What is special about the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev?

St. Sophia Cathedral — an outstanding monument of old Russian architecture of XI century, has always fascinated anyone who at least once in his life seen. Dressed in a lush Baroque clothes, the Saint Sophia Cathedral blends seamlessly with the picturesque monastery ensemble of the XVIII century of St. Sophia, erected in the Ukrainian Baroque style.

The history of this temple is very complicated and not entirely clear. It is called St. Sophia's Cathedral and St. Sophia Cathedral. There is no consensus on the issue date of the construction of the temple. According to one version, the construction of St. Sophia Cathedral was begun by Vladimir I Svyatoslavich, the second Church was built under his son, Yaroslav the Wise, roughly the period 1020-1037. "First Novgorod chronicle" says that the St. Sophia Cathedral was founded by Yaroslav the Wise in 1017. At the same time, "the Tale of bygone years" tells how Yaroslav laid the Church of St. Sophia in 1037. Perhaps the construction of the Cathedral was conducted in two phases, but significantly that in 1051 it has been the first Metropolitan of Kiev (until that time the metropolitans were chosen in Byzantium from the Greeks), was ordained Hilarion.

The commonly accepted version says that St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev was built in honor of the chief temple of the Greek Church of Constantinople Cathedral – mother of God-Oranta, the embodiment of which was Sophia (translation — wise). The site for the temple was chosen symbolically – it was here in 1036 in battle with the Pechenegs to Kiev won, and in 1037 Yaroslav the Wise laid the Cathedral of the same name with the great of Constantinople the Hagia Sophia.

That the Kiev Sophia Cathedral had repeatedly burned, rebuilt, quite detrimental to the frescoes and mosaics. To our days of five thousand square meters of frescoes, created in the 11th century, survived only about two thousand. At the end of the 17th century frescoes Sabelli lime. And in 1843 they again were accidentally discovered when he fell off a small piece of plaster, and the murals of the 11th century. However, the clearing of the walls was carried out is unprofessional, and workers in some places removed and fresco painting. Mosaics originally occupied a huge area, but still only the third part. Mosaic palette includes 177 shades. Silver color consists of 9 shades, gold – 25, red – 19, yellow 23, green 34, blue – 21, svidetelstvuet on the highest professional level of masters. Pieces of glazes, which are laid on wet plaster, were placed under a certain inclination such that the incident rays of light reflected at different angles and created a luminous sparkling surface that attaches to the Cathedral mosaics special expressiveness.

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