44_1.gif (197235 bytes) 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."
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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.
It took six years to erect the church and fifteen more to decorate its interior.

When 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.
The iconostasis and the pulpit were made in St. Petersburg and then broughtto Kyiv to be installed in the church, but it does not make much difference since most of the craftsmen engaged in making the iconostasis and pulpit in St. Petersburg were ethnic Ukrainians anyway the icons were painted in Kyiv.
The church was consecrated in 1767. The beauty of the church and of the place itself where it sits, solemn religious ceremonies attracted a lot of people who came to worship and enjoy the sight.

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?

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The Pulpit

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Prince Volodymyr Chosing the Faith

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An Angel of the iconostasis.
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St.John the Evangelist.
The iconostasis. Carwed wood.
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An Angel. The pulpit. Carwed wood.
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The crusifix at the top of the iconostasis.