Location: Kiev, Ukraine
St Volodymyr's Cathedral
St Volodymyr's Cathedral also known as the Volodymyrsky Cathedral, Vladimirsky Cathedral, or St. Vladimir's Cathedral) is a cathedral in the centre of Kiev. It is one of the city's major landmarks and the mother cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchy, one of two major Ukrainian Orthodox Churches.
In 1852, Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow suggested a large cathedral should be built in Kiev to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the baptism of Kievan Rus' by prince Volodymyr the Great of Kiev (St. Volodymyr). People from all over the Russian Empire started donating to this cause, so that by 1859 the cathedral fund had amassed a huge sum of 100,000 rubles. The Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves) produced one million bricks and presented them to the cathedral as well. The design was executed in neo-Byzantine style initially by the architects I. Schtrom, P. Sparro, R. Bemhardt, K. Mayevsky, V. Nikolayev. The final version of the design belongs to Alexander Vikentievich Beretti. It is a traditional six-piered, three-apsed temple crowned by seven cupolas. The height to the cross of the main dome is 49 m (161 ft).
Vintage view of the cathedral (ca. 1885).
It is the cathedral's colourful interior that particularly strikes the eye. Mosaics were executed by masters from Venice. Frescoes were created under the guidance of Professor A. Prakhov by a group of famous painters: S. Kostenko, V. Kotarbinsky, Mikhail Nesterov, M. Pymonenko, P. Swedomsky, Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Vrubel, V. Zamyraylo, and others. The painting of the Holy Mother of God by Vasnetsov in the altar apse of the cathedral impresses by its austere beauty.
The entrance door is adorned with relief bronze sculptures of St. Olga (Princess Olga of Kiev) by sculptor R. Bakh and St. Vladimir (sculptor H. Zaieman) against a blue background. The iconostasis is carved from the white marble brought from Carrara. The cathedral was completed in 1882, however, the paintings were fully completed only in 1896.
Spiritual leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchy continue to conduct religious services and prayers in St. Volodymyr's Cathedral. All the ceremonies are conducted in Ukrainian, accompanied during religious holidays by the Cathedral choir, which is often joined by opera singers