Architects of Constantinople – The Cathedral of the Dormition in Kyiv

This is Cathedral of the Dormition at the Pechersk Lavra in Kiev. It was cold and my tripod was like holding on to liquid nitrogen.

The cathedral was built by a group of Antonite monks from Constantinople on top of a complex network of caves under the Berestov Mount overlooking the Dneiper river.

The second photograph is of the backside in different light much later in the day.

The Palace

Golden Onions

  • I really like the second photo, Trey. You managed to strike a great balance between the white of the walls, the golden roof and the gloomy sky. They sure went crazy with the decorations on the front of the building, didn’t they? They stuck gold wherever they could…

  • susan

    Ohhhh! The back is beautiful too – thanks for sharing – otherwise I wouldn’t get to see it!

  • lyn

    BEAUTIFUL! Great photos… excellent focus and what an eye…

  • Mo


  • Great stuff as usual. You go to the craziest places in the world.

  • Ksenia

    Nice photos, but here again it should be clarified that the cathedral built by the monks you mention was bombed by the retreating Soviets in 1941 (along with most of Khreschatik Street) and the destruction blamed on the Germans, of course. On the back photo you can see that the leftmost cupola (the one behind it is actually the campanile, or bell tower) is an older, pockier gilt—this is the only tower of the whole edifice that survived the mining. The present church was erected around it, against the protests of conservation specialists who maintain that present-day construction techniques are far more brutal than the lost art of Byzantine church-building, and predict that the ancient network of caves (pechery, ergo Pechersk Monastery) underneath will collapse. So, this is not the original Dormition Cathedral, and moreover, sadly it belongs to the rabidly anti-Ukrainian Russian Orthodox Church (masquerading as the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate). Sorry for the politics, but that’s post-Soviet life for you.

  • Teacher in Florida

    This is quite possibly the most beautiful building I have ever laid eyes on. Thank you for the pictures. I teach Geography and our unit was on the former Soviet republics. Your pictures really gave quite a face on the current state of affairs in Ukraine.

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