Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery) is an Orthodox monastic complex in Kyiv. It was founded in 1051 as a cave monastery by monks from Mount Athos in Greece. In its early years, the monastery consisted of churches, chapels and cells built of wood, but as early as 1073, work began on the construction of a stone cathedral, the forerunner of the present Dormition Cathedral, which was completed in 1089. In the early modern period, the monastery became a centre of Orthodox pilgrimage for the entire Russian Empire. The 17th and 18th centuries were periods of great renewal for the monastery, which grew to its present size, including the most significant representations of Baroque and Rococo painting and architecture. In 1994, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The cradle of Slavic culture, Kyivis also a crossroads for the populations of Eastern Europe. Here, monasteries with golden onion domes stand alongside Ashkenazi synagogues and even a Tatar mosque.
The Trinity Gate Church is the main entrance to the Kyiv Cave Lavra. It was built in the early 12th century, after which it was rebuilt several times. Originally close to the sacred buildings of the Kievan Rus' (860-1240), the Trinity Gate Church is now decorated in the Ukrainian Baroque style. The church survived the earthquake of 1230 and the Mongol invasion of 1240. However, the church was severely damaged by fire in 1718 and was restored between 1722 and 1729.
St. Nicholas Cathedral is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Kyiv. It was built between 1899 and 1909 in the neo-Gothic style by the Ukrainian architect Vladislav Gorodetsky and Emilio Sala. In 1938, the Soviet authorities closed the cathedral. After its restoration in 1979-1980 by the architects O. Grauzhis and I. Tukalevskiy, the church became the seat of the National Institute of Organ and Chamber Music of Ukraine. Masses and other liturgical celebrations have been allowed in the cathedral since 1992.
The Lazar Brodsky Synagogue in Kyiv is a Russian Revival synagogue dating from 1897-98. The architects of the synagogue are Georgii Shleifer for the initial construction and Yu. Paskevich for the restoration in 2000. The synagogue was taken out of use between 1926 and 1997. The building has been adapted for various uses. During the Second World War, under Nazi occupation, it was used as a stable for army horses. After the war it changed hands again, eventually becoming a puppet theatre. In 1991, Moshe Reuven Azman, Rabbi of the Chabad Lubavich Jewish religious community, requested the return of the synagogue to the Kyiv Jewish community, which took place in December 1997.
The Volodymyrsky Cathedral was built between 1862 and 1882 in the Russian neo-Byzantine style, but the interior decoration, including many symbolist frescoes, was not completed until 1896. During the Soviet period, the cathedral escaped demolition but not closure, and during the Second World War, it became a museum of religion and atheism. After the war, the cathedral was reopened as one of the few functioning Orthodox churches in the USSR. Since 2018, the church has been the mother cathedral of the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which seceded from the Patriarch of Moscow.
The Karaite Synagogue is a former synagogue built between 1898 and 1902 by the architect Vladislav Gorodetsky. The building is distinguished by its luxurious Moorish and Arabic decoration. The synagogue was intended for Kyiv Karaite community (about 300 people at the time) but was closed shortly afterwards under the Soviet regime. Since 1981, the House of Republican Actors has been housed there.
St Sophia's Cathedral, named after St Sophia's Cathedral in Constantinople, was built in 1037 by the Kievan Prince Yaroslav the Wise (978-1054) as a burial place for Kievan rulers. The cathedral was first sacked in 1169 by Andrey Bogolyubsky of the Vladimir-Suzdal principality, and in 1240 by the Mongols, under whom it fell into disuse. After the Union of Brest (1595-1596), St. Sophia’s Cathedral was annexed to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church until it was recovered by the Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Peter Mogila in 1633. Mogila commissioned repairs and the upper part of the building was almost completely rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style, retaining the Byzantine interior. At the end of the reconstruction, in 1740, the cathedral took on its present appearance. The building has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.
St. Alexander's Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church built on a cruciform plan with a dome at the intersection of the naves in the classical style. It was built between 1817 and 1842, under the direction of Vincenzo Beretti, to celebrate the victory of Tsar Alexander I over Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1937 the church was closed by the Soviet authorities and between 1952 and 1990 it was used as a planetarium and historical library, for which the altars were removed. In 1990 it was returned to the Roman Catholic community, restored until 1994 and rededicated on 7 October 1995.
The Monastery of St. Michael with the Golden Dome was built in the Middle Ages, in 1108-1113. The building was rebuilt in Ukrainian Baroque style in the 18th century, keeping its original interior. The monastery was partially demolished by the Soviets in 1936, building a monumental architectural complex in its place, but only a part of it was built during the Stalinist era, the current Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The church did not reopen until 1999 after a reconstruction campaign started in the 1990s.
According to the legend, the foundation stone of St. Andrew's Church was laid by the apostle Andrew (1st century). In 1112, Prince Mstislav I had the wooden church of the Exaltation of the Cross built here, which stood until 1560. After that, the site remained empty and served as a rampart for the nearby fortress. Empress Elisabeth of Russia (1741-1762), during her visit to Kyiv in 1744, ordered the construction of a court church on the site of the cross in honour of the Apostle Andrew, who was also the patron saint of the Tsarist Empire. After its consecration in 1767, the church was renovated several times, but no significant changes were made.
The Ar-Rahma Mosque was built between 1996 and 2011 for the Muslim community in Kyiv. In 1897, according to official data, 1759 Muslims lived in Kyiv. On 3 October 1897, by decision of the city administration, a house of prayer was opened in a house, a two-storey wooden building which has not survived to the present day. On 29 October 1913, Governor Mikhail Sukovkin laid the foundation stone of the first stone mosque in Gogolivska Street. However, the First World War, the October Revolution and later the Second World War hampered its construction, which was never completed. The present mosque was built further north, on Lukyanivska Street.