Saint Sophia Cathedral
One of the most famous spiritual places in Kiev is St. Sophia Cathedral. According to chronicles, it was built in 1037 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise on the site of the victory over the Pechenezh army.
For more than 1,000 years, the site has been subjected to multiple reconstructions and additions. That's why in our time its appearance has changed considerably and has only become more interesting.
On its territory was located the first and largest library in Russia. It should be noted that the name "Sophia" is a Greek term meaning "wisdom".
In 1240, the building and its valuables were destroyed by the Mongol horde, but the conquerors did not "bury" the temple itself. Later St. Sophia of Kiev was restored.
A serious approach to the restoration of the cathedral was shown by the outstanding hetman Ivan Mazepa. The building was reconstructed in a new way, the style was "Cossack Baroque", after which it received additional floors.
Many of the architectural details are literally astonishing. This applies to the niches, the altar, the roof of the building, the protruding elements. Of particular interest are the 19 domes that adorn the church, some of which are made in the form of a sphere, while others are pear-shaped. Connoisseurs of Byzantine style and original solutions in architecture will definitely like St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. A huge number of tourists come here to see the ancient paintings, perfectly preserved on the walls of the cathedral. The mosaics and several thousand square meters of unique frescoes deserve attention.
The tomb of Yaroslav the Wise is considered especially interesting. According to most historians, it is one of the oldest graves in the necropolis. The sarcophagus had held the ashes of the great Kiev leader for many years.