The site

Univ Holy Dormition Lavra of the Studite Rite (Ukrainian: Свято-Успенська Унівська Лавра Студійського уставу) is a large monastic complex, the only lavra of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Lavra is a type of monastery, which is, by its historical name, by the number of monks and by its influence, the largest centre of the religious culture. Lavras are erected within the Orthodox and other Eastern Christian traditions; in Ukraine there are three lavras in total. Univ Lavra houses about twenty-five Studite Brethren. It is situated in Peremyshliany district, Lviv region.

Univ Lavra was established around 1400. This sprawling religious compound contains a wooden church, a massive monastic complex, fortress-like walls, an old bell-tower and a church which date back to 1548. The old church incorporates ancient frescoes as well as several religious jewels and paintings.

During the rule of the Austrian Empire, the monastery was closed. Monastic life in the church revived again thanks to Andrew Sheptytsky. He conferred the status of the monastery church. Under Soviet rule the monastery was closed again.

During its long history at the Univ Monastery were established a library, a shelter and an icon painting workshop. After the Soviet period, the Museum of Sacred Art has been formed, which till nowadays it is operated in the Univ Lavra.

Nearby Univ Lavra there is an archaeological place – the settlement of White Croats, called Volodymyriv Grad that dates back to the 9th century. From the monastery it is possible to climb the Chernecha mountain belonging to Hologor Mountains, where the former settlement is placed. The surface of the Hologor Mountains is divided by the tributaries of the Western Bug and Dniester, that is, the main European watershed passes along it.

Today, Univ Lavra is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in Ukraine. Set on a picturesque land, this place breathes of tranquillity and peace. It is beautiful and peaceful place to spend two weeks in an intercultural environment, to learn about preservation of wooden art pieces, to help the monastery museum.


The project

The project will focus on the preservation and conservation of the church tabernacles from the collection of Univ Holy Dormition Lavra. 

Before starting the preservation and conservation processes, all the objects will be measured. Documentation, description of their condition and photo fixation will be done by participants.

Based on the documentation, the restoration process of the wooden tabernacles will start. All the explanations of the materials and processes, that are needed, will be provided during the project.

Within the framework of the educational part the participants will learn about the history of the Univ Holy Dormition Lavra of the Studite Rite, about the current architectural features of the buildings and about the wall paintings of the main church as an example of the traditional wall painting and icon wall decor of the Orthodox churches. They will get to know the Univ Lavra Museum and its collection and will be informed how it was created, what exposures are currently operating, what is the tabernacle, its place in the church and how it is accompanied in Orthodox tradition.

Participants will be asked to prepare information on how and where sacred elements (similar to the tabernacles) are stored in their religion, in their region, their country. They are invited to tell about the history of those elements, about their current state and aspects of their development.

At the end of the project an exposition of church tabernacles in the Museum Hall will be inaugurated.


The project will take place from August, 4th, to August, 16th, 2019 and is organized by Union Forum and Univ Holy Dormition Lavra of the Studite Rite, in partnership with European Heritage Volunteers.