'Stonehenge' in Ternopil region

'Stonehenge' in Ternopil region

There is a place on the outskirts of the village of Monastyrok (Ternopil region), which has been hiding many riddles and secrets for ages. There are stone blocks supported by stone pillars, and all this resembles the English Stonehenge.

"Indeed, this place on the map is one of the most mysterious," says historian and archaeologist Oleh Havryliuk. "A huge stone over the steep of the Seret River, a cave and the face of Jesus Christ inside have caused a dispute among archeologists and historians for centuries. One of the early Christian complexes of Ternopil region is located on an almost hundred-meter terrace of the river, where a unique view of the adjoining area of the river valley opens. Originally there was a karstic cave, which was later used for a rocky temple. Its first builders expanded the cave niche and strengthened it with stone blocks, which were easy to process. The entrance to the cave grotto is located in the depth between the stone bricks. From above it is covered by the rocky canopy, which is supported by three pillars of unpolished stones. The very cave temple is conditionally divided into three parts: porch, nave and altar. It is clear that the altar, just as in ordinary churches, is facing east. One of the stone walls that may have once served as an iconostasis adorns the image of Jesus with his eyes closed. Religion scholars argue that such an icon symbolizes the image of the Savior, who could not look at human sins and closed his eyes," he said.

There is an equilateral cross on the surface of the stone block, which is connected with a shallow pitchfork, which crosses the entire surface almost diagonally. If you look closely, then you can see several hemispherical depressions on its surface. A small "blood channel" has also preserved. That is, obviously, animals were sacrificed here. It is also a divinity that the water that accumulates in the cross carved in the stone turns red.

Interestingly, by its structure, this stone block is fundamentally different from the surrounding local breeds, which drives modern scholars into a dead end. They claim that this altar is identical to the rocks of the biblical Mount Sinai.

On the sacrificial stone, in addition to the cross, there are a number of holes, the configuration and sequence of which resembles the stars of the Ursa Major, one of the main constellations of the northern hemisphere of the Earth. Perhaps, that was an ancient calendar, similar to the one in the British Stonehenge?

"In 1993-1994, archaeologists performed excavation under this stone. Its results suggest that the present place of the altar is not primary. That is, it was drawn from somewhere. And they discovered one medieval coin of the seventeenth century under each pillar. According to researchers, this stone was dragged from an unknown temple in 1735 during the restoration of the monastery, which was erected on the site of the destroyed one," Havryliuk says.

The old church, located near the rocky temple and the giant stone, keeps the miraculous image of the Virgin, which, after a terrible fire that burned down everything in the temple, remained intact. There are many testimonies of healing around this miraculous holy image.

Another shrine relic is "The Cross of Family Happiness." The dazzling white stone cross is considered a shade of family happiness. They say that someone who prays sincerely at this cross will have peace and harmony in the family for a whole year.

The monastery is not just a point on the map of Ukraine, but a place with many wonders, riddles and legends.

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