectory (eastern building). A bigger part of the plot is handed over to the Zoo-Veterinary Institute and built up with the latter’s structures.
Mid-1990s – the church building is handed over to the local Greek-Catholic community and consecrated as the Holy Trinity church; repair and restoration works are conducted.
The order of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament was founded by Catherine de Bar in Paris in the mid 17th century; it functioned on the basis of the Rule of St. Benedict having, nevertheless, more strict moral and religious principles. The order was famous for organizing permanent boarding schools for girls. On invitation of the Polish queen of French origin, Marie Casimire d’Arquien, who was the wife of king Jan III Sobieski, several French sisters of the Blessed Sacrament led by Madeleine d’Avegne arrived in Poland. At first they settled in Warsaw and stayed there till 1688 when they had to leave the capital because of a plague epidemic.
The sisters of the Blessed Sacrament came to Lviv in the early 1710s on invitation of countess Zofia Cetner. Here they devoted themselves to education of women and therefore enlisted the support of some Lviv magnate families and bishops, including Jan Skarbek, Mikołaj Wyżycki, Samuel Głowiński. The first donations for the sisters were from the Cetner family on the request of Jan Skarbek, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Lviv. The first building on the Cetners’ ground (not far from the today’s convent) was granted by Stanisław Cetner’s aunt, Zofia; two other members of the family donated a large plot of land that stretched up to Pekarska street.
The complex of the Lviv convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament occupied a very large plot situated to the south-east from the present day historical center of the city, in Halytske (Halych) suburb which was called Brodivske (Brody) later, at the beginning of Austrian rule. For unknown reasons, this vicinity was called the Dog’s Market (Psiachyi Rynok). The first settlement here was founded by Peter Eisengitel, a German, in the 15th century. In the 18th century a big part of it was the property of the Cetner family.
In 1718 a convent and a church were built at the expense of Franciszek Cetner (100 thousand florins). These first buildings were timber-framed. In 1719, under the decree of Louis Antoine de Noailles, the bishop of Paris, several French nuns were sent to the new convent. Later the order was joined by some representatives of Polish gentry (the families of Potocki, Bełzski, Rabstyński, Możejowski, Żurakowski, Sierakowski etc.) who brought their dowry to the convent’s treasury. In particular, Zofia Cetner, who entered the convent in 1715, after a long trial against her family brought her huge dowry to the convent’s treasury in the mid-1730s; it was due to this fact that the new convent buildings were constructed. In 1721 count Cetner granted 100 thousand florins to the convent, as well as a yearly income of 3 thousand florins to keep twelve nuns.
In due course, when the convent had grown rich, the question of constructing new masonry buildings was raised. In 1739 the corner stone of the cells building foundations was laid; in 1743 the construction of a new church consecrated to the Betrothal of the Virgin Mary was started. The architect and constructor of this church was Bernard Meretyn; however, he managed the construction only till 1744. Owing to a number of different reasons, the building lasted for a long time. Its chief sponsors were Zofia Cetner and Stanisław Leszczyński (40 thousand florins), as well as princess S. Czetwertyńska who paid for the construction works till her death in 1773. The construction was suspended and then resumed under a decree of the Emperor Joseph II approximately some time before 1785.
The church's layout was designed by Bernard Meretyn. It included a three-nave basilica with side chapels, a chancel and a narthex. After Meretyn the church construction was managed by other architects; it lasted till the very end of the 18th entury. The completed building looked like a typical Baroque convent church. The big block of the nave, which raised above the narrow aisles, and the chancel were covered with a double-pitch roof covered with wooden shingles. The ascetic walls were enlivened only by pilasters and window openings. A 1828 inventory says, in particular, that the church was not finished: “The church is built of brick and covered with shingles; it is attached to the convent building on one side. It consists, actually, of two parts. In the bigger part, which is not finished and can be entered through a big door from the outside, a military depot is arranged at the moment. It is separated by a crosswall from the rest of the church of the Betrothal of the Virgin Mary where the Divine Service is celebrated. This part (sanctuary) was connected with the convent through the eastern sacristy… and the northern sacristy… through the chapel. … Under the church there are vaulted crypts where with the permission of His Imperial Majesty the nuns of the order were buried”. In the years 1881-1887 the church was reconstructed under a project of architect A. Minasiewicz. A Neo-Baroque two-tier tower, crowned with a dome, was built over the narthex. A new marble altar, made by sculptor Sosnowski, was installed in the church in 1884.
There were two ponds, which belonged to the convent, to the north of the convent complex. They were connected by a stream that was bridged in the 18th century. The stream, which flowed out of the lower pond called Vorobliachy, fell into the Pasika stream that flowed along Na Rurakh (“On the tubes”) street. On the northern side of Sakramentska street a park was arranged; its alleys led to the Vorobliachy pond.
The convent buildings remained virtually not changed till the Second World War. In Soviet times the convent was abolished and the church was closed. In the 1950s the convent premises were adapted to serve as the Zoo-Veterinary Institute dormitory; a gym was arranged in the church; the former school (northern building) was turned over to the academic departments; a student disco club named Danko was arranged in the former refectory (eastern building). The convent territory took on a quite different look too as a bigger part of the plot was handed over to the Zoo-Veterinary Institute and built up with the latter’s structures. Thus, in 1954-1961 the main building of the Institute was constructed in the style of Stalinist Empire style on Pekarska street; in the 1970s a sports hall was built near the pond; in 1991 an academic building was built along Pekarska street. Some part of the neglected park on Sakramentok street was occupied by a residential five-floor Khrushchyovka-type building. In the late 1950s the former convent territory was crossed by a street which extended the lower part of Sakramentok (later Marchenka, now Tershakivtsiv) street to Pekarska street. The construction of this street was planned by the Polish authorities as early as the interwar period. A dormitory was built in the western part of the Vorobliachy pond. In the mid-1990s the church building was handed over to the local Greek-Catholic community and consecrated as the Holy Trinity church.
The ensemble of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament has been preserved virtually unchanged; however, only some fragments have remained of all the parks, gardens, and ponds. The lower convent pond, situated on the plain part of the ground, has been preserved in the form of a concrete pool; some fruit trees, the remains of the former convent garden, grow on the slope to the east and south of the former convent building.
Bełzski – a magnate family, the founders of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Bernard Meretyn – a constructor and architect who managed the construction of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament till 1744.
Żurakowski – a magnate family, the founders of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Joseph II – an Austrian emperor.
Louis Antoine de Noailles – a bishop of Paris, cardinal.
Madeleine d’Avegne – a French nun who was at the head of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament invited to Poland.
Marie Casimire Louise de La Grange d’Arquien – a Polish queen, the wife of king Jan III Sobieski, who invited the order of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to Poland.
Mechtilde (Catherine) de Bar – the founder of the order of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Mikołaj Gerard Wyżycki – a Catholic bishop of Lviv.
Możejowski – a magnate family, the founders of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Peter Eisengitel – a German who founded the first settlement in Halytske suburb in the vicinity called the “Dog’s Market”.
Potocki – a magnate family, the founders of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Rabsztyński – a magnate family, the founders of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
S. Czetwertyńska – a princess, one of the chief sponsors of the convent.
Samuel Głowiński – a Catholic assistant bishop of Lviv.
Sierakowski – a magnate family, the founders of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Zofia Cetner – a countess who invited the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to Lviv and granted them a plot of land for a convent.
Stanisław Leszczyński – one of the chief sponsors of the convent.
Stanisław Cetner – a count, one of the founders of the convent of the sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Franciszek Cetner – the founder of the first convent buildings.
Cetner – a magnate family.
Jan III Sobieski – a king of Poland.
Jan Skarbek – a Roman Catholic bishop of Lviv (18th century).
Archive of "Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya" Institute. Item #Л-164/3 (1985).
2. Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine in Lviv (CDIAL). Item #146/20/70
3. CDIAL. Item #186/8/633.
4. CDIAL. Item #726/1/1739.
5. Tadeusz Mańkowski, Lwowskie kościoły barokowe (Lwów, 1932).
6. Іван Крип’якевич, Історичні проходи по Львові (Львів, 1991), 106-107.
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