St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev - cultural heritage of Ukraine
In the heart of Kiev there is a significantthe construction of the times of Kievan Rus - St. Sophia Cathedral, for good reason he was included in the UNESCO list. It is really an interesting and unique temple, a piece of the history and culture of the Ukrainian people. The year of construction of the cathedral is unknown: some researchers tend to think that it was built by Yaroslav the Wise, while others insist that the construction began under Prince Vladimir. Whatever it was, but, despite its age, almost 1000 years, the temple has survived to this day.
It is known that the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev was erectedapproximately at the same time with the Constantinople Sophia Cathedral. The Ukrainian temple was built like the cathedral of Our Lady-Oranta, which is in Constantinople. The construction of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev was timed to the victory of the people of Kiev over the Pechenegs, in the place of the decisive battle and the temple was erected. Its architecture in many ways resembles the Byzantine style, with the exception of some nuances, so it is assumed that for its erection invited masters from Constantinople.
St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev was on the verge of more than oncedeath. For the first time Andrei Bogoliubsky attacked the temple in 1169, then the cathedral almost completely burned down during a fire in 1180. The horde of Khan Batu in 1240 also had a negative impact on the state of the church, many relics at the time were stolen or destroyed. In the 15th century, St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev was plundered by Crimean Tatars. Then came a period of decline. Revival of the temple was occupied by Ivan Mazepa in the XVII century.
The interior of the cathedral is still the samedelightfully and practically did not suffer from vandalism and time. On the walls there are still many frescoes, mosaics and graffiti. There are murals made by Byzantine painters in the 11th century, that is, when the temple itself was built. The mosaic works are best preserved, their palette is very rich and has up to 170 shades. Frescos are not all preserved and many of them were updated in the XVII century. Some of them were cleaned in the XIX century to the original form and covered with oil, the damaged frescoes of the master were painted.
St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev also became a place wherethe remains of princes of Kievan Rus rested. Here found the sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise, his son Vsevolod, as well as his grandsons - Vladimir Monomakh and Rostislav Vsevolodovich. In the temple were kept such shrines as "Cap of Monomakh", which Vladimir gave the Emperor of Byzantium, as well as a crucifix brought from Constantinople by Queen Olga.
With the advent of the Soviet government in the twentieth centurySt. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev was under threat of destruction. At that time, many monuments of Christian culture were simply demolished, but France stood for the church, because the wife of King Henry I Anna was the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, the founder of the cathedral. In 1934, it was decided to create a museum-reserve here.
St. Sophia Cathedral and to this day is a museum,for this reason he does not belong to any kind of religious organization. Divine services are held only once a year - on Independence Day of Ukraine, on August 24, then representatives of different faiths gather to pray for the well-being of the country.