The church by the lake, the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Holy Cross Church (in Russian Krestovozdvizhenskaya church)... So many names has the Church of the Exaltation in Ternopil.
However, this is not the only highlight of this historic monument. The historians hardly can determine the age of the chuch. The first mention of it happens to be in the charter of Prince Constantine of Ostrog, dated at 1570. But one of the legends says that at the same place was a church in the time of King Danilo Galitsky. The modern Church of the Exaltation of the Cross has kept some signs of old Russian architecture. First of all it is a semi-circular apse.
History of the Holy Cross Church is very closely connected with the history of Ternopil, which originally was supposed to serve as an outpost and prevent the Tatars attacks. Perhaps because of the frequent attacks of the Tatars and Turks, the church was rebuilt several times. The church served as an outpost. The western part of the building was attached to the city's fortifications and the northern part came out to lake. This gave later a different name to the church.
What was the Church like from the beginning is unknown. Only through its middle part, we can more or less make plausible estimates. The front three-tiered tower, at the same time performing the role of the bell tower was built in 1627.
With the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross are associated several other events, some are even mystical. In 1673, the year the troops of the Crimean Khan Giray Silim surrounded the city on three sides. Zaporozhian Cossacks with commoners from the ramparts were fighting against invaders, and the church was their last stronghold. The townspeople gathered in the church and in the fervent prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary asked for help. Suddenly a cry rang out and a frightened Jew who prayed close by ran to the church. According to him, he saw a woman over the church in the sky who was covering the church with something. On reaching the church, he stood amazed, because he recognized her on the icon in front of the praying people. It was the very same woman. This was the Mother of God. At the same time the Tatars retreated, since all the arrows that were shot toward the church turned against them. The Virgin Mary saved the city from total destruction.
But not always the citizens were able to help the church. In the first half of the 18th century during the persecution of Orthodoxy the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross was closed for a long time and it was used as a storehouse. Only in 1760 Helen Pototskaya, who at that time owned the town, passed lands into the possession of the temple. And this contributed to the revival of the church.