St. Vladimir Cathedral was built in commemoration of Prince Vladimir who in 998 introduced Christianity in ancient Rus. Cathedral is built in traditional for Russian architecture ancient Byzantine style. This was the style of ancient Russian churches in the times of Vladimir the Saint and Yaroslav the Wise. Cathedral interior was designed by such famous artists as Viktor Vasnetsov and Mikhail Vrubel.
The idea to build a cathedral devoted to 900 anniversary of Russian christening to commemorate Prince Vladimir — Rus baptizer belongs to metropolit Filaret Amfiteatrov. After formal project approval by tsar Nikolay I and synod in 1852 fund collection started. By the end of 1859 about 100 thousand rubles were collected and Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra donated 1 million bricks produced on its own brick factory.
Because of lack of funding initial project foreseeing building of gigantic cathedral with 13 domes was lately reworked — reduced in size and domed quantity was reduced to 7. First stone was placed on 15 July 1862 Saint Vladimir’s Day, however complete erection lasted almost 13 years — from 1862 through 1896. During the erection building cracked and further worked were stopped for many years. Only in 1875 tsar Alexander II being in Kiev noticed this building and gave an order to finish it ASAP. Next year final project was designed and implemented by architecture Vladimir Nikolaev. He managed abolish the exigent condition of building and to accomplish the cathedral in 1882.
Interior decoration took many further years. As a result grand opening and consecration of the cathedral took place 20 august 1896 in presence of tsar Nikolay II and Czarina Alexandra Fedorovna.
In 1829 cathedral gave for industrialization all its bells (1 100 poods). In 1941 German field engineers drag out from the cathedral’s vault tens kilograms of throttle and demined building, thus retaining it for us.
In interior decoration were involved such famous artists as Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Vrubel and Mikhail Nesterov. Mosaic crafting was performed by Venice art masters.
Main role in cathedral’s painting belongs to Viktor Vasnetsov. He performed 15 compositions and 30 separate figures. Vasnetsov painted main cathedral nef were beside bible plots cufficial peace is devoted to historical compositions: «Prince Vladimir christening» and «Kiev citizens christening». Also portraits of canonized Russian rulers — Alexander Nevskiy, Andrew Bogolubskiy and Princess Olga. Central composition — Blessed Virgin with the child is also made by Vasnetsov.
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