The Black Chapel

In July 1944, German troops retreating from Jaroslav wanted to destroy traces of their actions in fear of soviet offensive. They set fire to the monastery buildings, which resulted in the burning of the monastery roof and the tops of the church towers. In one of larger monastery rooms there was a chemical warehouse filled with large amounts of carbide and other substances. After reaching this place the fore did not cause the anticipated explosion but it created a temperature of about 1500 degrees Celsius so that the brick ceiling began to melt. The fire did not destroy the load-bearing structure of this room but it created a picturesque infiltration and black coloring of the vault instead.

After the war the room was partially renovated, maintaining a black melted ceiling untouched with characteristic icicles similar to stalactites. This place was called the “black chamber” or “black hall”, and now because of its sacred character it holds the name of “Black Chapel”.

The only comparably unique place in the world is Fort Zverev on a small island near Kronstadt destroyed by experiments with material similar to napalm.

In 2018, the Black Chapel décor was enriched by a hand-carved altar – a gift of the Higher Theological Seminary in Przemyśl.