Mukachevo Saint Nicholas's Monastery

Image - Mukachevo Saint Nicholas Monastery. Image - Saint Nicholas Church in the Saint Nicholas Monastery near Mukachrvo.

Mukachevo Saint Nicholas's Monastery (Мукачівський Святомиколаївський монастир; Mukachivskyi Sviatomykolaivskyi monastyr). A men's monastery located on Chernecha Hora (literally ‘monk's hill’) near Mukachevo. Believed to have been founded in the late 11th century, the monastery was revived and expanded considerably in the late 14th century, when it enjoyed the patronage of Fedir Koriiatovych. In 1491 it became the residence of the bishop of Mukachevo, whose jurisdiction covered all of Transcarpathia (see Mukachevo eparchy). The monastery's monks led efforts to establish church union in 1646 (see Uzhhorod Union of 1646), when the monastery joined the Basilian monastic order; from then the archimandrite also served as superior general of the order in Transcarpathia. The monastery's school and library played important roles in the cultural and religious life of the region; Anatol Kralytsky, a hegumen of the monastery, was one of the most prominent Transcarpathian writers of the 19th century. The monk's cells and refectory were constructed in 1766–72 in place of an earlier wooden structure. The large Saint Nicholas Church was built in 1798–1804 in a Classicist style. It is rectangular and has a single apse and bell tower.

The bishop's residence was transferred to Mukachevo in 1751, but the monastery remained the administrative center for the Basilians. During the 1920s the order was thoroughly reformed. An active missionary program was begun, and a press was established at the monastery to publish religious books and journals. After the Soviet occupation of Transcarpathia the monastery was handed over to the Russian Orthodox church, and the monks, all of whom refused to convert, were exiled. At the same time the monastery's valuable collection of over 6,000 rare books and manuscripts and its archives were transferred to local museums and archives. It now houses a community of nuns.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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