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St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Ca­thedral

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Ca­thedral was laid in 1108 by Kyiv Prince Sviatopolk Iziaslavich (Christian name Michael), grandson of Yaroslav the Wise, in the centre of the princely St. Demetrius Monastery known from the 11th century.

The temple was built of stone and brick-plinth in the “opus mixtum” technique during 1108-1113. Later this cross-domed six-pier temple with three apses, narthex and one golden cupola was named Golden-Domed. Its walls were decorated with mosaics and frescoes. In the 15th-18th centuries the cathedral was reconstructed, remodelled and became seven-domed. Soon a sublime five-tiered iconostasis was installed inside the temple. It was a gift from Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Skoropadsky. In the late 17th century, St. Barbara’s side-altar was attached to the north side of the cathedral. A shrine with relics of the virgin-martyr is kept there. In 1716-1719 a three-tiered stone belfry (49m high) was erected. It completed the image of the cathedral as a gem of Ukrainian Baroque. Later on, St. Catherine’s side-altar was attached to the south side of the cathedral. During the Soviet times the temple had to be demolished. In 1934-1935 the authorities allowed to take off the mosaics and frescoes. 45 square metres of mosaics were saved and are now kept at Ukrainian and Russian museums. On August 14, 1937 the cathedral was blown up. Two scholars, F.Ernst and M.Makarenko, who tried to save the temple became victims of Stalin’s terror. On May 24, 1997 began the cathedral’s revival. A message to the descendants was placed under the granite slab in honour of this event. A plaque in memory of M.Makarenko was placed on the wall near the monastery’s Economic Gate. In May 2000, Patriarch Filaret consecrated the central chancel of the cathedral.

To the left of the belfry, near the monastery wall, is the memorial sign to the victims of the Great Famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine, installed in September 1992.

In the centre of Mykhailivska Square is the monument to Princess Olga who was the first Christian ruler in Kyivan Rus. Near are the statues of St. Andrew, the First-called Apostle who predicted emergence of Kyiv as the future Christian shrine, and of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Slavonic enlighteners.

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Kiev region, 8 Tryohsvyatytelska St, Kyiv

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