St. Andrew’s Cathedral – Important Landmark in Kiev
The Cathedral of Saint Andrew or the St. Andrew's Church can be found situated in the city of Kiev, in Podil, one of its oldest neighborhoods. Bartolomeo Rastrelli, a Russian imperial architect, built this beautiful building during the mid-eighteenth century under the command of Catherine the Great.
Bartolomeo used Baroque architecture to give this magnificent church an outward appearance of both power and wealth, while still appealing to the emotions of the local people. Catherine the Great wanted to build this beautiful religious structure as a tribute to Saint Andrew, a patron saint of Kiev. However, the church did not turn out the way Catherine had envisioned it and soon Bartolomeo Rastrelli was without work.
The church is situated on a steep hill and has a wonderful view of the surrounding area. To get to it people must first travel up Andreevsky Uzviz, a historic road that is a landmark in itself. The St. Andrew’s Church is no longer used as a religious institute but now contains a museum within its walls. This change was made in 1968 when it was decided that making it a museum would be more advantageous then keeping it as a church. Amazingly the St. Andrew’s Church is one of the few buildings to have survived for so long without having been changed or reconstructed in anyway.
When you walk through the doors, the first thing that strikes your attention is the amount of magnificent paintings and sculptures that are held there on display. These precious art pieces are works from well-known Ukrainian and Russian artists and are beautifully displayed for all to see. There are times when the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church uses certain parts of the St. Andrew Church occasionally for religious services.
It is said that when St. Andrew came across the hill on which the Church is situated on today, he immediately took out a cross and placed it in that exact position. From that position he prophesied about a ‘great Christian city’ that would later in the future be built there.
Today, the St. Andrew’s Church is regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in Kiev and an important landmark, which is visited by many people who come to the city on holiday.