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St. Sophia Cathedral and Monastery

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Posted on 18 July 2011

Last Updated 18 July 2011

St. Sophia Cathedral and Monastery

Kiev Saint Sophia - the greatest architectural structure in Ukraine. Who can say that it is not - let me cast the first stone. I'm ready to reflect stones (especially considering that this building, I think one of the greatest not only in Ukraine but also in the world).

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St. Sophia Cathedral - is an architectural story (especially if you look at it from the monastery's bell tower). It's fantastic when you consider almost millennial age of construction, the fact that the walls of the Cathedral of the greatest Russian prince was buried and many of his descendants, that the cathedral does not look grumblers and that he is a model of this architecture UKRAINIAN (even considering that it was built Migrant workers from the Byzantine Empire).

Sofia Kiev - Ukraine's architectural soul, it's architectural soul of the capital - Kyiv. This building, which is not ashamed to brag and show that you can be the envy of foreigners: "You see, we have" (and they will try to surprise find of the dome of the cathedral, and they did not work). This facility can boast even before the Russians: "You have gas? So look what we have - some of which are molded your ". While both Russian and Belarusians consider Sophia and her little church, because Kiev - the "mother of Russian cities".

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Sophia Cathedral


St. Sophia Cathedral - the oldest Russian church, among those who survived. His age was only Church of the Tithes. But the building is destroyed by the Mongol-Tatars. Has long been thought that Sophia built Yaroslav the Wise in 1037. Accordingly, the ancient monument was a princely times Chernigov Transfiguration Cathedral (1033-1034 gg.). The fact that Sophia was built in Jaroslaw in 1037, said Nestor, in his "Chronicle." But he pointed out that in the same year, Duke also built the Golden Gate, and the Annunciation Church at them, and two large monastery. Construction of a complex of large buildings in a single year, even under current conditions is unlikely, but what about building technologies and opportunities for thousands of years. Therefore, researchers have long questioned the date of construction of Sofia, saying that only Nestor concluded Jaroslav construction activity in 1037.

Novgorod chronicle dates from the construction of Sofia in 1017 year. But in this paper a lot of dates in question historians. Despite 20 years of difference in the dates of the two major written sources, the scientists decided - in Sofia in 1017 laid down, and in 1037-meters - finished building. But this is not the end of the study. It was found in the German "Chronicle" Titmara Merzeburgskogo record of the existence of the St. Sophia Cathedral in 1017-1018 gg., In particular about the fire in the cathedral. A detailed study of the "Sermon on Law and Grace," written by Metropolitan Hilarion, allowed to say that in 1022 St. Sophia Cathedral, not only existed, but was already very famous. In addition, Hilary said that construction began Sophia Prince Volodymyr the Great, and completed by his son, Yaroslav. Since Vladimir died in 1015, it has been suggested that Sofia laid even earlier. This assumption is confirmed by the study of graffiti (graffiti), of the cathedral, conducted in the last decade.

Scientific staff of Historical and Cultural Reserve "Sophia of Kyiv" argue that recent studies have shown - the cathedral was laid in 1011 by Vladimir the Great, added onto it, Yaroslav the Wise in 1017, and in 1018 the cathedral was consecrated. So in 2011, should prepare for the 1000-year anniversary? Reserve management assures that the costs to prepare, even though there is a big part of the scientists who do not accept 1011 as the year of the bookmark of the cathedral. But UNESCO, it seems, has already adopted the new date.

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St. Sophia Cathedral in the eleventh century. Reconstruction of Y. Aseev, V. Volkov, M. Kresalnoho

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St. Sophia Cathedral in 1651. Figure Abraham van Vesterfeld

Hagia Sophia (Wisdom) was constructed by analogy with the St. Sophia Cathedral of Constantinople, as the main building of the state. It was built by Byzantine masters, but he does not copy the Byzantine Sofia. The appearance of this building in the Russian capital marked the emergence of "second Jerusalem" (so called Kiev, not Moscow, as we now try to prove the "big brother").

According to the prince's plans for St. Sophia Cathedral became the main church of Kievan Rus, the residence of the metropolitan of Kiev, and the square outside the cathedral - the main area of ​​the state, which were going to council, councils, princes repeatedly made speeches to the people.

After the death of Yaroslav the Rus captured a terrible crisis associated with tough struggle for the princes of Kievan principality. Felt the this crisis and the Hagia Sophia: it robbed several times and even tried to burn (1180).

December 6, 1240, Kiev was captured by the army of Batu Khan. The last defenders of the city died under the ruins of old stone buildings of Russia - Church of the Tithes. But Sofia was lucky - though her and robbed, but left intact. And ten years later the church was restored as the spiritual and historical center of the city and the Principality, the center of the metropolis and the main temple of 19 dioceses.

In 1246 through the efforts of Daniel Galicia has created a new Diocese with the center in Galicia. She took over the functions of an all-Russian. Metropolitan Daniel was ordained nominee - Cyril II. After a while a new metropolitan moved to Kiev, the old residence of the Metropolitans - St. Sophia Cathedral. This happened, probably after 1264 (after the death of Daniel Galicia). In 1267 Cyril II has received from the Khan Mangu Timur label on the power of the Horde toleration of the Orthodox Church. The clergy exempted from taxes, and recognized the church property untouchable.

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St. Sophia Cathedral in 1846 (picture Michael Sarzyna). Even three-storey bell tower.

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Hagia Sophia is a four-bell. Photo late nineteenth century

In early 1270-ies Sophia Cathedral was renovated. But after three decades, the successor of Cyril, Metropolitan Maximus II underwent a metropolitan city of Vladimir on the Klyazma. And in 1325 the residence of the Metropolitans moved to Moscow. Until 1461 the metropolitans in Moscow called the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia. Strange, then why are so promoted religious principle of Moscow? Of course, there were certain reasons for the delay metropolitan residence, in particular the permanent Tartar raids. But while Moscow and their experienced ...

In the 14th century South-West Russia invaded Lithuania. A paradoxical situation when the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia was in the capital of another country. Lithuanian princes decided to change this situation and have the Patriarch of Constantinople branch of the Kiev Metropolitan in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It happened in 1375. Metropolitan of Kiev called "Kiev, Russian and Lithuanian." At the same time, Moscow also called Metropolitan of Kiev. Nonsense!

In 1390, the two metropolitan united again. Contributed to this Tsamblak Metropolitan Cyprian. This metropolitan once again repaired the St. Sophia Cathedral. His successor, Metropolitan Photius finally took the pro-Moscow stance. In Kiev he came only for the active collection of church taxes. Again, Orthodox Metropolitan of Lithuania was a subject of the Moscow principality. This situation allowed the Lithuanian prince Vytautas. In 1414 he won a single metropolis in Lithuania. Its center was only two years spent in Kiev. Since 1416 the residence of the metropolitans transferred to the city of Vilna. Metropolitans called themselves the Kiev, Galicia and All Russia. But at the same time another 45 years, Metropolitan of Moscow and called themselves the Kiev and All Russia.

In the late 15th century the pressure on the Orthodox Church from the Catholic Church. Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Casimir IV in 1481 issued an order prohibiting new construction and renovation of old Orthodox churches. For Sophia Cathedral began on hard times. Metropolitan at the time was Makarios - a prominent church figure, who was canonized in the future. He steadfastly withstood incredible pressure from the Catholic clergy and the Orthodox Church tried to keep a high level. In 1497 Makarios was killed. According to one version he was killed by the Tatars, on the other - it was a political assassination, ordered supporters of Church Union. Makarios body was buried in St. Sophia.

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Belfry Sophia Cathedral

There is documentary proof about the state of Sofia in the 16th century. "Now the church stands on the empty space away from people ... it is still intact and there at certain times of the clergy conducting the service. Around the proceeds rain. There is nothing crashed and the only church built around the gallery. The doors have no locks, scored only bad boards ... The church still stands intact, painted around valuable and richly gilded image of Mary ... almost as high as the whole church ... In front of the altar had already taken gates of heaven to another church, but left there are two good icons ... The dome in the middle of the altar still has a cross and covered with lead. In other places, took the lead and instead made the roof of the boards. " This saw Sophia Martin Groenewegen Lviv merchant in 1584.

In 1595 the cathedral was in worse condition. Here's how it described the Kiev Bishop Joseph Vereschinsky: "... this is not only desecrated the temple of cattle dung (included in it), horses, dogs and pigs ... but, lately, has already started and the destruction of the walls themselves ... "

In 1596 the church adopted the Brest union, and in 1609 he captured the Greek Catholics, led by the henchman of Metropolitan Anthony of Hypatia Potiya Grekovich. During this 9 years Kiev Grekovich drowned in the Dnieper River.

In times of constant religious struggle Sophia Cathedral steadily destroyed, because the Greek-Catholics almost never engaged in maintaining it in good condition. In 1625, the western wall fell. Brewing catastrophe from which the council has saved Peter's grave.

In 1632, Peter has made Tomb of the Seimas of the official restoration of the Russian Orthodox Church. The following year he was appointed Metropolitan of Kiev. Even before the arrival of the new Metropolitan of Kiev Kiev and townspeople drove the Cossacks from Sofia Uniate church and began to prepare for settlement in its metropolitan residence. In 1633, Peter began a global restoration of the Tomb of the cathedral. The work continued for a long time and during the life of the Metropolitan had not been completed. Peter Mogila restored the altar of the temple and the north facade, which was then the main entrance. Cathedral acquired features Renaissance dome was restored in a spherical shape. Although part of the cathedral, in particular gallery, and has not been repaired.

Панорама Києва


Panorama Kyiv from the bell tower

Вежа Вежа


South entrance tower
At the Tomb of St. Sophia Cathedral monastery was founded, which built the complex of wooden buildings.

The results of the work carried out at Peter's Tomb, seen in the figures of Abraham van Vesterfelda. This Dutch artist was a time in the court of the Lithuanian Hetman Janusz Radziwill. During the War of Independence (1648-1654 gg.) In 1651, the army captured the Hetman Kyiv. Temporary residence of the Convent of St. Sophia, was elected. That's when Van Vesterfeld and sketched view of the cathedral. These drawings are invaluable to the modern generation.

After Perejaslavskogo agreement with Moscow, and the death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky began "Ruin." This period was a period of decline for the St. Sophia Cathedral. He lasted three decades and ended only at the end of XVII century, when Hetman Ivan Mazepa was.

Mazepa began active construction of churches in Ukraine. Homes and churches since Blockheads were reduced in the new style - Baroque. Hetman this style very much, but he wanted to see him and Ukrainian features. The architects have tried to embody the desire of Mazepa in numerous churches which were built at his expense. Thus, a new architectural style - a Cossack (mazepinskoe) baroque. This style can be considered almost the only purely Ukrainian, but it became the hallmark of Ukraine in the twentieth century.

Mazeppa has invested heavily in the repair of St. Sophia. The temple was built and completed. There were internal open gallery on external galleries built second floor. At the same time build six new caps, who, like the old, acquired features of the Ukrainian baroque and pear-shaped top. St. Sophia's Cathedral for the second time in its history has become a standard Ukrainian church.

Next to the cathedral in 1699-1707 years has grown a magnificent baroque bell tower. This building was a monument in his lifetime and his Mazeppa hramostroitelnoy activity. First tower had three tiers. After the earthquake of 1742 the top two tiers of partially collapsed. Two years later, began the restoration of the belfry. The works were supervised renowned architect Johann Schadel. He regained the top tiers of the building. In 1851-1852 years. by architect Sparro was added a fourth tier belfry, and it acquired a modern look.

The height of the bell tower of the monastery of St. Sophia - 76 meters. This is one of the tallest bell towers in Ukraine. The Baroque bell tower is very rich in decor and pompezen. Above him in his time working the best Ukrainian masters. In the 18th century bell tower bells were installed. The largest of these was a bell, "Raphael", which weighed 13 tons. From the old bells miraculously survived, only one - the bell "Mazeppa." Others were destroyed in the 30s of last century.

Bell "Mazeppa" - the largest of the old bells in Ukraine. Its height is 125 cm, diameter - 155 cm Weight Precision bells, no one knows because no one has weighed it. Bell was cast in 1705 in Kiev studio wizard Athanasius Petrovich.

Now the bell tower of St. Sophia Cathedral is open to visitors. By purchasing a ticket, anyone can rise to the upper tier and view scenery of the central part of Kiev.

Трапезна церква

Трапезна церква

The Refectory Church

Next to St. Sophia Cathedral is a magnificent baroque palace floors. It is the home of the Metropolitan. Construction of the palace began in 1722. Eight years later, he finished as a one-story building. In 1731-1747 years. has been completed by the second floor. During the 1747-1757 years. was layered attic. These three phases of construction were just the beginning. Each of the Metropolitans in the second half of 18th and 19th centuries in trying to finish some part of the palace. Recent completion took place in 1913.

In Soviet times the house has hosted many metropolitan various organizations and agencies. In the last decades of the Soviet Union of the house occupied by the Museum of Architecture and the USSR Science and Technology Library Construction Committee of Ukraine. Now the building is being renovated.

In the years 1722-1730 were built refectory and a bakery. Refectory combined the monastic dining room and a church. It was erected in the forms of the Ukrainian baroque. In the early 19th century architect Andrew Melensky rebuilt the refectory in the warm church. Now available in room dining room exhibition "Architecture and monumental art in Kiev late X - XI in the first half."

In the second half of the 18th century, next to St. Sophia Cathedral was built in secret great body. In 1786, Sophia monastery was dissolved and no longer need in the cells. Therefore, in the case placed bursa.

In addition to these buildings in the monastery complex included four corps and South Gate Tower. These buildings have been preserved.

In 1843 he began the restoration of St. Sophia, which was led by Academician F. Sun. The work continued for 10 years. It was the most ambitious restoration of all time the cathedral.

From 1919 to 1929 Cathedral of St. Sophia cathedral was the newly formed Ukrainian autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). In 1929 UAOC eliminated, and the cathedral was closed. Since then, regular services in Sofia will not occur. Five years later, the ensemble of the monastery of St. Sophia St. Sophia was turned into a national park and is open to visitors.

Будинок митрополита


Metropolitan Home

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The architecture of St. Sophia, mosaics and necropolis

St. Sophia Cathedral is built of rubble stone and plinfy. Rows of stone and plinfy alternate. Arches and vaults were built without stone. Cementing material is mixed with lime mortar and sand tsemyanki (crushed brick). In the walls of the cathedral at the top of the walled ceramic pitchers golosniki. Thus, facilitated by the construction of walls and improved acoustics in the room of the temple.

Originally Sophia had five apses and five domes. Its walls were plastered. From the west and north of the temple was surrounded by open galleries.

Sophia was built in Byzantine style, but it still was not initially like the other Byzantine churches, and after surgery and completions into a completely original unique architectural masterpiece.

Modern dimensions of the cathedral are: length 37, width 55, height of 29 meters. It has two floors and nine apsidal. Crowned with domes of the Cathedral 19, 8 of which have ancient spherical shape, and 11 - baroque pear.

The interior of the temple is preserved since the 11th century, except for some parts. Since that time were kept 3,000 square meters. meters of frescos and 260 square meters. meters of mosaics. Mosaic Church, which used 177 shades of colors, are of great value. This is especially true six-meter image of the Virgin Oranta (the one that prays), which has survived to our time with little or no restoration work. Wall, on which the image is called "Indestructible wall," as she remained totally whole, even in the worst days for Sofia. None of the invaders, who at different times, captured Kiev, did not raise his hands in Orans. One can only imagine surprise travelers who came to the dilapidated church and saw in front of this great mosaic.

Recently, on the second floor of the cathedral posted yet another unique mosaic - picture "Looking into eternity", made of 15 000 Easter eggs.

Great value for the Ukrainian people has the necropolis of St. Sophia, the oldest of which is the burial sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise. Today, among scholars there is no consensus about the origin of the sarcophagus and its age. According to one of the main hypotheses sarcophagus was made in the Chersonese in the 9th century. There were going to bury the power of the Great Clement of Rome. In Kiev sarcophagus brought Vladimir the Great, and in 1054 he became the tomb of Yaroslav. Weight sarcophagus 6 tons.

The sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise repeatedly opened. At first it did back in the Russian times. Apparently it was then near Jaroslaw been put skeleton unknown woman aged about 50 years old and male skull (instead of females). At the same time the tomb was robbed (except the bones in the sarcophagus did not).

To research the sarcophagus opened four times: in 1936, 1939, 1964 and 2009. Research is almost proved that the male skeleton belongs to Yaroslav the Wise. Now it is not in the tomb - the body of Grand Duke study.

In addition to Yaroslav buried in St. Sophia Cathedral Kiev Metropolitan Kirill II (1282), St. Macarius (1497), Sylvester Kosov (1657), Gideon Chetvertinskaya (1690), Raphael Zaborovsky (1747), etc. . sarcophagus is kept in the refectory, the tomb of Princess Olga, who moved from the Church of the Tithes.

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Layout of buildings of the monastery of St. Sophia (the official website of the reserve, "Sophia of Kyiv")

Numbers denote: 1. St. Sophia Cathedral. 2. The bell tower of the cathedral. 3. House of Metropolitan. 4. The Refectory (warm Sofia). 5. School. 6. Brahma Zaborovsky. 7. South Tower. 8. Brethren's building. 9. Wall. 10. Bakery. 11. Connect Wall Corps.

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