Old-believer Assumption Cathedral, Bila Krynytsya, Chernivtsi Oblast
This cathedral is a true masterpiece of religious architectonics of whole Bukovyna. It was built as the main church of the local nunnery for the account of Hlib and Olha Ovsyannikovs, a rich family of Moscow Old Believers. The design was developed by the Moscow architect A.Kuznetsov (although some sources mention Austrian A.Klick). Its construction cost half a million Russian gold roubles, an enormous amount of money for that time. The construction materials, granite details and decorations of the cathedral were shipped directly from Moscow and its foundation even includes two wagons of Russian ground.
The layout is cross-shaped with five baths looking like big bulbs. Domes are covered with copper leaves and crowned with gold-plated crosses. Its decoration has elements of eclectic architecture, such as cutstones, ceramic glaze of blue, orange and pink colours, it includes such features of the old Russian church architecture as corbel arches, beads and curbs.
The cathedral impresses with its glory and richness, and the splendour of its external décor can be compared only to the Residence of Bukovynian Metropolitans in Chernivtsi or Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.
The inner scenery of the Cathedral is presented with one large and two small iconostases made of oak by best Vladimir carvers and painters from Palekh workshops.
Another impressive feature of the cathedral is its bell tower which doesn’t have anything similar in whole Ukraine. It is four-levelled and is higher than the Cathedral, its top is covered with multicoloured tiles. The bell tower ensures a wonderful view onto Assumption Cathedral, Bila Krynytsya and the local area.
The rooms of the cathedral hosted two world assemblies of Russian Old Believer Church in 1996 and 2006.
Traveling from Chernivtsi you'll need to follow E85 towards the Romanian border and then turn right in Oprysheni village, the total route will make some 45 km.
The central dome
A side dome
The bell tower
Front view of the bell tower
Bell tower's bottom. Unfortunately, not without need for a renovation
The cathedral really has something to impress visitors
Cathedral's ornaments are very similar to Moscow's St Basil cathedral
Another general view
A monastery hut near the cathedral
The cathedral is well seen from most of Bila Krynytsya
The Old-Believer Assumption Cathedral on Google Maps