There is one old legend related to the history of ancient Kiev. It is difficult to answer even for scientists how authentically this, but as far as we know “there is no smoke without fire”.
To fulfill the Great Commission of Christ who commanded his disiples to go and teach all nations to believe and be baptized after Crist’s resurrection his desiples desided to cast lots to determine who and where would go to preach the Gospel and draws the pagans to Christianity.
Saint Andrew (Pervozvanniy) and his prophecy
The Apostle Andrew nick-named as the First-Called (he was the first disciple who Christ called with) had to go throught Bethany, Propontis, Thrace,Thessaly, Hellas and other adjoining lands and afterwards to go to Scythia. And here he is by the Black Sea- Pontus Euxine. The Apostle Andrew returned from Sinop, passes Korsun and here it becomes aware to him of the place where the legendary Borysfen flows into the Black Sea. In the plans of saint Andrew was a trip to Rome, where he could get to Rome, where he could get across the Black Sea.
This time, he desided to go up the Dniper. Reaching the picturesque hills, he desided to spend the night at this place. And rising early in the morning on one of the hills he prophesied that grace of god would be stretched all over these hills and with time there will be a magnifficent city with many churches in it.This event is described in the story of Bygone Years by chronicler Nestor.(this record is dated of the early 12th century).
The establishment of Kiev
Centuries passed, and the Andrew’s prophecy was fullfilled, at the hills grew up the walls of the ancient city with its magnificent gold-domed churches, that became the stronghold of Christianity of an ancient Rus. The city grew and a whole lot of churches has became, and Saint Andrew is the founder of ancient Kiev to some extent.
The construction of St.Andrew’s Church
Logically the church of St.Andrew was supposed to be one of the first in the Rus if to be based on the Nestor’s records, but it only appeared in the mid-18th century.
This was due to the arrival to Kiev Peter’s-I dauther Elizabeth. In order to lead the construction of the church there for was invited the legendary Carlo Bartolomeo Rastrelli from St.Petersburg.
Andrew’s church is his only creation in Ukraine.It is a real pearl of architectural art that Kievans proud of.One of the leaders of the project was a famous architect from Moscow Ivan Michurin. The church built for five years and in 1754 was finished. For the great Italian architect it became a swan song.
The church has has one dome with a diametr of 10 meters, in the plain of church looks crusiform and elongated along the axis of the east-west. In the corners of the cross of St. Andrew’s church. There are decorative towers in the corners of the cross- foundation of St.Andrew’s church. Towers are decorated with pilasters outside and cover three pairs columned pillars with capitels of corithian and Ionic orders. The circular windows are decorated with luxurious moldings, and pediments have immortalized cast iron cartouches with monogram of Empress Elizabeth.
Green domes, white and blue walls and gilt are elements that make St.Andrew’s church with nothing comparable monument and symbol of Christian Orthodox Church in Kiev.
Why there are no bells?
As it known the St.Andrew’s church has no bells. The legend says that in ancient times when St.Andrew set a cross on the hill it was washed by the sea. When a cross was set the sea has mysteriously derogated and hid itself under the hill. It can to wake up only because of bell ringing. This is why Andrew’s Church is without bells.
First temple predecessor to Andreevsky appeared in 1690. With time the wooden structure fallen apart and at this place was set up the cross that was named in honor of St.Andrew. This cross has staid to the constuction of the temple.The priests were opposed to the constuction because of the cross as stubbornly refused to take it off. After long delays construction finnaly has started. The temple most of its history was not fuctioning because of not very successful chosen location. Moreever Kiev shrine was constantly under threat of destruction, and infinitly had to be repaired because of land subsidence. For these reasons, the building less and less looked like the creation of the Italian master over the years.
The church restoration
Only through Rastrelli surviving drawings in the last century as a result of the last restoration the church gained its original form.Luxury majestic look with lots of gilding all that what is typical for the romantic baroque style.Currently the original drawings of St. Andrew’s church are stored in the Austrian capital Vienna.
The interior of St. Andrew’s church affects with abundence of household items, landscape and still life items. The temple is in perfect harmony with the Kiev’s landscape. There is a cast-iron staircase which leads to the church with a panoramic view to Podol aria and the Dniper river. St.Andrew’s church could rightly be considered as a visiting card of Ukrainian capital, wich was opened for visitors in 1968.
Two years ago Andrew’s church was transferred by the national nature reserve “Sophia Kievscaya” for further management and financing of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church. For the past ten years the managers of St.Sophia and Ukrainian Philharmonic Society tried to put into life the project called “Musical evenings in the Museum of St. Andrew’s Church”.To listen to the masterpieces of world classics possible three times a week, even in summer, when the concert-theater season closed. The Dniper is lovely in the summer evenings, and the music is flowing out of the St. Andrew’s church.
Over the years of its existence it has become a favorite of local and visiting artists and was shown in the cinematic masterpiece of the last century, the film”Chasing two Hares.”
adress:Kiev, Andrew’s deccent, 23
opening hours: 13.00 – 14.00
day off: wedensday. Morning (1000010.00-13.00) and in the evening (1000017.00-19.00) time for the church services.
Concert days: Friday, Suturday, Sunday-chamber concerts of classical music, starting at 19.30