Yurii's Temple

Image - Saint Michael's Church (aka Yurii's Temple) in Oster (built in 1098). Image - The entrance to Saint Michaels Church (aka Yuriis Temple) in Oster (built in 1098). Image - Saint Michael's Church (aka Yurii's Temple) in Oster (built in 1098).

Yurii's Temple (Юрієва божниця; Yuriieva bozhnytsia). A medieval architectural monument in Oster, Chernihiv oblast. Named in honor of Prince Yurii Dolgorukii, it is the only remnant of Saint Michael's Church, which was built ca 1098, during the reign of Prince Volodymyr Monomakh. The original church was destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1240. It was rebuilt, but it was closed after being hit by lightning in 1753 and was later dismantled. The temple consists of a single rectangular room with a large semicircular apse containing two high, arched windows. There are two large pillars on the west wall, and a system of arched vaults is attached to the walls. The structure is capped by a vaulted wooden roof. The only surviving example of the medieval Pereiaslav style of church architecture, the temple was restored in 1907, 1924, and 1950. Its most significant feature is its three frescoes, which were painted between 1098 and 1125 in the Kyivan style. The one placed highest portrays the Orante with two archangels garbed in ornamental gowns with pearls. Under it is a scene of the Eucharist with two figures of Christ, and under that is a depiction of the apostles. The frescoes were restored in 1977–80 by V. Babiuk.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

Image - Saint Michael's Church (aka Yurii's Temple) in Oster (built in 1098).

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