St. Michael’s Cathedral


Address: Volodymirsky descent, 2

The State Historical and Cultural Reserve

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral is one of the oldest monasteries in Kiev, which includes the church of Archangel Michael destroyed in 30-s of the last century rebuilt in the middle 90-s and the refectory church of St. Ioan Bogoslov. The temple was built in the Ukrainian Baroque style, and it was the first temple with gilded dome in Rus, whereof this unusual tradition originated.
The temple was founded in 1108-1113 and was devoted to Archangel Michael – the patron of Kiev. In the XII century there was the burial place of several generations of princes in the monastery. At the church the monastery was built, which by the legend was founded by the Kyiv Metropolitan Mikhail. In 1108 the Great Barbara’s holy relics were moved here from Constantinople.
During the Tatar-Mongol invasion the monastery was looted and greatly damaged, and then it was complete desolated. Only in 1620 it was restored by hegumen Iov Boretsky and soon the Cathedral returned to its former condition. During the XVII and XVIII centuries it was reconstructed repeatedly.
The church got its modern form in 1746, when it became seven-domed. In the 30-s of the XX century the temple was dismounted and the relics kept there, were given to other museums and churches: relics of St. Barbara were moved to the Vladimirsky Cathedral, mosaics were removed and transferred to St. Sophia’s Cathedral, some frescos were given to the museums in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Altar apses, walls up to a certain height and the main dome left here from the ancient church. Here are also preserved the ancient mosaics and frescos, as well as two panels with relief images of riding horsemen. They are believed to be St. George and St. Dmitri.
St. Michael’s Cathedral was rebuilt in 2000. The central part of the Cathedral, as well as the Varvarinskaya and Ekaterininskaya parts opened for public liturgy. A ceremony of carrying the St. Barbara’s relics around the monastery is held in the cathedral each year.
It happens on 4 December in memory of a wonderful recovering of the monastery inhabitants from the pestilence in 1710 and in 1770-1771 and from cholera in 1830, and on July 11 in honour of the putting the St. Barbara’s relics to the monastery. Today, at the bell tower of the monastery there is a modern electric chiming clock and the keyboard-chiming musical instrument carillon intended for performance of complex tones by specially trained musician.