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FROM THE CYCLE EXCURSIONS IN KIEV
THE ARTICLE "ST. MICHAEL'S CATHEDRAL"

St. Michael's Cathedral is the name of the cross-domed temple with six columns, gilded dome (which gave its name to the cathedral) and three naves founded by grandson of Yaroslav the Wise Sviatopolk Izyaslavich in 1108. It was built over Borychev descent on the slope of the mountain, overlooking the Dnieper River, in honor of the deputy Warriors - Archangel Michael after Svjatopolk has defeated the Cumans. Material for building was stones and bricks of plinfy which were consolidated with lime-cement mortar using the technique of "mixed brickwork." Each wall of the temple is decorated with unique frescoes and mosaics that brought him worldwide fame. The cathedral was consecrated in 1113. Here is buried Sviatopolk II and several next generations.

St. Michael's Cathedral survived during numerous enemy invasions and natural disasters. In 1240 it was looted and partially destroyed by hordes of Batu Khan, who managed to remove gilded dome. But the house stood and  in XIV century it became the cathedral church of the monastery of the same name.

Later the church was subjected to multiple reconstructions. Significant changes in the appearance of the house there when Governor-General became D. Golitsyn: at this time Barbara chapel was decorated with magnificent carved iconostasis and a large number of church plates. Mazepa decorated the house with exquisite and rich forms of Ukrainian (which is also called Mazepian or Cossack) Baroque church thus became European-refined. Seven domes appeared instead of one, they grew up around the building chapels and walls reinforced buttresses. Red flaky gold covered domes and facades became decorated with ornament, made by architect I.Hryhorovych-Barsky.

1935 proved being fatal for the monastery, because its buildings were savagely blown. The reason was the project of the government center in the area. But people managed to save some mosaics and frescoes, which were taken off before the destruction of the monastery walls. Parts of figures of saints are kept in the Cathedral of St. Sophia ("Stephen and Thaddeus," "Eucharist"), mosaic titled "Demetrios" fresco scene "Annunciation" and a fragment of fresco Samuel images are in the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

After 60 years the temple was to return former glory. In restoring the building there were involved the best artists from all over the country. Some surviving frescoes and mosaics were returned to the temple. Today they can be seen on the walls of this magnificent building.

by Ostap Ukrainetz

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