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Saint-Sophia Cathedral

Listed under Churches & Abbeys in Kiev, Ukraine.

  • Photo of Saint-Sophia Cathedral
  • Photo of Saint-Sophia Cathedral
Photo of Saint-Sophia Cathedral
Photo by flickr user pink_fish13
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The fresh white walls, green, gold tipped domes of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev make it one of the city’s most striking and familiar monuments. There seems to be some local pride in it.

Byzantine in style the cathedral was painstakingly erected over two 11th Century decades. Its symmetrical appearance has five naves, 12 rounded green cupolas and one central golden one. The outside, all white looks clean and ageless, but inside its delicate frescos and mosaics, which were installed during construction, give away its age.

In the 30’s Saint Sophia narrowly escaped demolition and was instead turned, by the Soviet authorities into a historical and architectural museum. The Soviets pledged to return it to church use, but due to its history of usage by many different schools of faith there is contention about who gets it, which is a shame. It’s a beautiful religious building and it would be nice to see its naves and chapels reopened for business, though when I visited several years ago I found the museum fascinating, despite its slightly basic and moth eaten atmosphere.

Written by  Kynan Wieltz.

Other expert and press reviews

“Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra”

'Designed to rival Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, Kiev's Saint-Sophia Cathedral symbolizes the 'new Constantinople', capital of the Christian principality of Kiev, which was created in the 11th century in a region evangelized after the baptism of St Vl… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

St. Sophia Cathedral is really beautiful. It was built by the order of Yaroslav Mudry (Wise). He and his wife was buried there. /here are some pictures of St. Sophia Cathedral

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