Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra (Cave Monastery), Sviatohisrk, Donetsk oblast

From Religion on Fire
Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra (Cave Monastery)
General information
Building typechurch
LocationSvyatogirsk, Donetsk Oblast
Religious affiliation*Orthodoxy (UOC MP)
Date of damage12 March 2022
Damage degreemedium
*as for moment of shelling

On March 12, 2022, around 10:00 p.m., the first airstrike was launched on the Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra, located in the city of Sviatohirsk, Donetsk region. As a result of the airstrike (the bomb was dropped near the bridge over the Siversky Donets River), several buildings on the territory of the Sviatohirsk Lavra were damaged. The buildings at the entrance to the Lavra were the most damaged. In particular, window panes were broken in all hotels. Hotel No. 9 with windows overlooking the embankment, suffered serious damage. One of the Lavra newest churches - the Church of Saint John the Russian was also damaged. It has damaged roofs, window and door units, and 100% broken windows. Facades and brick structures were damaged by shrapnel. Some buildings are completely broken and cannot be restored. The marble figure of the Mother of God, Abbess of the Holy Mountains, was also damaged, losing part of her hands and stick. Detailed information about the damage was published on the official website of the Sviatohirsk Lavra.

It is worth noting that the majority of the buildings on the Lavra territory are included in the list of architectural monuments of national significance and are under state protection. On March 12, 2022 itself, the majority of these objects suffered varying degrees of damage. Among these buildings are the following: the hotel of 1900 (building #9) on the embankment, as well as the West Tower of 1851, adjacent to it, which also suffered damage to the roof and facades. The main temple buildings of the Lavra - Assumption Cathedral, Intercession Church, which are also architectural monuments of the 19th century, were damaged. Fragments of a bomb were found inside the temples and on the territory. The Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of GOd with the refectory also stands without windows. The Lavra museum was also damaged, as well as the administrative building, in which, in addition to broken glass and doors, the destruction of the heating system caused partial flooding of the office premises. Damage was caused to the Cyril and Methodius stairs as well.

On May 4, 2022, around 7:00 a.m., another airstrike was launched on the Lavra. The Church of St. Righteous John the Russian, the hotel (building #9), the entrance building of the Lavra guards, the refectory with the Church of the Nativity of Virgin Mary were the most damaged. The suspended ceiling in the refectory collapsed from the shock wave. On May 5, 2022, the shock wave from the explosion in the city of Sviatohirsk shattered the rest of the window panels and the ceilings fell down in some buildings. On June 6-7, 2022, the intensity of artillery shelling in the city, as well as on the Lavra territory, increased. Again, a lot of damage was done to churches on the territory of the Lavra, hotels and commercial premises.

Later, the monastery repeatedly came under fire during the battles for the city of Sviatohirsk and surrounding settlements. According to the data published on the official website of the Lavra, only in July 2022, the territory and buildings of the monastery were shelled at least 7 times. In particular, on July 14, 2022, the Church of the Holy Intercession, built in 1850 and having the status of an architectural monument of national importance, was damaged. Shelling damaged the pediment and roof of the Church, destroyed the colonnade of the northeast side of the bell tower. On July 15, 2022, St. Nicholas Church, built on a rock in the 17th century, came under fire, its facade was cut by debris. In the beginning of October 2022, the Sviatohirsk community, on the territory of which the Lavra is located, was liberated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In fact, from this time, active work on the restoration of the buildings of the Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra began.