St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery is located above Volodymyr’s Hill overlooking Podil in Kiev. It was founded in 1108 but demolished by the Soviets in 1934 due to “lack of historical value”. The site where the cathedral was located was used as a sports complex.

After Ukrainian independence, people began calling for the rebuilding of the monastery. The new cathedral opened in 1999 and was constructed based on photos and old foundations found during the excavation in 1997. That in itself is amazing.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

The entrance to the complex is under the tall bell tower on Mykhailivs’ka Square. On either side of the tower are frescoes with religious scenes.

Bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Bell tower

Bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Bell tower

Entrance at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Entrance

Entrance at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Entrance

For a small fee (I paid 9 UAH), it’s possible to enter the bell tower and climb to the top. There’s a small museum inside with a model of the historic monastery and ecclesiastical art.

Model of the historic monastery in the bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Model of the historic monastery

Museum in the bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Museum

Once at the top, there are fantastic views of the cathedral below.

Bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Bell tower

View of St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral from the bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

View of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral

You can also look down onto Mykhailivs’ka Square and get nice views of Kiev. It’s possible to see St. Sophia Cathedral in the distance.

View of Mykhailivs'ka Square from the bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

View of Mykhailivs’ka Square

View of Kiev from the bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

View of Kiev

View of St. Sophia Cathedral from the bell tower at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

View of St. Sophia Cathedral

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral is an impressive building. It’s very beautiful on the inside and out. Many mosaics and other pieces from the original cathedral have been reinstalled in the current one.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral

My favorite part of the building is the façade. It was built in the Ukrainian Baroque style, just as the original cathedral was rebuilt in the 18th century.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

When I visited, I decided to stay a few minutes for evening vespers. The priest had an amazing voice, and the young men’s choir added a nice touch to the experience. Since it was the day after Easter, I even got to hear them sing Xristos Anesti in Greek.

Next to the cathedral is the Refectory of St. John the Divine. It’s original to the complex and was built in 1713. When the site was being used as a sports complex, the refectory was used as a changing room. The eastern part of the building is the Church of John the Theologian.

Refectory of St. John the Divine at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Refectory of St. John the Divine

Refectory of St. John the Divine at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Refectory of St. John the Divine

The other interesting structure I found on the grounds is a beautiful fountain.

Fountain at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Fountain

Fountain at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine

Fountain

Outside the monastery gates in the center of Mykhailivs’ka Square is a monument to St. Olga (890-969), a ruler of Kievan Rus’ as regent on behalf of her son, Svyatoslav I. The building behind the monument is the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine. To the northeast is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

St. Olga monument in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Olga monument

St. Olga monument in Kiev, Ukraine

St. Olga monument

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kiev, Ukraine

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

To reach the monastery and the square, I took a ride up the historic Kiev Funicular from the Podil district. It opened to the public in 1905 and takes about three minutes to go from one station to the next. The top station is at Mykhailivs’ka Square and the bottom station is at Poshtova Square.

Kiev Funicular in Kiev, Ukraine

Kiev Funicular

Kiev Funicular in Kiev, Ukraine

Kiev Funicular

Kiev Funicular in Kiev, Ukraine

Kiev Funicular

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