The oldest churches of Ukraine

Religious architecture bears the imprint of epochs and best reflects the spirit of the time. It looks especially colorful in countries such as Ukraine, where the traditions of different people and religions are closely intertwined. Especially valuable are the ancient churches and cathedrals, whose age has long been estimated as hundreds of years. This article is about them.

  1. Mountain rotunda in Uzhhorod. The still functioning Transcarpathian shrine has its roots in the 10th century, and the frescoes date back to the beginning of the Renaissance. It owes its name to the unusual round shape of the church, also known as St. Anne’s Church.
  2. Sophia of Kyiv in Kyiv. In the chronicles, the data of the beginning of the construction of the temple differs. It is either 1017 or 1037. But according to another version, construction began by Vladimir the Great and was completed by his son Yaroslav in 1018. Now it is one of the main symbols of the capital.
  3. Transfiguration Cathedral in Chernihiv. One of the main monuments of Kyiv Rus. Prince Mstyslav began to build it in 1033 and his successor finished it. The most interesting things there are the temple paintings, which were added constantly. Nowadays the monuments of different epochs are combined there.
  4. St. Cyril’s Church in Kyiv. The temple probably dates back to the early 12th century. Unique paintings and frescoes of those and later times have been preserved there. Including the works of Vrubel.
  5. Church of John the Baptist in Lviv. Another ancient functioning temple was built in 1260 as a gift for Princess Constance of Hungary. It was built by Dominican monks who were specially invited to Lviv.
  6. Church of the Nativity in Halych. The temple dates back to the 13th-15th century and belongs to the reserve “Ancient Halych”. This is a functioning Greek Catholic church, in which classicism is closely intertwined with the Baroque.
  7. Chapel of St. Joseph in Mukachevo. The small building is located near St. Martin’s Cathedral and is a unique example of sacred Gothic of the 14th century with medieval paintings.
  8. Armenian Cathedral in Lviv. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1370 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here the features of the Armenian, Romano-Gothic, and originally Galician styles are intertwined.
  9. Church of St. Nicholas in the village of Seredne Vodiane. Historians consider it the oldest wooden church in modern Ukraine that dates back to 1428. It is located in Transcarpathia and is built of oak logs. The lower part dates back to 1699. But partially preserved the original painting of the 17th century.
  10. Church of St. Nicholas in the village of Kolodny. It dates back to 1470. Another ancient wooden heirloom retains the shape of a fortress. The church has preserved murals and an altar.
  11. Church of St. George in Drohobych. It is an architectural monument of world importance and a functioning museum, which is also called a “poem in a tree”. It dates back to the 15th-16th centuries, although scholars disagree. In 1657 the Church of St. George moved to Drohobych from the Ivano-Frankivsk region.
  12. Church of the Holy Spirit in Potelich. A unique temple fresco of Galicia of the 17th century has been preserved there. The church itself dates from different versions in 1502 or 1555. At that time the temple was very luxurious and majestic because Potelich was a big lively city.
  13. Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Kyiv. Another wooden church dates back to about 1528 and is located in Pirogovo. It is considered to be the oldest wooden shrine in Central, Eastern, and Southern Ukraine.
  14. Church of the Holy Spirit in Rohatyn. According to some versions, the temple existed in the 12th century! Although most historians consider the year of construction 1598, despite the fact that inside there are much older icons. Now there is a museum of paintings of 16-19 centuries.
  15. Trinity Cathedral in Novomoskovsk. Here are two strange facts. The church was built by  Peter Kalnyshevsky, the last ataman of the Zaporozhian Sich. And it was built in 1781 without a single nail.





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