Friday, April 22, 2011

St. Sophia, Kiev

• HDR Photo

~~ Photo Series ~~ Churches ~~

The cathedral's name comes from the 6th-century Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople (meaning Holy Wisdom, and dedicated to the Holy Wisdom rather than a specific saint named Sophia). According to a less popular theory, its model was the 13-domed oaken Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod (ca. 989), which Yaroslav I the Wise determined to imitate in stone as a sign of gratitude to the citizens of Novgorod who had helped him secure the Kievan throne in 1019.
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After the Russian Revolution of 1917 and during the Soviet antireligious campaign of the 1920s, the government plan called for the cathedral's destruction and transformation of the grounds into a park "Heroes of Perekop" (after a Red Army victory in the Russian Civil War in Crimea). The cathedral was saved from destruction primarily with the effort of many scientists and historians. Nevertheless, in 1934, Soviet authorities confiscated the structure from the church, including the surrounding seventeenth–eighteenth century architectural complex and designated it as an architectural and historical museum.

St. Sophia, Kiev


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