Treasured Relics and Statues Displayed in the St. George Cathedral
Located on St. George Hill, over-looking the city of Lviv, the church was the perfect target for destruction in the past. At least two versions of the St. George Cathedral were built before the final construction of the church as it is seen today. The Cathedral of St. George became the mother congregation of the Greek-Catholic religion in Ukraine.
According to historical research, the first church that was constructed from wood, dates back to around the year 1280. King Casimir III of Poland was responsible for the destruction of the church in the year 1340. Reconstruction to the Church led to the four-column design, to ensure that the building was strong enough to ward off vandalizing invaders. One of the most momentous occasions that took place in the St. George Cathedral in Lviv, was the proclamation of the Act of Unification, in the year 1700. Metropolitan Athanasius Sheptytsky was responsible for the construction of the final church building in 1746. With Bernard Meretin as the architect and Johann Georg Pinsel as the sculptor, the cathedral was bound to be breathtaking. By 1762, the St. George Cathedral was complete and became the heart of the Greek Catholic religion in the Ukraine. The Cathedral of St. George stands today as Sheptytsky left it and the strong influences of traditional and Western architectural styles were combined to create a breathtaking structure.
The St. George Cathedral in Lviv, is home to one of the most treasured relics, which was brought to the cathedral by Bishop Jiseph Shumlianskyi in 1674. It is the Icon of the Virgin Mary, and is a spectacular and preserved artifact. The interior was decorated with luxurious embellishments created by the local artistic talents of Lviv. Pinsel, the sculptor of the cathedral, created the spectacular St. George (known as the Dragon Slayer) statue. The St. George statue can be viewed in the attic of the cathedral, while the intimidating statues of St. Athanasius and St. Leo protect the portal.
Renovations to the St. George Cathedral took place in the 1996, restoring the original beauty of the cathedral. Tourists, visiting this amazing historical masterpiece will not be disappointed. Over and above the cathedral, visitors can also visit the belfry, walk through the peaceful gardens or enter the final resting place of many important figures of the past in the tombs below the cathedral.