Saint Vladimir Cathedral ||Address: 20 Taras Shevchenko Blvrd.|
Saint Vladimir Cathedral is one of the most beautiful temples in Kiev. It was built in the 19th century to commemorate the 900th anniversary of Russian baptizing. Russian Emperor Nicolas I himself approved the project of the cathedral and ordered to collect money all over Russia. By 1859 more than 100,000 rubles were donated by people of different regions of the country. Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra donated one million bricks for the cathedral construction.
Original design of the cathedral was elaborated by Saint Petersburg architect Strom and Kiev eparchy architect Sparro. Later the project was completed by architect Beretti.
The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Prince Vladimir, who baptized Russia and made Christianity official state religion. Interiors and exteriors of the cathedral are designed in Old Byzantine style, which makes the cathedral similar to temples of Old Russia in the times of Saint Prince Vladimir. The cathedral topped with seven domes is 49 meters high. The door of the cathedral decorated with relieves is a masterpiece. Relieves depict Princess Olga, who was the first one in Russia to adopt Christianity, and her grandson prince Vladimir, who baptized Russia.
Saint Vladimir Cathedral was put up in 1862-1896. In 1896 it was solemnly consecrated at presence of Emperor Nicolas II and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Saint Vladimir Cathedral is world famous for its unique frescos and mosaics. Outstanding Russian artists, such as Vasnetsov, Vrubel, Nesterov and others, as well as Venetian masters, participated in the cathedral decoration. Salvation and symbolic history of Russian Orthodox Christianity is the main subject that unifies all the frescos and mosaics of the cathedral, including those treating the Gospel subjects, depicting martyrs, apostles and saints.
Among the most precious frescoes of Saint Vladimir Cathedral are Vasnetsov's works The Baptizing of Kievers, Virgin with the Child, The Baptizing of Vladimir and others. Many compositions that were created in Saint Vladimir Cathedral for the first time later were repeated in other churches and temples all over the country.
The iconstand of the cathedral is made of gray carrara marble. Multicolored marbles from Italy, France, Belgium and Spain decorate the walls and the floor of the temple.
Brilliant work of artists and special meaning of the temple explain why Saint Vladimir Cathedral is such a popular place for pilgrimage. Contemporaries called Saint Vladimir Cathedral "the first inspired example of Russian religious art", and it still attracts visitors with its majesty and beauty.