Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery

Image - Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery (mid 19th century). Image - Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery and Kyiv Theological Academy (early 20th century). Image - Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery seen from Kontraktova Square (1900s). Image - The Epiphany Church with its bell tower of the Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery (1900s). Image - Yelysaveta Hulevychivna's building in Kyiv (end of 15th century).

Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery (Kyievo-Bratskyi or Bohoiavlenskyi manastyr). (Photo: Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery.) An Orthodox monastery established in 1616 in Kyiv's Podil district after the noblewoman Yelyzaveta Hulevychivna donated a lot and orchard for this purpose (15 October 1615). The Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood, which was affiliated with the monastery, had built the original Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood School on an adjacent lot in 1615. According to Istoriia Rusov, the architect of the monastery’s first wooden church was a Cossack, P. Zhytsky. That church was destroyed by fires at least twice, in 1658 and 1665. The last wooden church was built in 1673 and dismantled in 1690. The new Epiphany Church was designed by Yosyp Starchenko in the Ukrainian baroque style and built in 1693. The bell tower, designed by Stepan Kovnir in 1756 (and rebuilt in 1829), stood above the main gate to the monastery. The monastery owned extensive property donated to it by Kyivan metropolitans (Petro Mohyla and Rafail Zaborovsky) and Cossack hetmans (Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Ivan Mazepa). The rector of the brotherhood school (later the Kyivan Mohyla Academy) was also the hegumen (from 1731, archimandrite) of the monastery; Teofan Prokopovych was its most famous hegumen. Hetman Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny and Vasyl Hryhorovych-Barsky were buried at the monastery. The monastery declined after its property was secularized in 1786. In 1811 the Epiphany Church and other monastery buildings were seriously damaged in a fire, which destroyed the church’s baroque iconostasis. The church was restored by Andrei Melensky, who preserved its baroque architecture and created a new iconostasis in 1825. In 1853, the interior of the church was decorated with frescoes by I. Kviartkivsky and A. Scotti, and the domes of the church were gilded. Despite their architectural and historical significance, the Epiphany Church and the bell tower were demolished by the Soviet authorities in 1935 as part of their antireligious campaign.

Kilesso, T. Brats’kyi Bohoiavlens’kyi monastyr i Kyievo-Mohylians’ka akademiia (Kyiv 2002)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]

Image - Side altar iconostasis of the Kyiv Epiphany Church. Image - Western facade pediment of the Kyiv Epiphany Church. Image - Side view of the Kyiv Epiphany Church.

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