Monday, August 08, 2005

Shadowtime III - The Ruins (and Rebirth) of a Renaissance "Ideal Town"

"The history of Zhovkva town began in 1594 when the Polish magnate Stanislaw Zholkiewski founded a family castle on the territory of Ukrainian village Vynnyky. First mention about Vynnyky we can find in chronicles under year 1368. It's supposed that the planning of Zhovkva town on the model of "Ideal towns" was realized by its architect Pavlo Schastliviy, who at that time was building the castle and then the St. Lawrence Roman Catholic church. In 1603 by the king's privilege Zygmund the Third the town was granted Magdeburg Law. In the first half of the XVII-th century Zhovkva town was transformed into fortified fortress, its protective walls were hidden behind ramparts and moats. The Market Square, planned in front of the Castle, from the northern and eastern sides was surrounded by the stone buildings with opened gallery under the roofing's vault alongside the facade, so called "pidsinnia". From 1678 the Zhovkva's castle became the residence of the king Jan Sobieski the Third. Those were the most flourishing days in the town's history. At that time in Zhovkva town there were five orthodox churches, four roman catholic churches and one synagogue. The collection of arts, drawing, carving, gobelins [tapestries], porcelain and arms of Zhovkva was very famous by its high artistry. Local icon painters and engravers of Zhovkva's art circle brought glory to the town in the end of the XVIII-th centuries."



"Builders repairing a Ukrainian monastery have found mass graves containing the remains of up to 200 children and adults, believed to be victims of Stalin’s secret police.

Skeletons were found lying in layers three deep below the monks’ quarters at the Zhovka monastery near the western Ukrainian city of Lvov [Lviv]. Human rights groups suspect Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD, because the monastery was used in the 1930s [sic] and 1940s as an NKVD garrison.

“Human bones were found by accident during reconstruction in several of the monks’ rooms, under the cement floor. Approximately one third of them were children,” Inna Feduschak, of the Ukrainian branch of Memorial, Russia’s main organisation representing victims of Stalinism, said.""

Robin Sheperd "Stalin blamed for mass grave under monastery" TimesonLine July 18, 2002 (Reported from Moscow)

St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church (1606-1623),
Zhovka, Ukraine


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