Churches of Benedictine and St.Lazarus, Lviv
The construction of former Church and Monastery of Benedictine, located not far from current Danilo Galytskyi Square, was started in 1595 on the project of Pavlo Rymlianyn and completed after fire in 1623.
The church was modest and small, it was not visible from big distance. When we go through Vecheva Square with beautiful baroque gate and architecture of XVIII century, then we come to courtyard and immediately see the church. The building has impregnable walls with narrow and tall windows-loopholes in deep archivolts, mighty buttresses built of large hewn blocks. That's why it is similar to small fortress.
The initial decor wasn't fully preserved: in XVIII century there were some changes. Fortunately, the most valuable component of architectural complex, the church tower, remained unchanged. The tower with its square in plan, not too high, laconic and monumental by architectural volume decision bounded in corners with buttresses and pilasters is one of the most remarkable monuments of Lviv Renaissance.
In the lower part there is portal with semicircular arch, above it - similar niche with sculpture, even higher - window of similar form. Clear rhythmic of segmentations, monotype processing of niches and window apertures emphasize the integrity of architectural image.
Doric frieze of typical forms of Renaissance and wonderful attic reminding a stone carved crown complete the building. On each its side there is sculptural figure framed with volutes, and corners have energetic accent of stucco moldings. Sculptural decoration of the tower gives grace and cheerful secular tone to it.
Near the church building there is monastery building. Three wide arches with keystones, serving as pedestals for sculptures in niches, form open loggia. The ceiling on first floor was made with engineering audacity: entrance and inner porch have the same vault based on one column.
Both loggia and tower of church form the corner of Lviv Renaissance captivating with harmony and perfect proportions.
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Another monument of late Renaissance (in Lviv chronological order) is former Church of St.Lazarus in Kopernika Street. It was built in 1620-1640 on the project and at the expense of architects Ambrosiy Pryhylnyi and Jacob Bonn.
The church is on a small hill, securely sheltered behind high fence, that's why it is not well-known among Lviv citizens. Outside, under the fence there is old well guarded by two heraldic lion statues sitting with armorial shields. In the fence two plates of the XVII century with reliefs and Latin inscriptions are imbedded.
Through narrow gate we get to the yard and we are in front of the church. First impression - it might be fortress or castle with thick walls, massive towers and high windows, but it might not be a temple or God's house.
Architectural composition of the church consists of combination of simple and clear volumes: massive cube of main building and two rectangular towers from the side of altar part. The content and tone of the architectural image are defined by refined taste, strict and restrained majesty, monumentality inherent to architecture of Renaissance.
It was strong, sonorous, but belated chord of Renaissance architecture in Lviv.