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Mgar

The Transfiguration Monastery, which is situated 4 km. away from Lubny on the bank of the Sula River, was founded in 1619 on money of Princess RaisaVyshnevetska (Mohylianka) and built by Metropolitan Isaiah Kopynsky. In 1622 he set up an Orthodox brotherhood that actively resisted the dissemination of Catholicism on the left bank of the Dnieper. For a long time the population of the monastery was made up primarily of the former Zaporozhian Cossacks who had taken monastic vows. In 1663 the son of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Yuriy, stayed in the monastery under the name of monk Gedeon. At different times Mgar was visited by almost all Ukrainian hetmans, czar Peter I, Aleksandr Pushkin,Taras Shevchenko, and the majority of classics of Ukrainian literature of the 19 th-20 th centuries. This testifies to the fact that Mgar Monastery always played an important role in the spiritual life of Ukraine. Before 1917 the relics of patriarch Afanasiy, who died on the way from Moscow to Constantinople, were kept at the monastery. The well-known artist I.Maksymovych took part in the painting of the monastery buildings’ interiors. The monastery existed till August 1919 when the Bolsheviks shot most of the monks together with Father Superior. Later it was made a colony for children of the “enemies of the people,” and from 1937, a disciplinary battalion was quartered there. On May 3,1993, after Ukraine became an independent state, the monastery in Mgara was restored to life.The Transfiguration Cathedral built in 1692 in place of a wooden church (arch. Johan Baptist, Martin Tomachevsky, master Afanasiy Pyriatynsky) is an example of a happy combination of Renaissance and Ukrainian Cossack baroque. Hetmans Ivan Samoilovych and Ivan Mazepa granted much money to support the temple. The cathedral was consecrated in 1692. In the 18 th century, after fires and collapse of the arch-roof, it was reconstructed. The iconostasis (made in 1762-1765 by Sysoy Shalmatov) and interior decorations were destroyed in the 1930 s.

In 1786 a three-tired bell tower was built near the cathedral. After reconstructions of 1837-1844 it remained the main entrance to the monastery. At the close of the 19 th century the two-tired Annunciation Church was built in the territory of the monastery.

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