St. Sophia Cathedral, XI Century AD
6 May 2015 | From Natalia of Ukraine
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is an outstanding architectural monument of Kievan Rus'. The cathedral is one of the city's best known landmarks and the first heritage site in Ukraine to be inscribed on the World Heritage List along with the Kiev Cave Monastery complex.
Aside from its main building, the cathedral includes an ensemble of supporting structures such as a bell tower and the House of Metropolitan. In 2011 the historic site was reassigned from the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Regional Development of Ukraine to the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. One of the reasons for the move was the fact that both "Sofia Kyivska" and Kiev Pechersk Lavra are recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Program as one complex, while in Ukraine the two were governed by different government entities.
The cathedral's name comes from the 6th-century Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople (meaning Holy Wisdom, and dedicated to the Holy Wisdom rather than a specific saint named Sophia). Architecture-wise, its model could have been the 13-domed oaken Holy Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod (c. 989), which Yaroslav I the Wise determined to imitate in stone as a sign of gratitude to the citizens of Novgorod who had helped him secure the Kievan throne in 1019.