History of Religion Museum
The Lviv History of Religion Museum, situated in the very beautiful building of the former Dominican Monastery, is the only one in Ukraine and one of the very few museums in the world that boast about such an imposing collection of materials, telling the history of world and national religions. Its impressive collection features more than fifty thousand exhibits, most of which are absolutely unique and have high historic, cultic and artistic value.
The exposition is divided into nine sections, devoted to certain religion. The first one tells about beliefs in the ancient world: in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as in East Slavic area. The second one features materials connected with Judaism: rare torahs, ritual items, original sculptures, pictorial and graphical canvases. The third section is devoted to the origins and development of one of the most widespread world religions, the Christianity, which became the foundation for formation of the West European culture. Unique icons, ancient books and pictures, dated to the 16th – 18th centuries, are the most valuable exhibits here.
The fourth section is closely connected with the former one and tells about Armenian Church’s origination in the world and, in particular, in Ukraine. The special attention is paid to the Lviv Armenian community, which was one of the most influential communities in Ukraine. The next two sections are devoted to the main dogmas of Roman Catholic Church and tough history of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Another section introduces the history of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine from adoption of Christianity to nowadays. It is interesting for unique samples of ancient icons, images, and incunabula. The eighth section houses valuable exhibits, telling about Protestantism.
The last section is one of the most interesting ones and is devoted to oriental religions: in the first place to Buddhism (one of the three world religions), as well as to Hinduism and Taoism. The same section features exhibits, introducing growth and spread of Islam in Ukraine.
In addition, the Lviv History of Religion Museum is known for its extensive library that contains unique books on religious studies (mostly in foreign languages) and has no analogs in the country. The museum has an unusual division, which is engaged in restoration of old organs, introduces the history of organ music and holds chamber music concerts, during which the original baroque organ, produced by the famous German master, in the 17th century, sounds.