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Kyiv: Saint Sophia Cathedral with Related Monastic Buildings, St. Cyril's and St. Andrew's Churches, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (extension of Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra)

Date de soumission : 26/01/2009
Critères: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Catégorie : Culturel
Soumis par :
Ministry of Regional Development and Construction of Ukraine
État, province ou région :
Ukraine, Kyiv
Ref.: 5423

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St. Cyril's Church: N 50 29 0, E 30 28 19

St. Andrew's Church: N 50 27 31, E 30 31 05

St. Cyril's Church in Kyiv is an outstanding monument of world culture. It has preserved the 12th century architecture and 12th, 17th and 19th centuries monumental painting. It's a unique East-Christian construction of Kyivan Rus with typical for the epoch of feudal wars peculiarities. The unassertive, firm, fundamental architecture reveals the second after sacral function of this structure - the function of the fortress.

In ancient times, St. Cyril's church was hexastyle, three-naved, cruciform domed structure (internal dimensions 31x 18.4 m x 28 m). The area of the building is 870 sq. m., the total area of the walls is 2852 sq. m. The general architecture of the monument is restrained and ascetic, and strives for Romanesque style. The modest decor underlined the simplicity and laconism of the building (an arcature belt, which decorated the upper part of perimeter of walls and drum of the domes).

The walls of the church are made of brick-plinth by means of even-thick layer masonry. The reveals and the doorways were decorated with fresco painting, the remains of which have been preserved on the south doorway. The wooden frames with small round window-panes were mounted into windows.

The building is rectangular in shape. On the east, three naves of the church end with three semicircular apses that form altar. In ancient times the church had additional buildings from the side of north, south and east facades.

During the period of repair and reconstruction works in the 17th-18th centuries, the exterior of St. Cyril's Church significantly changed. As a result of reconstructions, especially in 1748-1760 under the guidance of the famous Ukrainian architect I. Grygorovych-Barsky, St. Cyril's church acquired the features of Ukrainian baroque. The central and the lateral domes were given a baroque, pear-shaped form, the walls of the building were decorated with molding, over the western facade a big baroque fronton was erected, adorned with ornamental decor.

From the earliest times till nowadays, the interior of St. Cyril's church has almost been preserved. The west part of the church - narthex, in south and west walls of which, four deep niches are located, named arcosolia. In ancient times, it was a princely burial place. In the south part of the narthex, the baptistry was located. The existence of the baptistry is an architectural peculiarity of spatial structure planning of the building.

The church is well illuminated by 12 big windows of the dome drum, and 13 windows on the facades. Six thick cross columns divide the interior into three naves. At the intersection of the nave and the transept at a height of 28 m, the central dome of the church rises above. Behind the transept, the altar is located that consists of three apses.

The first floor is occupied by the loft. It was a place for the prince and his court. The narrow stairs fiom the narthex lead to the loft. In the south part of the loft, a small chapel with one apse and a small semicircular nich is located. One determines it as a separate princely chapel. The loft are separated from the main part of the premise by a carved marble parapet of the 19th century. In old times instead of marble there was a slate parapet. The church preserves the grandiose integral ensemble of the 12th century fresoes (800 sq. m), monumental tempera portrait of the 17th century and also highly artistic works of the 19th century executed in oils. The fresco ensemble of St. Cyril's church has no analogs on the territory of Eastern Europe concerning the quantity (800 sq. m), content and state of preservation.

The frescoes of the church have unique spiritual, artistic, cultural and historical value. Some of them have no analogs in none of the sacral monuments of all Byzantine-Balkan area, the scenes from the life of Sts. Cyril and Athanasius of Alexandria, which are located in the southern apse. The painting of the north apse impresses by monumental splendour. A real masterpiece of Old Rus painting is the fresco Angel Rolling the Heaven into a Scroll, which is the fragment of the composition The Last Judgment, located in the narthex. The fresco ensemble is characterized by its integrity, artistic perfection and originality. If to compare the frescoes of St. Cyril's church with the frescoes of modem churches similar to it, namely, St. George's church in Old Ladoga, the church of the Savior on Nereditsa in Novgorod, one should note their priority from the artistic point of view. The iconographic program of St. Cyril's church vividly reflects the world-view of the customer of paintings, his spiritual needs and also socio-political outlook and interests.

From the tempera painting of the 17th century especially expressive is a portrait of Father Superior Inokenty Monastyrsky, orthodox intellectual. It is a valuable example of Ukrainian 17th century portrait painting.

Among the 19th century oil painting, the central place belongs to the famous works by Vrubel, especially his majestic composition The Descend of the Holy Spirit, full of tragedy Mourning at the Sepulchre, The Archangel Gabriel from The Annunciation scene, Angels with Labarums in the princely chapel, four icons in a marble iconostasis of the 19th century - The Virgin with a Child, Christ, St.Athanasius, St. Cyril and other master's works.

St. Andrew's Church in Kyiv is a monument of history, architecture and painting of the 18th century that gained the world significance. The church preserves not only authentic architecture and painting of the Baroque epoch, but also unique decorative stuccowork and woodcarving of the middle of the 18th century. Besides, the painting compositions of the 19th century executed in Classicism are also preserved in the interior of the church.

The church was constructed during 1747-1762 to the design of outstanding architect F.-B. Rastrelli. The building was guided by Moscow architect I. Michurin and the best Russian, Ukrainian and foreign masters were involved into the church's construction.

St. Andrew's Church was built on the Dnieper slope, which is connected with the annalistic legend about Apostle Andrew's sermon of Christianity on the lands of future Kyivan Rus. The building of the church blends harmoniously with the surrounding landscape, being the focus in the panorama of city. The perfection of lines, clear proportions, amazing harmony of forms and natural surrounding gained public appreciation and fame for the church.

The church is 31,7m long, 20,4m wide and 50m high (together with a cross on the dome) from a church-porch. The five-domed church consists of a central dome and four decorative turrets, which crowned supporting pylons-counterforts located on the diagonal axes of the building.

The drum, which is 10m high and with a diameter of 14m rises in the middle of the construction. Eight semicircular windows were cut in it. The sphere-shaped dome rises above the drum and takes a dominant place in the silhouette of the church. In the middle of the western facade there is the only entrance with the metal doors decorated with ornaments and crosses. In decoration of the facades the columns of Corinthian and Ionic orders were used, paired pilasters, intricately profiled cornices, cartouches with the monogram of Empress Elizabeth, gilded cast-iron and copper ornamentations of the Baroque style. Owing to a peculiar architectural composition the church construction looks slender and light. Plastic figurative expressiveness of the church is conditioned to a considerable extent by using white, turquoise colors and gilding in coloring of the facades.

The main feature of Baroque is a synthesis of arts that is vividly manifested inside the church: architecture, stucco work, woodcarving and oil painting are inseparably linked with each other here.

The iconostasis, the altar canopy and the pulpit are the unsurpassed examples of woodcarving art in St. Andrew's Church. They strike one by diversity of a combination of flat relief, bas-relief and high relief woodcarving, gilded and polychrome sculpture in the round. The iconostasis is a main decorative and artistic component of the interior. It plays the primary role in the arrangement of inner space of the church. The iconostasis attracts one's attention with its striking combination of red background with the gilded sculptures and wood carved details. The iconostasis of the church consists of three tiers. The Holy Doors is a centre of the first tier. The iconostasis and all wood carved details of its decoration were made from lime wood according to Rastrelli's sketches by the following masters as J. Domash, A. Karlovsky, M. Manturov, C. Oreydakh, D. Ustars and I. Grott. The gilding work was executed by F. Leprens and I. Yevstifeev.

The painting plays also an important role in decorative arrangement of the interior. In St. Andrew's Church there are 68 oil-painted canvases and the only one painting was executed directly on a plaster on the western vault. During 1751-1752, the group of Russian artists, the so-called (painting team) of the Petersburg Chancellery of Building under the guidance of I. Vyshnyakov worked at creation of the icons for the St. Andrew's Church iconostasis. The order was performed by the following artists - 0. Antropov, A. Yeroshevsky, P. Semenov, 0. Belsky, 0. Pospelov and I. Firsov. The most prominent artist from this group was 0. Antropov, who painted the border scenes of the pulpit, the icon The Repose of the Virgin from the iconostasis, the scene of The Annunciation from the Holy Gates, the image of St. Andrew on the western vault of the church and also the altar-piece The Last Supper. The icons from backside of the iconostasis were painted by Ukrainian artists I. Romensky and I. Chaikovsky.

In the transept of St. Andrew's Church there are two compositions of the 19th century St. Andrew Preaching a Sermon by Ukrainian artist P. Boryspolets and Prince Volodymyr Chooses the Faith by Lettish artist J. Eggink. Both canvases are attributed to historical genre and reflected the annalistic legend about sermon of Christianity, the foundation of Kyiv and the spread of Orthodox Faith on the territory of Kyivan Rus.

Justification de la Valeur Universelle Exceptionnelle

St. Cyril's and St. Andrew's Churches correspond namely to the criteria, according to which the property Saint Sophia of Kyiv - Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The property St. Cyril's and St. Andrew's Churches (addition to the property Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra) represents a unique example of architecture and monumental art of the 11th-19th centuries of universal importance. Its value is based on exceptional architectural and artistic masterpieces that had effect on culture formation of Kyiv Rus, Ukraine and entire Eastern European Region. The addition to the property by means of these churches inclusion will give an exhaustive imagination about the value of the monuments of Rus-Ukraine. The historical, authentic architectural and pictorial peculiarities of these structures are the outstanding artistic achievements, representing a masterpiece of human creative genius.

The multi-layered history, the unique architecture, monumental painting and decoration of the Property's monuments are the criteria and the attributes that give a clear idea about the values of the Property. The constructions and decoration of the buildings are similar to Byzantine architectural constructional and artistic traditions. However, separate unique architectural and artistic peculiarities have no analogues among the sacred monuments of the world. The influence of Slavonic and west-european cultures is traced back in the architecture, monumental painting, and decoration of the monuments of the property that bears an exceptional testimony to cultural traditions of Byzantine, Old Rus and westeuropean civilizations. These monuments played a great role in town-planning and influenced the formation of the surrounding landscape, having become the focus in the city planning framework formation.

St. Cyril's Church

Criteria (i):  St. Cyril's Church has unique architectural and pictorial peculiarities, which has no analogies among the sacral monuments of the world, i.e. as well as St. Sophia of Kyiv, it is perceived as an outstanding artistic achievement, being a masterpiece of human creative genius.

Criteria (ii): Over a period of eight hundred years of its existence, St. Cyril's church has preserved and preserves unique architectural forms of different times (12th-18th centuries), monumental painting of three historical epochs - the 12th, 17th and 19th centuries united by historical, religious, architectural, ethnical peculiarities and functional adaptation. Cultural integration caused by the influence of different historical epochs of Rus-Ukraine, determined the originality of architectural forms, pictorial styles, decor and other manifestations of material and spiritual culture.

Criteria (iii): St. Cyril's Church is one of the few monuments of ancient Rus, which have survived till nowadays. It's a vivid evidence about politico-social, economical, religious and cultural traditions of already non-existent Kyiv Rus. The monument is a "living" witness of ancient Rus architecture, building technique, monumental painting, medieval writing (graffito), illustrating the outlook on cultural tradition of society of Kyivan Rus.

Criteria(iv): St. Cyril's Church is an example of a certain architectural type - Old Rus cruciform domed, three-naved hexastyle churches - Assumption Cathedral of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (the original has not survived), Assumption Cathedral in Volodymyr-Volynsk (the original has not survived), St. Basil's Church in Ovruch (the original has not survived), St. George's Cathedral in Kaniv, Borys-Hleb Cathedral (the original has not survived) and the Cathedral of Yeletsloj Monastery in Chemigiv and dilapidated Borys-Hleb Cathedral in Smolensk. Among these architectural monuments St. Cyril's Church is a vivid example of hexastyle sacral building of Old Rus period.

The architecture of the monument synthesizes Byzantinesque architectural style with the elements of Romanesque, architectural forms of Old Rus architecture and the epoch of Ukrainian Baroque. The monumental painting vividly illustrates the Christian period of Kyiv Rus with significant influence of Byzantine art, the period of Ukrainian portrait appearance (the end of the 17th century), the best examples of ecclesiastical painting of the 19th century and Russian Modern of the 19th century, represented by works of the famous Russian artist M. Vrubel. The archaeological findings of pagan times, the period of early and late Middle Ages, the evidence of material culture of the Crimean khanate were found on the territory of the church.

St. Cyril's Church being built on a picturesque hill surrounded by ancient lime trees is one of the architectural landscape focuses of the region and a city.

This monument is also an outstanding representative of the Old Rus construction and Baroque that illustrates the development of architecture, culture and history of the Middle Ages, modern and recent period of human history. Its unique architectural and picturesque monumental complex was formed under the influence of Byzantine, Old Rus, Ukrainian and Russian cultures.

A sharp evidence of socioeconomic development, history of culture, literacy spreading among the kyivans and pilgrims of Kyiv is epigraphical heritage - the presence on the 12th century plaster of St. Cyril's church numerous graffito of the 12th-17th centuries (in Old Rus and Polish). In general, St. Cyril's church is an outstanding cultural centre that illustrates certain periods of national and world history.

St. Andrew's Church

Criteria (i): St. Andrew's Church has unique architectural and painting peculiarities, i. e., as well as St. Sophia of Kyiv, it is perceived as an outstanding artistic achievement, being a masterpiece of human creative genius.

Criteria (ii): St. Andrew's Church preserves unique architectural forms of the 18th century, stucco work, 18th century wood carving and painting of two historical ages - 18th and 19th centuries, which combine successfully national peculiarities of architecture and decoration with the elements of the West European Baroque. The cultural integration because of intensive development of the connections between the West and the East in the l8th century caused the interpenetration and the enrichment of architectural forms, painting styles, decorations, using of advanced building technologies of that times and other manifestations of material and spiritual culture. St. Andrew's Church has become an example to follow in future building of cultic constructions on the territory of Eastern Europe.

Criteria (iii): St. Andrew's Church is an exceptional evidence of social, political, economical, ecclesiastical, religious and cultural traditions of the society that populated the territory of Russian Empire in the middle of the 18th century.

Criteria (iv):  St. Andrew's Church - a masterpiece of architecture of the so-called Elizabeth Baroque that reflected the world outlook of the whole epoch - illustrates by itself an important period of history of the Romanov Imperial House government. The church construction is the example of a certain architectural type of sacred building - cruciform, five-domed church erected on a high basement. The completely preserved architectural forms of St. Andrew's Church together with the surrounding landscape have an outstanding aesthetic value. The main effect of this church is consisted in harmonically combination of all its parts in a single impulse upwards. Owing to the location on the high right bank of the Dnieper the church has a considerable number of places with full or partial views from the side of the Podil (Kyiv district), old part of the city, surrounding hills and over the Dnieper distances.

The church as a natural landscape and architectural town planning focus is a significant element of panorama of the city.

Déclarations d’authenticité et/ou d’intégrité

All the structures of the property have preserved the integrity of architectural forms. They are closely connected with the history of Kyivan Rus Christianity, making a single complex. The property in combination with space planning is an integral authentic historical and cultural ensemble.

Up to now, the St. Cyril's Church has preserved the integrity and authenticity of the 12th century interior. The 12th century authentic constructions have been completely preserved: the foundations, walls, columns, arches, vaults (partially); the interior of the stairs and the stairs that lead to the lofts; ancient floor in the northern apse. The structural components of the 12th century have been lost, which were later replaced/supplemented: the vaults above the western lofts, the vault of the central cupola. Because of lateral domes adding the original coverings of some premises were also lost. In the interior, the 12th century original floor (except northern apse), the princely sarcophaguses are lost; the original windows and door were also replaced; the present-day iconostasis is from the end of the 19th century. As a result of the 17th-18th centuries reconstructions, the interior has acquired the architectural forms of Ukrainian Baroque, however, the external decor of the windows and door are lost; the gabled roof was made instead of the original; the additional buildings that surrounded the church are also lost (only foundations have been preserved). All reconstructions and renovations were conducted with the use of traditional materials and methods, specific to orthodox temple architecture, monumental and easel painting.

The church preserves 800 sq. m of the authentic 12th century fiesco painting. The total internal face comprises 2852 sq. m. About 30% of paintings have survived. Of great value are the original tempera portrait of the 17th century and monumental works and icons of the outstanding artist M. Vrubel.

Among the present-day 12th century monuments, such as renovated Assumption Cathedral in Volodymyr-Volynsk, renovated St. Basil's Church in Ovruch, St.George's Cathedral in Kaniv, Borys-Hleb Cathedral and the Cathedral of Yeletsky Monastery in Chernigiv, St. Cyril's Church has the highest percent of the original architectural forms preservation. As to the painting, it has survived only partially in the above mentioned temples. However, St. Cyril's Church has preserved the biggest fresco ensemble among all temples of Eastern Europe.

Till nowadays St. Andrew's Church has preserved the authenticity as well as 18th century interior. The authentic constructions of the 18th century such as the foundations, the walls of stylobate and church, the supporting pylons-counterforts, the drum, the central dome and decorative turrets are entirely preserved.

The decorative design of the exterior is remained intact: the columns and the pilasters of a main space, the columns of the side turrets, the settings of window openings, the cast-iron capitals, the cartouches with the monogram of Empress Elizabeth and decoration of the drum of a central dome.

Unique interior of St. Andrew's Church is completely preserved: the walls, the vault, the tied arches, the pendetives, the drum and the central dome. To our time the interior decoration is also entirely preserved: stucco work, woodcarving and oil painting. The masterpieces of woodcarving art are kept intact as well: the pulpit, the altar canopy and the iconostasis, which is fully completed with the icons of the 18th century. Since the 18th century the painting of backside of the iconostasis has been preserved as well as pictorial compositions of the 19th century.

In the church exterior the wooden constructions of the central dome, the summits of the central dome and the decorative turrets were changed into metal ones. The lost decorations from the central dome and summits were also supplemented. The wooden stairs to the church were substituted for the cast-iron ones; several times the covering of the church-porch was set up again. The original windows and doors were also changed. In the interior the floor was re-laid, the wooden tambour was settled and the lost details of woodcarving and stuccowork were partially supplemented. The gilding was renovated in some places.

Among the sacral monuments had been constructed after the design of architect F.-B. Rastrelli such as the Smolny Closter Cathedral in St. Petersburg, the church of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, the palace churches in Petergoff and the Rundal Palace in Latvia as well as the cathedral in Kozelets (Ukraine, architect A. Kvasov), where the interiors are partially preserved and their original decoration had been lost at all or some insignificant details were only remained, the St. Andrew's Church is the only one has preserved not only its authentic architectural forms and the greatest percentage of the exterior decoration, but till nowadays the church interior was completely remained intact, which is the unsurpassed example of the church interior of Baroque style.

St. Cyril's and St. Andrew's Churches are inscribed on the State List of Cultural Heritage Monuments as monuments, which are a part of the National Conservation Area "St. Sophia of Kyiv".

The main documents that guarantee the preservation of authenticity and integrity of the monuments are the Law of Ukraine On Protection of Cultural Heritage (of June 1, 2000) and the international regulatory acts on the protection of historical and cultural monuments.

The modem repair and restoration works in the monuments are conducted with regard to operative rules of legislation of Ukraine on the monument protection. In order to preserve the authenticity of the monuments, administration of the conservation area, a part of which are St. Cyril's and St. Andrew's Churches has positively prohibited any interventions in the integrity of the monuments.

Comparaison avec d’autres biens similaires

St. Cyril's Church of Kyiv together with the monastic ensemble was an important cultural and religious centre of Rus-Ukraine of the 12th-18th centuries. Similar to ancient architecture of St. Cyril's Church are: Borys-Hleb Cathedral and the Cathedral of Yeletsky Monastery in Chernigiv, St. George's Cathedral in Kaniv, Assumption Cathedral in Volodymyr-Volynsk, St. Basil's Church in Ovruch. Among other architectural peculiarities of St. Cyril's Cathedral are several features of the church-fortress, moreover, the existence of mysterious architectural entry with an exit on the balcony in the southern wall of the southern chancel, which has no analogs in none of Byzantine and ancient Rus monuments. The erection of the church on a high picturesque hill, its harmony with surrounding landscape stands out against background of other preserved analogs.

The iconographic peculiarity consists in the presence in ancient paintings a great number of holy warriors portrayals that cannot be found in other cultic buildings of this period and testifies to historical epoch of feudal wars. It's the only monument among sacral buildings of all Byzantine-Balkan region, where a unique fresco life cycle of Sts. Cyril and Athanasius of Alexandria is preserved, which has no analogues all over the world. If to compare frescoes of St. Cyril's Church with frescoes of modern churches similar to it, namely, St. George's Church in Old Ladoga, the Church of the Savior on Nereditsa in Novgorod and recently uncovered frescoes of Spaso-Preobrazhensky church in Polotsk, one should note their priority from the artistic point of view and also that fact, that St Cyril's Church fresco ensemble is characterized by its integrity, artistic perfection and originality.

The ancient architecture and iconographic program of this construction reflect the world view, spiritual orientation points, aesthetic ideals and also socio-political outlook of the prince, ecclesiastical, religious and artistic interests of Kyivan community of the 12th century.

The unique are works (murals and icons in the iconostasis) of the famous Russian artist of the 19th century M. Vrubel. They are known all over the world as real masterpieces of art. St. Cyril's church possesses the unique complex of ecclesiastical works by M. Vrubel that compose an integral ensemble.

St. Andrew's Church was built as a constituent part of imperial residence in Kyiv and as a palace church had symbolized a close connection of Orthodox Faith with the ruling imperial power.

The Smolny Closter Cathedral in St. Petersburg (architect F.-B. Rastrelli), the church of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo (architect F.-B. Rastrelli), the palace church in Petergoff (architect F.-B. Rastrelli), the cathedral of the Nativity of Virgin Mary in Kozelets (architect A. Kvasov) are the analogues of St. Andrew's Church.

The architectural peculiarity of St. Andrew's Church, which distinguishes it from the similar monuments, is the high (14 m) stylobate adjoining the hill and has the only one open facade from the western side. The supporting pylons-counterforts, which are located on the diagonal axes of the construction, come through vertically the building of stylobate and are based on the stone foundations. Five-domed composition of St. Andrew's Church is distinguished from the similar ones: its decorative turrets, which are crowned the supporting pylons, are located at a considerable distance from the central dome. The church was erected on the high hill (84 m above the Dnieper level), blends harmoniously with the surrounding landscape and is an architectural dominant of the city connecting its lower and upper parts. This fact is advantageously singled out it from the same constructions which were erected on the plain.

Owing to a peculiar conservation the St. Andrew's Church interior is the only integral example of the church Orthodox interior carried out in the style of Russian Baroque with the elements of West European architecture - the pulpit, the altar canopy and volumetric sculptures in the round.

According to the state of preservation, St. Andrew's Church has no direct analogues among the similar monuments in Eastern Europe.