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Heritage / The architectural ensemble / Adaptations (late 18th late 19th cent.)

The architectural ensemble
of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev

Adaptations (late 18th late 19th cent.)


The fourth period of the ensemble's evolution (1787 late 19th c.) was a period of adaptation to new needs as the parish church and the control center of Kiev diocese.

Reconstructions of buildings in this period can be divided into three groups. The first in the spirit of Ukrainian Baroque style (bell tower, a refectory), successfully included in the ensemble. The second brought stylistically alien elements (the western facade of the St. Sophia Cathedral in pseudo-byzantian style, add the western wing cells in the classical style). The third group absolutely alien disgarmonic building in "brick" style or purely utilitarian buildings without any stylistic traits.

In general, these restructuring carried out with an understanding of principles of ensemble, and with desire to preserve its integrity.

The second factor that significantly influenced the ensemble, was a master plan of Kiev, which was approved in 1837. In accordance with this plan Starokyivska Fortress liquidated, its earthworks (which were based on shafts of 11 cent.) were taked down. From St. Andrew's Church by the estate of the cathedral was laid new wide Vladimir Street, other streets of the city of Yaroslav straightened and widened.

The zone of composition influence of the St. Sophia Cathedral ensemble in Kiev at the present plan

The zone of composition influence of the St. Sophia Cathedral ensemble in Kiev at the present plan

The new master plan emphasized the dominant role of Sophia ensemble. Four streets (Vladimirsky Passage, Streets Sretenska, Zolotovorotska and Sofijska) were oriented to the bell tower of the cathedral, forming a kind of spatial cross. The directions of some more distant streets as determined by the orientation of this ensemble.

Almost until the end of the 19th century the ensemble of the Cathedral was a powerful architectural "beacon", which meant the center of Kiev. Area of its visual impact spread over several kilometers around.

This is a summary of the article's section. Full text available on the ukrainian language.

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