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Kiev - The St. Volodymyr Cathedral
The St. Volodymyr Cathedral
The St. Volodymyr Cathedral

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The St. Volodymyr Cathedral

Located on Taras Shevchenko Boulevard, St. Vladimir's Cathedral was originally designed by Ivan Strom; its construction was begun by Alexander Beretti and Paul Sparro and completed by Vladimir Nikolayev. The construction and interior decorations took more than 30 years (1862-96). This seven dome three-aisled church resembles the buildings of old Ukraine only slightly. Its walls are loaded with ornamental details. The interior is decorated in the style of Prince Vladimir period. The interior completed by a team of outstanding artists, accomplished the work in eleven years. The main facade is decorated with a double door made of oxidized bronze with enamel, carving and openwork tracery. On the sides of the door there are figures of Princess Olga and Prince Vladimir made of embossed bronze and portrayed against a blue enamel background.

Inside the cathedral, the feeling is grand and spacious, light and richly painted, with splendid bronze ornaments, white marble walls and a marble floor. Most of the painting inside the cathedral was done by Victor Vasnetsov (1848-1926), whose work is closely associated with Kiev. He painted the entire central nave of the cathedral. His most outstanding masterpieces are a huge figure of the Mother of God with an Infant; Jesus Christ on the main cupola, the Evangelists on four sides beneath the cupola; and the scene of the Last Judgment over the Western entrance. He is also the painter of such magnificent historical murals as "The Baptism of the Kievans" and "The Baptism of Prince Vladimir".

After 1890, another outstanding artist, Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942), took part in painting the cathedral, mainly contributing large compositions in the chair gallery and icons for the altar screen of the Northern and Southern chapels.

Despite the eclecticism felt in all the cathedral's decoration, this memorial is one of the most significant and characteristic examples of monumental art of the second half and end of the nineteenth century.