Pyrohoshcha Church of the Mother of God

Image - The Pyrohoshcha Church of the Mother of God in Kyiv (rebuilt in 1998). Image - Grand Prince Mstyslav I Volodymyrovych builds the Pyrohoshcha Church of the Mother of God in Kyiv (13th-century illumination). Image - The Pyrohoshcha Church of the Mother of God in Kyiv (rebuilt in 1998).

Pyrohoshcha Church of the Mother of God (Tserkva Bohorodytsi Pyrohoshchi, aka Soborna tserkva Uspinnia presv. Bohorodytsi). (Photo: Pyrohoshcha Church.) A church built in the Byzantine style in the Podil district of Kyiv in 1132–6 during the reign of Prince Mstyslav I Volodymyrovych. The short church consisted of three naves and apses covered by one dome. The walls were decorated with frescoes, and the floor was laid with glazed and mosaic tiles. The first building of the Kyivan princes to be erected entirely of brick instead of stone, in the medieval period it was the main church of the Podil's merchants and tradesmen and housed an orphanage, a hospital for the poor, and the municipal archives. In 1613–33, when the Saint Sophia Cathedral was the seat of the Uniate Kyiv metropoly, the church served as the cathedral of the Orthodox metropolitans. It was reconstructed several times: in 1613–14 by the Italian architect S. Bracci, in the 1770s in the baroque style by Ivan Hryhorovych-Barsky, and in 1811 in the neoclassical style by Andrei Melensky. In 1778 it acquired one of the finest rococo iconostases in Ukraine. In 1835 its five-level belfry was dismantled, and a new one was built in the Empire style above the main entrance. In 1935 the church was destroyed by the Soviet authorities during their antireligious campaign, so that a public square could be expanded. In the latter half of the 1970s the foundations of the old church were excavated. The church was rebuilt in independent Ukraine in 1998.

[This article was updated in 2006.]


Image - The Pyrohoshcha Church of the Mother of God in Kyiv (floor plan and southern facade).


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