Fortified temples and monasteries of Ukraine

Fortified temples occupy a special place in the architectural and sacred heritage of Ukraine.

Unfortunately, many of the structures were destroyed, mutilated, altered beyond recognition and lost their characteristic defensive features. Only a few have survived in their authentic form.

Much of that are in ruins. The few examples of restoration and restoration buildings with preservation of their original appearance are rather the exception than the rule. Unfortunately, usually the religious communities distorted the temples which were transferred to this communities.

It is very important that all defensive temples and monasteries can be officially protected by the state.

A fortified church is a church that is built to serve a defensive role in times of war. Such churches were specially designed to incorporate military features, such as thick walls, battlements, and embrasures.

(from Wikipedia)

Conventionally, sacral buildings with fortification functions can be sorted into the following types:

  • temples in the fortresses and castles yards (for example, the Medzhibizh fortress and its church of the Holy Trinity, Khmelnytskyi region)
  • fortress monasteries (a nice example is the Pidhoryan monastery, near Terebovla, Ternopil region)
  • temples-castles, single buildings with elements of fortification and which had a defensive function (for example, church in Sutkivtsi, Khmelnytskyi region)

I suggest you view my subjective collection of Fortified temples and monasteries of Ukraine below.

It is also worth viewing the collection of castles and fortresses of Ukraine here.

For convenience in trips, I suggest to use my map with the objects on the map:

blue marks are forts
orange - fortified temples and monasteries
burgundy - castles and fortresses
The peculiarity of this map and the provided collection of articles are that for each object its exact coordinates are indicated location, coordinates determined and checked by hand.

Map of castles and fortresses of Ukraine, defense temples and monasteries

Monastery of the discalced carmelites Klasztor karmelitów bosych w Berdyczowie

Berdychiv, Zhytomyr region

To learn about monastery you can here

Fortified catholic church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin

Bische, Ternopil region

Fortified Synagogue

Husyatyn, Ternopil region

Monastery-fortress of St. Trinity

Derman, Rivne region

you can read more here

The Assumption Monastery at the Holy Mountain

Zymne, Volyn region

The Holy Dormition Kiev-Caves Lavra


Basilian Fathers Monastery (near village Kozulka)

Krekhiv, Lviv region

Church of the Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary

Lychkivtsi, Ternopil region

Manyava Skete* of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Manyavaа, Ivano-Frankivsk region

*A skete (/ˈskiːt/ ) is a monastic community in Eastern Christianity that allows relative isolation for monks, but also allows for communal services and the safety of shared resources and protection. It is one of four types of early monastic orders, along with the eremitic, lavritic and coenobitic, that became popular during the early formation of the Christian Church. (wikipedia)

Holy Trinity Monastery

Mezzhirich, Rivne region

Holy Ascension Church (XIV century)

Luzhany Chernivtsi region

Saviour-Transfiguration Monastery

Novgorod Siverskyi, Chernihiv region

Pidhoryanskyi (Under mountain), fortified Monastery of the Order of Saint Basil the Great

Pidhora, Ternopil region

Monastery of the Cross (Monastère du bois de la Croix de Pidkamine fr.)

Pidkamin, Lviv region

Nativity of the Mother of God Molchensky Pechersk Convent of the UOC

Путивль, Сумська область


Sataniv, Khmelnytsky region

Now the synagogue in Sataniv does not look like the photo from 2008 above. It was restored completely. Synagogue is now a fully functioning temple.

Holy Trinity Monastery of the 16th century.

Satanivska Slobidka, Khmelnytsky region

Holy Intercession Church-fortress of the XIV-XVIII centuries.

Sutkivtsi, Khmelnytsky region

Church of the Holy Prophet Ilya

Toporivtsi, Chernivetsky region

Historically, the fortified temple in Chesnyky has more than one names.

Church of St. Nicholas, St. Michael, the temple in honor of the Ascension of the Lord

Chesnyky, Ivano-Frankivsk region