Sights of Kiev: Sophia of Kiev - architectural ensemble (Part 2)

You can talk and write about the sights of Kiev for a long time, but in any case we should not forget to mention St Sophia Cathedral or the architectural ensemble of St. Sophia Monastery.

St. Sophia Cathedral

Sights of Kiev: Sophia of Kiev - architectural ensemble (Part 2)The main monument of the architectural ensemble of the Sophia Monastery is St. Sophia Cathedral. The cathedral was built in the beginning of the eleventh century. Inside it, original frescoes and mosaics of the same period were preserved. It is a very valuable monument of ancient Russ architecture.

The buildings that surrounded the cathedral were made of wood and have not survived to this day. The main buildings that have survived to this day belong to the 18th century. The guides in Kiev usually offer to see them.

The appearance of the monastery

Sights of Kiev: Sophia of Kiev - architectural ensemble (Part 2)In the 17-18 centuries on the territory of Ukraine there were a lot of monastic complexes. Monasteries not only become religious centers, but also centers of writing and education. Architectural ensembles of Ukrainian monasteries gravitate towards the motives of folk art, color, elegance. A guide in Kiev will be able to show you these features on various examples of monasteries. The same we see in the St. Sophia Monastery.

The monastery was founded in the 30s of the 17th century. The initiator was Peter Mogila. Then the stone construction around the cathedral started.


The buildings were built in the style of Ukrainian baroque, a style that suggested splendor, refinement, dynamic forms. The view of the ancient cathedral was changed at this time. They made pear-shaped domes with gilding, whitewashed and decorated facades.

Let’s look at the main attractions of the architectural ensemble of the Sophia Monastery, as if we were on a tour of Kiev.


Sights of Kiev: Sophia of Kiev - architectural ensemble (Part 2)70 meters to the north of the cathedral is Bursa. This is a long two-story house. At first the house was erected for the monks’ cells, but after the monastery was closed, there was a Sofia spiritual school – Bursa.

Brotherhood Corps

The brotherhood building was also built as a cell place. This is a rectangular structure with a wooden gallery.

Metropolitan’s House

Sights of Kiev: Sophia of Kiev - architectural ensemble (Part 2)Opposite St. Sophia Cathedral is the Metropolitan’s House. On the territory of St. Sophia of Kiev there was once the residence of metropolitans, therefore here a palace was built for them. This building was rebuilt many times. Inside there is a museum “Metropolitan’s House”, where you can see the interior of the chambers of the metropolitans of the 18-19th centuries.

Zaborowsky’s Gate

Behind the house of the metropolitans is the Gate of Zaborovsky. This is a very beautiful architectural form, which was built during the time of Metropolitan Raphael Zaborovsky. For some time it served as the main entrance to Sophia Monastery.

There was another entrance – the South Gate, through which, basically, they brought up food.


The former bakery is here and the Refectory. This building united the church, the kitchen and the dining room. The basement and the top floor were used to store food.

The highest building of Sophia Monastery is the bell tower of the 18th century.