The museum of Rusalka Dnistrova was opened 15 Sep 1990 in a building which used to be a bell tower of Holy Spirit church. At the same time there was erected the monument to Markiyan Shashkevych, the publisher of 'Rusalka Dnistrova' (sculptors D. Krvavyck and M. Posikira, architects V. Dubynina and M. Fedyk).
The museum building itself has a remarkable history. During the period of 1722–1729 a Catholic church and Dominican monastery were built at this place, funded by Theophilia Wyshnevetska from Liszczynsky family. After the dissolution of the monastery by the Austrian government (1783), the building was given to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Theological Seminary (from 1926 — Theological Academy), which became the alma mater for all the authors of 'Rusalka Dnistrova' - Markiyan Shashkevych, Ivan Vahilevych and Yakiv Holovatsky. That time, after the reconsrtuction, the church was given the name of Holy Spirit. The changes made there: newer five-level altar created by Luka Dolynsky and the paintings by Modest Sosenko. There was also an original clock placed in the church bell tower. The story of this relic goes back to the past till the 17th century, when hetman Ivan Vyhovsky brought it to Manyava Skete. In the late 18th century it was relocated to the place where it's still now. After WWII the only thing survived from the whole architectural complex was the bell tower with its baroque decorated top. Nowadays this building is a nationally significant monument.
In 1987 the museum rooms were added to the western part of the building and also the clock was restored (after almost 20 years of being broken). In 2010 the renewed museum exposition of 'Rusalka Dnistrova', which became the part of Lviv Art Gallery, was moved to the bell tower.
The museum is dedicated to 'Rusalka Dnistrova' (The Mermaid of the Dniester River) — the first Galician almanac published in Pest (part of Budapest city) in 1837 which became a turning point in philological studies around the whole Ukraine. 'Rusalka Dnistrova' is the result of collaboration between Markiyan Shashkevych, Ivan Vahylevych and Yakiv Holovatsky, well-known founders of the literary group 'Ruska Triytsiya' (1833). The history of this organization is the main topic of the museum exhibition represented with variety of historical documents, books and paintings. Here you can also find some limited editions of the almanac itself as well as original literary works of Markiyan Shashkevych. In 1838 he published the polemical booklet 'Azbuka i Abecadlo' with which he protested against any attempts of implementing Latin alphabet into Ukrainian writing. Along with that, the first part of the 19th century was the time of the first Ukrainian children's reader publication (its handwritten version and the first 1850 issue are kept in the museum).
The museum collection also gives a lot of details about researching, publishing and journalistic work of 'Ruska Triytsiya'. The exhibits of this section are the fragment of translation of 'Yaroslavna's Lament' (part of old Slavic epic poem 'The Tale of Igor's Campaign') by M. Shashkevych and V. Hanka and a folk song collected by M. Shashkevych. The objects of peculiar interest are unique copies of 'Rusalka Dnistrova' published in Budyma (1837), Ternopil (1910) and Kyiv (1987) and photocopies of the very first almanac edition.
Other compelling exhibits are M. Shashkevych's 'Family Tree' and some rare biographical publications about the founders of 'Ruska Triytsiya'.
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