Ukraine: Zymne – Assumption Monastery
The Assumption Monastery at the Holy Mountain is located in the tiny village of Zymne south from the town of Volodymyr-Volynskyi near the Polish border. It is located at the top of the Holy Mountain rising above Luh River. The monastery was founded in the 11th century, 1001, by Prince Vladimir the Great of Kievan Rus as his winter residence (hence the name “Zymne” meaning “winter”). The prince invited monks to excavate the caves and built a monastery here. Eventually the monastery became Greek Orthodox, and then Catholic, before the monastic activity completely ceased under Poland, just to be revived with fervor after Russian Empire came here in the the 19th century as a nunnery. Bolsheviks abolishes it once again in 1917, and Germans allowed its brief resurrection in 1941. It finally fully reopened only in 1990 with the collapse of the USSR. The monastery is a fully fortified square fortress with corner defensive towers and high walls, all built in the 15th century. In its center stands an absolutely stunning Assumption Cathedral built in the 16th century. The monastery now is fully functioning and access is limited.