About this building
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 golden-domed monastery of St. Michael is the cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Built in 1108-1113, the building was rebuilt in a Baroque style in the 18th century. Demolished by the soviets, the church did not reopen before 1999.
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, who made it fall into disuse. After the Union of Brest (1595-1596), St. Sophia 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.