St. Sophia Cathedral
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Museum ST. SOPHIA CATHEDRAL
Plan of museum
ST. SOPHIA CATHEDRAL
Architecture and murals
- Plan, Ground floor
- other details
Sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise
- Plan, First floor
ARCHITECTURAL MONUMENTS OF THE 18TH CENTURY
Cells of the Cathedral Elders
South Entrance Tower
First Rus library
BRANCHES OF THE MUSEUM
Details of the interior of the St. Sophia Cathedral
Apart from the mosaics and frescos of the 11th century, there is a very interesting 18th-century composition in oils on the west wall of the nave called The First Oecumenical Council.
The First Oecumenical Council. Have. West wall. Oil. 18fh century:
Certain pieces of 11th-century decorative art are rather valuable: specifically, the stone throne of the Metropolitan encrusted with mosaics (in the chancel), and the carved ornamentation in bas-relief on the slate slabs of the loft parapets.
Metropolitan's throne. 11th century. Detail:
Panels on parapet of lofts. Stone carving. 11th century:
The picturesque decor of the ancient interior of St. Sophia was enhanced by the beautiful mosaic floors, of which fragments may be seen on view in the transept.
Mosaic floor, fragment, 11th century:
The cathedral floors were repaired many times: during the excavation it was discovered that the continually added layers had raised the floor level by almost a metre. The present-day iron tiles were laid in the 19th century, replacing the mosaics. Today the floor level is the same as it was in the 11th century. However, in the chancel behind the iconostasis one may still see an exhibit of the ceramic floor belonging to the 17th century.
In the 11th century, the chancel was separated from the rest of the cathedral by a low parapet of marble. The present Iconostasis was made in 1747: of delicately carved wood covered with gilding, it is an exquisite example of woodcarving and easel painting (the inset icons) by Ukrainian masters of the 18th century.
Iconostasis. 18th century:
Virtual tour around the museum’s grounds of Saint Sophia Cathedral