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The Monument to St. Vladimir at the end of 19th century. Kiev
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The Monument to St. Vladimir at the end of 19th  century. Kiev
Tuesday, 17 May 2022


Kyiv city tours > St. Cyril`s Temple – architectural monument of the 12th century

Inside the temple - 800 square meters of ancient frescoes

St. Cyril`s Temple
Sanctuary in the temple

Warrior-Temple, the guard of north-western roads to Kiev — St. Cyril`s Temple has been rising in distant outskirts of Kiev since the 12th century. Even wall paintings of Saints are dressed in armors there. It is the second temple in Kiev after St. Sophia`s Cathedral, which has been preserved in its genuine walls since the times of Kievan Rus. The temple contains 800 square meters of wall paintings of that time inside of it. There are wall paintings of famous Mikhail Vrubel nearby — swansong, the masterpiece of modern epoch.

Combination of Old Russian and Vrubel paintings leaves striking feeling — as if you appear in the conditional world of symbols and images, created by our ancestors. “Centuries literally break” against these walls. Princely battles whirred; swords of invaders thundered here, gangs of robbers hid in neighborhood caves and ravines. The temple on the hill stands above the southern spurs of Babiy Yar — hearts of our contemporaries are withered by this word. The tragic last century literally passed the temple by terrible torrent, which destroyed the entire neighborhood in 1961. The temple resisted it thanks to its location on the hill. There was another rescue before that in 1929, when the temple became a museum: the Bolsheviks could estimate the importance of Old Russian painting, although did not admit the value of Vrubel`s decadence. But in eight years delicate light bell tower, the old monastery wall was demolished, but St. Cyril`s Church survived.

Feels like some good genius protects it. Maybe, it is Virgin Mary, painted by Vrubel — it is often compared to the Sistine Madonna. The great artist painted monumental canvases of wall paintings for the Church, adding the lost images of the 12th century.

It is in Cyril`s Church, where one can see one of the first in Old Russian art image of “The Judgment Day”. Color solution of “Life of Cyril Alexandriyskiy”, “Eucharist” and “Annunciation”, “Meeting” and “The Navity of Christ” and many other Biblical and Evangelic plots is wonderful. 

Pleiad of outstanding coryphaeus of Ukrainian painting of the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th centuries, including I. Izhakevich and N. Pimonenko worked in the church. Synthesis of different schools is now one of the peculiarities of art decoration of the temple.

Appearance of the church refers to the epoch of “Ukrainian Baroque” of the 17th century.

Our excursion to St. Cyril`s Church is preceded by a story about Old Russian architecture of Kiev and the areas that are passed by. Starting with the Golden Gates — the main entrance to the main princely capital city, the route will pass Sophia`s and Mikhailovskiy Cathedrals along the old Zhitomir road. Our way will lay across Lvovskaya Square, under asphalt of which not found gates of the same name still lay, by the ancient tract Kudryavets, Lukyanovka and Dorogozhichy districts. This way will combine centuries of history of the great city in one aspect – architectural, artistic and historical.


Organizational issues:

  • Duration of the excursion: 3 hours
  • Individual excursions are available on your request — at any time, any type of transport
Centuries "break" against the walls of the temple In the world of symbols and images, created by our ancestors The peculiiaruty of decoration of the temple is synthesis of different art schools

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St. Cyril`s Temple – architectural monument of the 12th century


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