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Encyclopedia > Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv
Present exterior is the result of 17th-century remodeling.
Present exterior is the result of 17th-century remodeling.

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev (Sobor Sviatoyi Sofiyi, Собор Святої Софії in Ukrainian) is an outstanding architectural monument of Kievan Rus' and the principal cathedral or Kievan metropolitan.

The cathedral's name comes from the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople. The first foundations were laid in 1037 by prince Yaroslav I the Wise. The exterior was covered with plinths. Dimensions: 3755 meters. The cathedral has 5 naves, 5 apses, and (quite surprisingly for a Byzantine structure) 13 cupolas (domes). It is surrounded by two-tier galleries from three sides.

The cathedral achieved its present Ukrainian baroque aspect after its reconstruction in the late 17th century, completed by 1707. On the inside, it has mosaics and frescos from the 11th century.

In 1934 the structure was confiscated by the Soviets and designated an architectural and historical museum/reserve, including the surrounding architectural ensemble of the 17th18th century. The cathedral was the first Ukrainian patrimony to be inscribed in the World Heritage List.

See also

External links

  • Info for tourists (http://travel.kyiv.org/old/churches/uach2_e.htm)

  Results from FactBites:
Travel to Ukraine. Ukrainian Churches. St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv (3154 words)
The cathedral retained its pivotal role in the subsequent years: looted and dev-astated after the raids of the steppe nomads in 1240, it was still the central church in Kyiv: in the seventeenth century new structures of wood were erected in the cathedral courtyard.
The cathedral was crowned with thir-teen semispherical domes coated with sheet-lead.
A great role in the interior decor of the cathedral was played by the floors: the central part was of mosaic, while the floors in the aisles, on the lofts and in the burial chamber were of ceramic tiles with a colored slip-glaze finish.
  More results at FactBites »



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