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National Reserve "Sophia von Kiew"

Adress:str. Vladimirskaya, 24
Telephone: (044) 278-62-62, 278-61-52
Site: nzsk.org.ua
Work time: Geschlossene Donnerstag, von 10.00-to-18.00Sr

Founded in XI century, Sofia Kievska has been everyone's delight in any time, being a perfect example of art. An ancient Russian writer Ilarion said: " this church is amazing and glorious for all foreign countries...".

There were patronage St.Irina and St.Georgyi churches nearby St.Sophia church, prince and boyar's palaces made of stone, and wooden houses of Kievers. The main idea of it has been remained in subsequent times - after steppe nomads' invasion and also, in 1240 when it was sacked and destroyed during Tatar-Mongol invasion but it still held services; in XVII century, when the new wooden monastery buildings were built in its coaching inn; and in XVIII century, when the stone constructions were built around the church which still beautifies our Kiev. Many interesting events have been connected to St.Sophia Church, such as political, public and cultural events of life in Kyevan Rus.

Overehere, the ceremonial inaguration of Kiev Prince took place, meetings with foreign embassadors were held, the treaty of friendship was signed between princes. Excatly here, the first library in Kyevan Rus was established by the Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise, a workshop of miniature-painters used to be as well as a workshop of book copiests.

Nearby the walls of Sophia, the Kiev Veche (meeting of boyars and princes who ruled Rus) took place in past times. It has been the social centre of Kyevan Rus during all the history. In 1654, on an unforgettable January day, the Kievers were welcoming a historical decision of Pereyaslavskaya Rada in front of St.Sophia. The rebuilding of the church which took place in XVII-XVIII centuries changed a lot its original look but the construction of XI century has been remained after the reconstructions. The main dimensions of its interior are still the same (37x55m, 29 m height ). However, its conception and architecture has been changed. The eastern front of the church was added to five apses (it represented inside five naves structure), the church was surrounded with the opened galleries from the north, west and south - two level internal and one floor external ones). The temple has been crowned with 13 domes of hemisphere shape, covered with lead. Two towers with staircase have been installed non centrally in the western front of the church. The eastern part of the north gallery represented closed premises with a small apse where the Prince's burial-vaults had been (here the stone sarcophaguses of Yaroslav the Wise, Vsevolod Yaroslavich, Vladymyr Monomah and other figures of Kyevan Rus used to be located). The original picturesque look of the church was obtained due to the open stone-work - the laying of crimson quarrystones, thin layer of bricks based on pink cement grout. The church interior has been remained its original architecture of XI century: the walls, 12 columns deviding the space in five naves, columns and arches of the galleries and of course 13 domes with illuminated barrels. The main dome installed at the intersection of long and cross naves has been illuminating the central space of the church. In XVIII century, the one level galleries were added to one more level with domes and arches. The western two-level arcade of the central part has not been remained. Thus, the central underdomed space has changed its original look.

The wall paintings of XI century are of a special value - it is almost 260m2 of mosaic and almost 3,000m2 of frescoes - it is one third of all the painting which had been decorating the temple in past time. The fresco based on glue paint belongs to XVII century. Between XVII-XVIII century all the walls were pargeted and whitewashed. During XVIII century, the walls were being covered with oil-paint. In XIX, the frescoes were discovered, it was renewed with oil-paint remaining original painting. Empty spaces were added with some new painting and plaster. The organization of the museum has been made much effort and hard reconstruction works: cleaning (refinement) of mosaics, taking off oil layer from it etc. The new painting was done instead of the ancient one which has not been remained, that's why we can see here not only the fresco and mosaic of XI century but also some later works of XVII-XVIII and XIX centuries. The painting has mostly religious conception but it is valuable for us due to its art solution: painting, colour choice etc.

The harmonious combination of fresco and mosaic is a pecualiar feature of St.Sophia. The main dome and central apse is decorated with sparkling colourful mosaic attracting attention of any visitor. The mosaic represents the main personages of Christianity: Jesus Christ pictured at the high point of the dome, four figures of apostles around Him 9three of them were painted by a genious Russian artist M.Vrubel in 1884). In pier of barrel there are 12 figures of apostles (only image of st.Paul has been remained in mosaic). There are also four figures of Evangelists (image of Mark has been well remained). The scene "Annunciation" is pictured on the columns of the arch, before altar: figure of Gavryyl on the left, Blessed Virgin is on the right. The images of Saint Martyrs are above, in arches. The mosaic "Dejesus" ("Praying") has been well remained (above altar arch). The majestic six metres figure of Oranta is pictured in f the main altar arch; many figired composition "Eucharist" (a symbolic scene of apostles communion) pictured in apse and figures of saints and archdeacons above. The mosaic has been done on smalt base - glass and metal oxid, and some natural stone. The smalt blocks (1cm2) has been laid to damp plaster. The investigators think that almost eight painters worked on mosaic (their names are not known). The mosaic is suprisingly vivid and colourful, its palette consists of about 177 subtle shades. One third of total mosaic area has splendid golden colour background. the painting on it has been done mostly in blue, grey-white and purple colours. Each colour has many shades. The mosaic is characterised with the combination of big coloured spots seen from a distance (for example blue clothing of Oranta made in golden background, an image of rich purple throne pictured in the centre of "Eucharist" in combination with light grey-white clothing of apostles and blue tunic on Jesus). It also has a complicated representation of colour subtlety which is in faces, pleats of clothes etc. It is interesting to see an image of Gavryyl from "Annunciation" speaking about it. The mosaic of altar and main dome are harmoniously combined with all the painting, the rest part of Sophia is presented in fresco.


Das Staatliche Museum der Buch-und Verlagswesens Ukraine Das Staatliche Museum für ukrainische dekorative Volkskunst Goldene ausfahrten, Museum, Nebenstelle des Nationalen Naturschutzparks Sofia Kiew Apotheke-museum Museum der sportlichen Glorie der Ukraine (Staatlicher Ausschuß po körperliche Kultur und Aviation Museum Museum der Streitkräfte der Ukraine (Ministerium der Abwehr der Ukraine) Museum des Hetmans Das Kiever Museum für russische Kunst MAMAEVA SLOBODA, Etno-Kern Museum Hetman Museum of Eksperimentanium Nationales nauchno-prirodovedcheskiy Museum (Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften der Ukraine) Istoriko-architektonisches Denkmales-museum Kiewfestung Istoriko-denkt Museum M. Grushevskogo Museum der Geschichte des Kiew Museum of Arts namens Barbara und Bogdan Khanenko Nationales Museum Chernobyl National architecture and life museum «Pirogovo» Taras Shevchenko museum Das Museum für eine Strasse
Memorial-Komplex "The National Museum des Großen Vaterländischen Krieg 1941-1945". Das Nationale Museum für Medizin der Ukraine (Das Ministerium für Gesundheitswesen) "Kunst Arsenal" Museum komplexe Kunst und Kultur Das Zentrale Staatsarchiv für Literatur und Kunst der Ukraine National Reserve "Sophia von Kiew" Staat historisch-architektonischen Reserve "Ancient Kiev" Kiew Literarisch-Memorial Museum-Apartment Tychina Museum St. Andrew Museum Cyril Kirche - Baudenkmal von XII Jahrhundert. " Kiew literarisch-Memorial Museum von Maxim Rylskogo Kyiv Childrens Art Gallery Literatur-und House-Memorial Museum von Taras Schewtschenko in Kiew Maria Zankovetskaya Memorial Museum Museum der historischen Schätze der Ukraine (eine Zweigstelle des Nationalmuseums für Gesc Staatliches Museum für Theater, Film und Musik in der Ukraine Museum der Bienenzucht P.Kavaleridze Museum-Workshop Museum of Cultural Heritage (eine Zweigstelle des Museums der Geschichte von Kiew)
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