|One can say
that the city of Kyiv was founded three times. An old
legend, recorded in the ancient chronicles, says there
were three brothers named Kyi, Shchek and Khoriv who
founded the city on the hills above the Dnipro River. So,
one can say it was a legendary foundation (though recent
archaeological excavations have revealed evidence that
suggests that there might be a grain of truth in the old
legend). But the very first, "spiritual"
foundation dates to the time when one of the Apostles of
Jesus Christ, St. Andrew, St. Peter's brother, arrived at
the place where Kyiv was to spring several centuries
later, erected a cross on the top of a high hill and
announced several centuries in advance that a mighty city
would sprawl over several hills and dales along the river
boasting many beautiful multi-domed churches St. Andrew
is surely not a legendary figure but some historians
doubt whether he really did travel from the far away
Palestine to the hilly banks of the Dnipro.
But in any case one can say that the erection of the cross by St. Andrew and his prophecy can be regarded as a “spiritual foundation* of the city of Kyiv.
|And the actual, "physical" foundation took place sometime in the fifth century AD. But the prophetic words must have been heard not only by St. Andrew's companions but also by some of the locals who had preserved them in their collective memory and passed them from generation to generation. The ancient chronicles say that the cross erected by St. Andrew was preserved and was seen as late as 13th century when a wooden church was built on the hill where this cross had once stood. The church was called Vozdvizhenska, that is "the Church of the Erection of the Cross."|
In the turbulent centuries that followed, full of wars and fires, the Vozdvizhenska Church perished. In 1744 the Empress of the Russian Empire (of which Ukraine was a part then) paid a visit to the city of Kyiv.
In England the style's
immediate precursors were the Arts and Crafts Movement of
William Morris, who established the importance of a vital
style in the applied arts. On the European
continent, Art Nouveau was also influenced by
experiments with expressive line by the painters Paul
Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-LautrecThe movement
was also partly inspired by a vogue for the linear
patterns of Japanese prints. Michurin decided to build
something that would serve a reliable foundation and at
the same time could be of some use apart from purely
constructional. That's why we can see now a two-storied
building squatting right under the majestic church like a
pedestal. Michurin also introduced a drainage system
which has kept functioning ever since.
you walk inside, you cannot help being impressed by the
lavishness and at the same graceful beauty of the
interior decorations, and looking at all these splendours
one stops wondering why it took so long to decorate the
church with paintings and stucco work.
The iconostasis (a wooden partition
with tiersof icons in it separating the altar from the
rest of the Orthodox church) rises high into the air. It
is a piece of excellent workmanship unrivalled in the
18th century Ukraine.
St. Andrew's Church has survived the Bolshevik atheism with few losses and little damage to both the exterior and interior but the cross of St. Andrew disappeared in the turbulent years of the revolution of 1917 and the Civil War that followed. After Ukraine regained its independence in 1917, the “stylobate” house under the church was put to a proper use — now it houses the Kyiv Religious Academy and Seminary.
The church itself is still "a museum" but one hopes that soon enough the religious services will resume in the church and it will once again acquire its proper status. St. Andrew's Church is a true architectural marvel and it would be futile to give it justice bytrying to describe the exquisite gracefulness of its shape. One has to see it with one's own eyes. It is unique in its design and there is not a single one like it anywhere else in the world. Could it be that it has attained an ideal?
An Angel of the iconostasis.
St.John the Evangelist.
The iconostasis. Carwed wood.
An Angel. The pulpit. Carwed wood.
The crusifix at the top of the iconostasis.