A Little Light from the East: St. Volodymyr's in Kiev

Continuing on with some of our considerations of some Eastern churches that can help in illuminating the common inheritance that is to be found between the Christian East and West, we turn our attention today to St. Volodymyr's Cathedral located in Kyiv, Ukraine -- the former mother church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. 

The church, while relatively 'antique' in its appearance, is actually dated to the nineteenth century, having been constructed between 1862-1882 -- a sign of a great success, to my mind, that it is so easily confused with a much earlier, Byzantine structure. 

Interestingly, the internal mosaics were actually executed by Westerners, specifically artists from Venice (who, of course, would have great exposure to and familiarity with the Italo-Byzantine style that is found in San Marco and other churches within the region of Venezia). The frescoes are the product of a group of Russian, Polish and Ukrainian artists -- with the crown jewel of the cathedral no doubt being the apsidal fresco of the Mother of God, painted by the Russian artist, Viktor Zamyraylo (+1939). 

Some other views of this impressive cathedral:

This particular structure is, of course, in many ways very much 'Byzantine' in its inspiration, but what strikes me about it is that, with a few minor tweaks, it could as readily be found in Venice, Ravenna or Rome if we simply tweaked a few of its elements.

A truly stunning structure and example of what yet remains possible in the modern age. 

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