"St Sophia's Cathedral" St Sophia Cathedral Tip by iwys
St Sophia Cathedral, Kiev: 21 reviews and 50 photos
Saint Sophia's Cathedral is one of the four UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ukraine, and in 2007, it was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. The cathedral's name comes from the 6th century Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople, meaning Holy Wisdom, and dedicated to the Holy Wisdom of God, rather than any saint named Sophia.
It is believed to be a stone copy of the tenth century, wooden Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, which was built by Yaroslav I as a sign of gratitude to the citizens of Novgorod who had helped him secure the Kievan throne in 1019.
The first foundations were laid in 1037, but the cathedral took two decades to complete. The original structure was largely destroyed by the invading Tatars in 1240, and the current cathedral was largely built in the 17th and 18th centuries. The structure has five naves, five apses, and thirteen cupolas. It is surrounded by two-tier galleries from three sides. Measuring 37 by 55 meters, the exterior used to be faced with plinths. On the inside, it retains mosaics and frescos from the eleventh century, including a representation of Yaroslav's family, and the Virgin Orans.
Originally the cathedral was a burial place of the Kievan rulers including Vladimir Monomakh, Vsevolod Yaroslavich and the cathedral's founder Yaroslav I, although only the latter's grave still survives.
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