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Excursions in Kiev & suburbs » Saint Sophia Cathedral

Saint Sophia Cathedral

The famous Sofiivsky (St. Sophia’s) Cathedral is the main temple of Kievan Rus founded by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1037, which survived over the centuries and till the present days. Today the complex is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The mosaics and frescoes of St. Sophia were created in the middle of the XI century by Byzantine masters whom Yaroslav the Wise specially invited from Constantinople.
The most valuable are St. Sophia’s Cathedral’s wall paintings of XI century, 260 square meters of mosaics and approximately 3,000 square meters of frescoes painted with water colors on the wet plaster. The combination of mosaics and frescoes in a single decorative ensemble is a peculiar characteristic feature of “Sophia Kyivska”. Sparkling colorful mosaics decorate the main dome and the central apse, attracting the attention of incoming visitors to the altar part of the temple. The mosaics depict the main characters of the Christianity, images of Saints, scenes from the New Testament. The interior of the cathedral remained almost unchanged during its lifetime. Everyone who crosses the threshold of the cathedral is impressed with the greatness of the central figure in the central apse – the figure of the Virgin Mary with her hands raised in prayer. The height of the mosaic is 6 meters. It's made of stone and glass plates of about 177 different colors and shades. Mosaics depicting the Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church are astonishingly well-balanced.
The cathedral’s architectural forms and paintings create a unity. Frescoes, like embroidery, adorn the walls, pillars and arches. Unlike other samples of Byzantine religious paintings that have survived to our time, some frescoes in the cathedral reproduce not the biblical but laical themes, among them are the portraits of the Yaroslav the Wise’s family. XI century paintings decorating the cathedral’s bell-tower depict the games which were organized in Constantinople the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos in honor of Kiev Princess Olga. The frescoes depict mimes, jugglers, musicians, dancers, animal trainers, chariot races. On the 76-meter-high cathedral’s bell-tower there is the largest bell in Ukraine weighing 13 tons.
St Sophia’s National Historical Preservation Area totaling to 125 hectares is formed by religious constructions built in XVII-XIX centuries, made in the Ukrainian Baroque style: the Refectory, Bursa, Metropolitan Home, the cells of monks and others.
National Historical Preservation Area of Sophia Kyivska is the city’s landmark, our history and pride.

If you want you can stay on the territory of the monastery’s complex after the end of the excursion till the time when the complex is closed for visitors.
Duration of excursion: 1 hour.

There are group discounts (for groups consisting of 4 and more persons).
The price includes:
Transport: place of residence – Sofiivsky (St. Sophia’s) Cathedral;
Entrance tickets;
Excursion with a personal guide (all languages) throughout the whole territory;
Climbing up the Lavra Bell Tower (depending on the season).

For more information, please contact us.

Price from: 17,00 €

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