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St Cyril S Monastery Interior
Kiev

St. Cyril's Monastery was founded in 1140 by Vsevolod Olgovich, the Kniaz' (prince) of Chernigov, in the Dorohozhychi neighbourhood of Kiev and named after his heavenly protector, Cyril of Alexandria.[1] In the second half of the 12th century, Princess Maria, Vsevolod's widow, built the stone church of St. Cyril, which served as an ancestral burial place of the Olgovichi family.[1]

 Frescoes inside the St. Cyril's Church.

The monastery suffered a harsh fire in 1734, which was later reconstructed by the Ukrainian architect Ivan Hryhorovych-Barskyi during 1750–1760. His reconstruction works also included the addition of masonry walls enclosing the monastery's courtyard, a picturesque corner tower and gate, and other monastic buildings.


In 1787, St. Cyril's Monastery was closed by the Tsarist Government and its living quarters were converted into a hospital (St. Cyril's Hospital) and was later transformed into an insane asylum, which lasted until the mid-late 20th century in Soviet Ukraine.[2]


On May 8, 1929, the Council of Commisars of the Ukrainian SSR proclaimed St. Cyril's Monastery as a monument of historic significance and ordered that a "preservation district" be established.[3] However, at the same time, the monastery's church was closed to worship and it was prepared for transformation into a museum. The monastery's belfry was to hold a museum dedicated to Ivan Hryhorovych-Barskyi.[2] Like the many other numerous state protection districts throughout the Ukrainian SSR, the St. Cyril's complex was owned by the People's Commisariat of Education.


Pursuant to legislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada in June 1936, the Commisariat of Education had to grant permission for the dismantlement of the St. Cyril's Monastic structures.[2] According to the former curator of the St. Cyril State Preservation District, the monastic walls, gates, one coner tower and the belfry were dismantled for their brick material in 1937.[2]


St. Cyril's Church, including the medieval interiour frescoes and the 1880s murals by the famous Russian painter Mikhail Vrubel, were fortunately preserved. The remaining constructions of the complex, the rest of the monastic walls, one corner tower (see picture), and two buildings constructed by Barskyi were also preserved.[2] Of the monastery's cemetery, only two 18th century graves remained.[2]


In 1965, the Church became a branch of the National Sanctuary "Sophia of Kiev", allowing for major restorations as well as historical documentation to begin.[4] Since the late 1990s, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been allowed to conduct regular services inside the structure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Cyril's_Monastery

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Copyright: Alex Maksiov
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Uploaded: 10/04/2012
Updated: 01/08/2014
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