St. Sophia Cathedral

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Historical information
Plan of museum
Architecture and murals
- Plan, Ground floor
- Mosaics
- Frescos
- Graffiti
- other details
Sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise
North cloister
- Plan, First floor
Bell Tower
Cells of the Cathedral Elders
Metropolitan's Residence
South Entrance Tower
Zaborovsky Gate
First Rus library

Excursions Kiev
weekend in Kiev
trip to Kiev
tours to Kiev
Sights of Kiev


St. Sophia Cathedral - an outstanding monument of ancient Kiev Rus architecture of 11th century, has always fascinated everyone who has ever seen him in the life. Decorated with a magnificent baroque elements, St. Sophia Cathedral is organically combined with a picturesque complex of the 18th century monastery of St. Sophia, built in the Ukrainian Baroque style.

The complex of the St. Sophia Cathedral - Metropolitan Home, Consistory, Refectory, Seminary, Cells of the Cathedral Elders, Bell Tower, south tower pleasing the human eye. Buildings characterized by solemnity and harmony with nature, expressive of national character. When you're in the courtyard surrounded by these beautiful buildings, for a moment you can immerse yourself in ancient times and feel a quiet monastic life.

The unique complex St. Sophia Cathedral at Old Kiev hills formed the architectural image of the Upper Kiev. He makes a great impression of his solemn monumental and magnificent Baroque festivity. Sophia complex embodies the sacred heart of the city.

The main entrance to St. Sophia's Cathedral is located on the west side:

St. Sophia Cathedral

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. Cathedral of St. Sophia - Kiev's main attraction

St. Sophia Cathedral , the wisdom of God, the Metropolitan was founded by Yaroslav the Wise in 1017 or 1037 (date of foundation of the cathedral has long been a subject of heated researchers discussion). It is believed that the 40 masters and 80 assistants could complete construction within 2-2.5 years. Dimensions Sophia Cathedral in Kiev (54,6 by 41.7 meters) and its incomparable beauty have always admired Metropolitan Hilarion (11th century), and Bishop Joseph Vereschinskogo (XVI century). From the 19th century. (from Eugene Bolkhovitinov) Sophia Cathedral in Kiev became the object of research.

The space decision of the Cathedral St. Sophia in Kiev were pyramidal: a large central cupola surrounded by twelve smaller. To the main structure from three sides adjoined two open galleries - inner single-storey gallery and external two-storey gallery. Lofts in St. Sophia Cathedral had an unusually large area, so many researchers believe that here was the main "office" Metropolitan of Kiev - Reception room, library, office, treasury. Besides in the choir during worship was the prince with his retinue. They got here on the spiral staircase, which had been in two towers, built in the western gallery.

Design of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is in harmony with its architecture. The central cupola of the main altar of the St. Sophia Cathedral were decorated with mosaics, and the other parts of the church, the pillars of the galleries and niches on the facade - with frescoes. The effect of the wall paintings reinforce by mosaic floors, carved marble barrier in front of altar (iconostases in those days did not produce), marble thresholds and pillars, carved slate parapet on the first floor. Visitors of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev also contributes to its design by leaving on the walls the numerous graffiti.

Sophia Cathedral served as a necropolis, and the prince's tomb. Up to now in the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is stored Sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise. also in the St. Sophia Cathedral were buried Yaroslav's son Vsevolod, grandchildren Rostislav Vsevolodovich and Vladimir Vsevolodovich, Great-grandson of Vyacheslav Vladimirovich. But this did not prevent close relatives of dead princes periodically rob the temple. The first were the Suzdal and their allies during the attack in 1169, and in 1203 Rurik Rostislavich followed their example . Between these two attacks interior of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev was almost damaged by great fire in 1180

During the Mongol invasion Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and Sofia's courtyard alsocourtyard also were brutally looted, but Sophia Cathedral was not destroyed and continued to function as the main church of Kiev Rus. However, the metropolitan of Kiev after 1300 rarely visited his desolated residence, therefore St. Sophia Cathedral slowly fell into decay and by the end of the 16th century was a sad sight. Uniates, who owned Kievan St. Sophia Cathedral from 1596, not only did not improve the situation, On the contrary sold even stone architectural decoration.

Only after Peter Mogila took Cathedral St. Sophia Cathedral from the Uniate and founded around a monastery began changes for the better. In 1633 under the guidance of Italian Octaviano Mancini began the great restoration work in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev , which lasted until the 1640s, but has not been completed. Complete restoration of the cathedral took place from 1688 by funds of Hetman Ivan Mazepa. At that time building acquired features of the Baroque style, which became even more meaningful after the final restructuring in 1740s, when the view of the cathedral (which now has 17 altars) is become nearly a modern look. except narthex, built in 1889

St. Sophia Cathedral was built in the 11th century. It is located in the heart of Kiev. Preserved through the centuries and have survived 260 sq.m. mosaics and 3000 sq.m. frescoes. Hardly anywhere in Europe you can find the cathedral, where so many frescoes of 11th century preserved. Around St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev are monastic buildings of the 17th century, made in the architectural style of Ukrainian Baroque. The interior of the cathedral is almost not changed. Only Iconostasis appeared at the end of 18th century and iron floor tiles in the 19th century

Saint Sophia Cathedral - is the not exhaustible fount works of art, to which historians and tourists come to see and enjoy the wonder of Byzantine and Old Rus architecture. Everyone who enters the St. Sophia Cathedral striking magnitude by central figure in the apse - praying figure of the Virgin Mary - Oranta. The height of the mosaic of 6 meters. Mosaic is composed of stone and glass plates of different colors (about 177 shades of different colors). Mosaics, which shown the Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church, impress by their well-balanced. The central apse and dome of St. Sophia Cathedral are decorated with mosaics, walls painted with frescoes.

Architectural forms and painting of the St. Sophia Cathedral form a unique unity. Murals as ornamental embroidery decorate the walls, pillars, arches. Among the exquisite and colorful painting can see images of saints and scenes from the Gospels. In contrast to other examples of Byzantine religious painting that survived until modern times, some frescoes in the of St. Sophia Cathedral are not biblical themes. There is a mundane subjects such as portraits of the family of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise among them

Grand Prince Yaroslav, called "the Wise" - an outstanding figure in the history of early Kievan Rus. In the first half of the 11th century, he ruled a great country, Kievan Rus, which was located in large parts of Eastern Europe. In those days, Kievan Rus was one of the largest of the civilized nations of Europe. Jaroslav settling the communication Kievan Rus with Europe. He married a Swedish princess Ingigerde. His sisters were married to members of the royal family of Poland and the Czech Republic. His sons were married to the Byzantine and German princesses. One of his daughters, Anna, became the wife of the king of France, the second - the wife of the King of Hungary, the third - the wife of the king of Norway. It was Yaroslav the Wise, who laid the foundation of the St. Sophia Cathedral

Painting of the 11th century bell tower of Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is decorated with, depicts scenes of games organized in Constantinople by Emperor Constantine Porfirogenetom in honor of Princess of Kievan Rus Olga. The frescoes of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev shows the mimes, jugglers, musicians, dancers, animal trainers, racing chariots. Later frescoes of the cathedral (17-19 centuries) are devoted to religious topics only. 300 graffiti written by visitors on the walls of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev indicate a high level of literacy of Kievan Rus in 1th century.

Read more about the architectural and historical monuments on the territory of the complex ST. SOPHIA CATHEDRAL IN KIEV:

  1. Plan of museum
  2. ST. SOPHIA CATHEDRAL inside (Architecture and murals)
  3. Bell Tower
  4. Seminary
  5. Cells of the Cathedral Elders
  6. Metropolitan's Residence
  7. Refectory
  8. Consistory
  9. South Entrance Tower
  10. Zaborovsky Gate
Tags: History of St. Sophia Cathedral, St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev was built ... The construction of the Sophia Cathedral, description, photos, architecture, painting, pictures, image. St. Sophia Cathedral presentation site

  •  Mosaics and frescoes of St. Sophia Cathedral IN KIEV

    Virtual tour around the museums grounds of Saint Sophia Cathedral

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    National Historical Reserve "St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev"
    Address: Vladimirskaya Str. 24, Kiev Ukraine
    Underground station "Golden Gate".
    Hours: 10:00 - 17.30
    Closed: Thursday