Best of Kiev » Monument to Princess Olga
Address: Украина, Киев, Михайловская пл.
The monument to Princess Olga standing on Mikhailovska (St. Michael’s) square in Kiev is a sculptural composition consisting of central monument to grand princess, pedestal to Cyril and Methodius, the enlighteners of Slavic people, located to the right, and monument to St. Andrew the First Called situated to the left from the Princess. In August 1909 the place where the monument to Princess Olga supposed to be erected was holily hallowed. The composition was made of concrete that was a popular building material at that time. The idea to mount high reliefs showing Olga’s acts remained unrealized, because it was impossible to create them of concrete. On the pedestal there was a tablet with lettering on Slavonic: “She will be the first of Russians to enter the Kingdom of Heaven because she is praised by sons of Russia as a leader” and an inscription below: “Bestowal of the Sovereign Emperor to Kiev City”. Grand Princess Olga ruled over Kiev in the middle of Xth century. She was among the first to embrace Christianity and afterwards Russian Orthodox Church consecrated her saint. According to legend St. Andrew the First Called standing right on this place (St. Michael’s square) and pointing to the Kiev hills pronounced oracular utterances: “Here God's grace will shine”. Slavic people owe to Cyril and Methodius their alphabet. Architect Kavaleridze has brilliantly foreseen a great spiritual power of precisely this union of these famed in legends characters. The beautiful monument didn’t last long. In 1919 the sculpture of Princess Olga was knocked off pedestal, cleaved in two and buried under the monument and in 1923 the statures of apostles and enlighteners were demounted. In 1926 instead of the monument a public garden was laid out. In 1996 diggings were conducted in consequence of which the parts of Princess Olga’s broken stature were found. The measures on recreation of the monument were taken and this time white marble was chosen as a main material, and pedestal was made of pink granite. The statuesque ensemble dedicated to Princess Olga, the first and yet the only woman head of the state in Ukrainian history, was unveiled on the Day of Kiev, May 25, 1996.
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