St. Sophia Cathedral

St. Sophia Cathedral

St. Sophia Cathedral is located in the center of Kiev and was erected in the period of Yaroslav the Wise rule. For this reason the Cathedral is the unique and incredibly valuable cultural heritage of Ukraine. It is one of major historical and architectural monuments of Kievan Rus times. St. Sophia Cathedral was built in honour of the Constantinople Holy Mother Oranta cathedral.

The place of the building was chosen exactly where Kievan people defeated the warlike Pechenegian tribe in 1036. During the building of the temple, Greek engineering and architectural techniques were used, for example, two stair towers leading to the roof-top are sure the traditions of Byzantium. On the roof, or as it is named yet, choir, Ukrainian princes used to proclaim their decrees or to meet high-ranked persons. Under the roof-top the books belonging to the temple are still kept.

St. Sophia Cathedral was many times exposed to destruction and elimination. It was not once robbed, burned, but one cannot ruin the sacred object yet. As for interior decoration of the temple, there was less destruction than outside. Strikingly beautiful mosaics, paintings and frescos made by byzantine masters have reached to our days in the original state. Visiting St. Sophia Cathedral you can see the famous mosaic "HolyMother Oranta" or "the Unbreakable Wall". Also the dome mosaic "Christ Pantokrator" (The Allmighty) is very beautiful.

In St. Sophia Cathedral Ukrainian princes were traditionally buried, here is the sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise buried in 1054. The main sacred object the temple till today is a crucifix brought by the duchess Olga from Constantinople, and Monomakh's Cap.

In the day of Independence of Ukraine - on Augusts, 24, in St. Sophia Cathedral different confessions’ representatives conduct their sacred liturgy. And as the legend says, while the mosaic of HolyMother Oranta exists, Kiev will stand unbreakable.

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