St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery
St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery is a functioning monastery in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Originally built in the Middle Ages by Sviatopolk II Iziaslavych, the monastery comprises the Cathedral itself, the Refectory of St. John the Divine, the Economic Gates and the bell tower. The exterior of the structure was rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style in the 18th century while the interior remained in its original Byzantine style.
About St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in brief
St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery is a functioning monastery in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Originally built in the Middle Ages by Sviatopolk II Iziaslavych, the monastery comprises the Cathedral itself, the Refectory of St. John the Divine, built in 1713, the Economic Gates, constructed in 1760 and the monastery’s bell tower. The exterior of the structure was rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style in the 18th century while the interior remained in its original Byzantine style. The original cathedral was demolished by the Soviet authorities in the 1930s, but was reconstructed and opened in 1999 following Ukrainian independence in 1991. In 1906, a medieval hoard of silver and gold jewellery was discovered in a metal casket on Trekhsvyatytelska Street opposite the gates of the monastery. Gold jewellery from the hoard is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York while the silver jewellery and two ingots are in the British Museum, London. The chief magnet for pilgrims were the relics of Saint Barbara, alleged to have been brought to Kyiv from Constantinople in 1108 and kept in a silver reliquary donated by Hetman Ivan Mazepa. In 1870, about 100,000 pilgrims paid tribute to St Barbara at St. Michael’s Monastery. Before the Russian Revolution in 1917, St. Barbara’s rings, were very popular among the citizens of Kyiv.
They usually served as good luck and protected against witchcraft, according to popular beliefs. The monastery served as the residence of the bishop of Chernigov after 1800. A pre-loets school was located on the monastery grounds; many prominent composers, such as Kyrylo Yatsenko and Yakrylo Yakloetsenko, either studied or taught at the school. The Monastery was not affected by the plague epidemics in 1710 and 1770 and was occasionally protected against serious illnesses and sudden death by the cholera epidemic of the nineteenth century. It was also the home of the renewed Orthodox metropolitan ofKyiv, Iov Boretsky, from 1620 to 1633. It is believed that the Mongols damaged the cathedral and removed its gold-plated domes during the Mongol invasion in 1240. The cathedral domes were probably the first in Kyivan Rus to be gilded, a practice that became regular with the passage of time and acquired for the monastery the nickname of \”golden-domed\” or ‘goldenroofed’ Depending on the translation, it was also known as “golden domed” or � “ gold-roofing” The monastery was once one of the most popular and wealthiest monasteries in Ukraine. By 1496, it had been revived and its name was changed from St. Demetrius’ Monastery to St. Michael’s after the cathedral church built by Svyatolk II.