St. Barbara Monastary, Church of St. Barbara
Orthodox Christians have never ceased to venerate Saint Barbara, who is very popular among them. In the 12th century, the relics of Saint Barbara were brought from Constantinople to the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, where they were kept until the 1930s, when they were transferred to St. Vladimir's Cathedral in the same city. The Shrine of Saint Barbara was destroyed by the Israelis in 2002 when they were searching for terrorists. The shrine marked the location of where Saint Barbara was martyrd.
The Church of St. Barbara, located in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, is one of the most famous Gothic churches in Central Europe. A world heritage site, its first architect is said to have been Johann Parler.
Construction began in 1388, but the work on the cathedral was interrupted several times so that the final work was not completed until 1905.
The outside appearance is fascinating, although the final work on the roof was made in the 19th century. Originally there were eight radial chapels with trapezoidal interiors. The choir was constructed later, supported with double-arched flying buttresses.
Inside the church, you can admire the beautiful glass windows, altars, pulpits and choir stalls, as well as medieval frescoes depicting the medieval life of the mining town.
The St. Barbara Monastery is a monastic community for women
in the Diocese of the West in the Orthodox Church in America.
Originally located in Santa Barbara, California, the community was founded in
1992 with the blessing of His Grace, Tiknon, Bishop of San Francisco
and the West. In 2005, the Monastery was relocated to its present
Santa Paula location.
A relic of the Monastery's patron Saint, the Great-Martyr Barbara,
taken from the principal relics which lie in Kiev, is in the Monastery's
chapel, as are relics of St Elizabeth the New Martyr; St James,
the Son of Zebedee; St Herman; St Nektarios; St Anne, the Mother
of the Theotokos; St Raphael of Brooklyn; St John of San Francisco;
the Martyr Victoria of Carthage; and the Precious and Life-Giving
St. Barbara's Monastery presently numbers twelve sisters, who
maintain a regular cycle of daily liturgical services and partly
earn their living by giving retreats, writing, teaching, production
of icons, note cards and greeting cards, and the operation of
a small bookstore.
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