GALYTSYA ST. MYKOLAY (NICOLAS) CAVE MEN’S MONASTERY
Frontal view, Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Monastery's frontal view

The story of this monastery located in Galytsya village (Sokyriany District of Chernivtsi Oblast) and facing the Dniester dates back to the early second millenium A.D.

 

Archaeologists deem that this monastery was established in the mid XII century the monks who settled in caves. Based on the available documents, it did function before 1800. In the beginning XIX century it was completely destroyed by the Turkish. The cloister died and revived several times. When monks left the monastery, its church became open for people.

 

In the early 1950s it was added to the St. John the Evangelist Khreshchatyk monastery but in 1957 it was closed by the authorities and abandoned. In March 1999 the monks from the Khreshchatyk fraternity decided to revive the Galytsya monastery for which they were Blessed by the Ruling Eparch.

 

To reach this site from Chernivtsi by car, follow H03 and then P63 (the quality of the latter is not as good). The distance one way will make exactly 140 km.

The monastery as seen from the Dniester

Seen from Dniester, Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The monastery in the late autumn

Late autumn, Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

This is the main entrance to the monastery

Main entrance to Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And this one is from its top, providing the beautiful Dniester panorama

Top entrance to Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

As this is the area of the Dnistrovske reservoir, the Dniester is very wide here

Dniester reservoir view from top entrance of Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

We went through the top entrance and this is what we saw

Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

If you enter from the top, you'll need to go down several staircases

Levels of Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

This arch featuring medieval style looks very properly here

Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Narrow aisles literary hanging above the abyss are equipped with handrails to prevent falling down

Aisles of Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Cave rooms are heated with firewood

Cave rooms of Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Monastery's architecture is very attractive for tourists. Many of them don't resemble monks by far, especially when the summer is too hot

Tourists in Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Cobble stones, probably, to pave the aisle

Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

A stack of firewood

Firewood in Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

An icon with St Nicolas, the Monastery's patron

Icon at Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The "tourist" arch from its other side

Arch at Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The Monastery has several "floors" and, in some sense, looks like a multi-storey house

Levels of Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

In some places hacked-out rocks are hanging over you

Rocks hanging at Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And they are really massive

Massive rocks at Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The Dniester panorama from here is simply amazing

Dniester panorama from Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Although attractive for tourists, this place is, first of all, a functioning monastery with its priests and monks

Priest at Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The Monastery's church

Church at Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Going down to the Dniester...

you'll see he pool with holy water flowing from the rock spring under the Monastery. The water temperature is never above 9°C. Some people believe this has healing properties and dip in it

Holy water pool at Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And this is the holy spring

The beach below the monastery. To reach it, you'll first need to conquer about 100 m long and very steep staircases (see their beginning above, although in lower sections they are much more challenging) leading from the mountain top to the water surface. And the way back will need very good physical preparation

Dniester beach near Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And the central gate again. This time, to go out

Leaving Galytsya St Mykolay (Nicolas) Men's Cave Monastery, Sokyryany District, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The Cave Monastery on Google Maps

Flag Counter