St. Catherine’s Lutheran Church

In Ukraine and Kyiv in particular, German colonists settled in the second half of the 18th century and they lived mainly in Podol. The first services for the still small German community were held in the house of Georg Bunge, the owner of the first city pharmacy. However, the community soon became cramped in the small pharmacist’s house and already during 1794-1795 a small wooden church was erected in honor of St. Catherine on Spasskaya Street. This first church was destroyed in the Podolsk fire of 1811. But soon the city provided believers with a place on the outskirts of Lipki. On June 25, 1812, a new wooden church was founded there. Financial difficulties forced church elders to mortgage their houses and build a church with these funds.

The current church building (Germanism, usually used to designate Lutheran ritual buildings) was built according to the design of the architect Ivan Shtrom. Construction and interior decoration were carried out by Pavel Shleifer. The building was founded on June 19, 1855, and consecrated on August 4, 1857. The church had excellent acoustics and had an organ donated by the merchant of Cologne. Next to the temple there was a Lutheran school. In 1854, at the church, members of the community organized the “Society of Singing” (Kiev Singing Society), and soon a choir and a symphony orchestra were created. The street was named Lutheran in honor of the residents and the location of the temple.

The turbulent events of the revolution of 1917-1919 and the establishment of Soviet power in the city put an end to the peaceful life of the Lutheran community. Persecution of the clergy began, and in 1937 the last of the pastors was arrested. In 1938, the community was liquidated and the temple was closed. The temple alternately housed a club, then a warehouse, and since 1973 – the directorate of the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life. Due to 60 years of improper use, the church premises were completely distorted and the interiors were lost. During the Great Patriotic War, the pastor’s house, which was located opposite the church, was destroyed.

With Ukraine gaining independence, churches began to return to believers. In the early 1990s, the activities of the Lutheran community were revived, and in 1998 the temple was returned to believers. During 1998-2000, the reconstruction of the church continued and since 2000 the renovated temple has been fully operational.

Where is St. Catherine’s Lutheran Church?

Luteranskaya street, 22
(044) 253-63-19
services: 10:00 every Sunday