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SAINT SOPHIA'S CATHEDRAL

Saint Sophia’s Cathedral is a unique monument, one of the oldest cathedrals of Kievan Rus. They say it was built in 1017 by Yaroslav the Wise. The biggest collection of frescos and rare cobalt glasses in the world is stored here. People believe that 40 craftsmen and 80 apprentices built it in 2-2,5 years. The cathedral was robbed and ruined multiple times during the centuries. It used to have a typical byzantine dome structure. Now we can see some fragments of the old laying. Modern Saint Sophia’s Cathedral is a tribute to the posterior baroque tradition. The cathedral is included in the list of 100 Wonders of the World. It is protected by UNESCO. The National Sanctuary Complex "Sophia of Kyiv" is located here now.

  • The Virgin Orans, Oranta is a 6-meter-high mosaic is stored here. It is a depiction of the Virgin Mary in prayer. It is made of stone and glass plates of 177 shades of colors. The secret of the cobalt glass was never discovered. There are 260 m2 of mosaics, 3000 m2 of frescos and more than 300 antique graffiti. 

  • The cathedral used to be a burial place of the Kievan rulers. For example, the sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise is stored here. There is a possibility that the legendary library of his is still here.

  • There are monastery buildings of the 17th century in Ukrainian Baroque style around the cathedral. A bell tower built by Ivan Mazepa is a centerpiece. The four tiers are narrowing up and they are gilded. The carillons are placed here as well. It is interesting that the angels on the building are made in the image of Cossack in żupan (a part of Ukrainian national costume typical for the times from the beginning of the 16th to half of the 18th century).

- Visit the museum and other territories of the sanctuary. Try to describe your feelings in one sentence. The most interesting review will be awarded!

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