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Architecture in Ukraine – History’s Constuction Masterpieces

Most of Ukraine's cities will give you a glimpse into the country's grand architectural history. Architecture in Ukraine ranges from buildings dating back hundreds of years to massive contemporary high-rise structures. An outstanding sample of Ukrainian architecture can be seen in the Cathedral of Saint-Sophia in Kiev, which dates back to the 11th century. Visit Lviv if you are interested in medieval architecture or stop in Chernihiv to view its stunning buildings of long ago.

Ukraine’s architecture began developing during the 9th century during the Kievan Rus era. Buildings from this time period were constructed out of wood and included churches, fortifications and palaces. Timber was placed in horizontal sections with a hipped roof, providing a base for further construction. An example of a residential home in this style is seen in Chernihiv. At around the same time the Byzantine style began to take root in Kievan Rus. Both architectural styles had an influence on each other. Byzantine domes were reformed and colors used in decorating became more Rus.

From the 12th to the 15th century defensive structures such as castles, fortresses and protected monasteries were constructed in populated areas. Decorative patterns can be seen on the massive walls of these buildings in the form of red brick plakhta. Fortified monasteries closely resembled castles as they were carefully adapted to guard against attack.

Between the 16th and 17th centuries a new form of architecture arose in Ukraine – Renaissance. This is clearly seen in the the architecture of Ukraine’s Lviv. Renaissance style greatly developed Ukraine’s Baroque style. Soon a completely Ukrainian form of Baroque architecture was born. During the 18th century Ukraine’s architecture began to feature plastering. Classicism came to the fore at that time and more public buildings and palaces were built. Ukraine’s architecture of the late 1800s and early 1900s took on a variety of styles such as modern, neo-classicism, neo-Gothic and Moorish.

Sadly, numerous stunning buildings were destroyed during the communist regime. Despite this many exquisite examples of Ukrainian architecture can be viewed throughout the country.