St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery was rebuilt in 1998 on the site of the cathedral church in honor of the Archangel Michael, destroyed in the 1930s. It also includes a refectory with the Church of St. John the Evangelist (built in 1713) and a bell tower (also restored in 1998). Nowadays it belongs to the UOC-KP.

The first temple in honor of the Archangel Michael was ordered to be built in 1108 by Prince Svyatopolk Izyaslavich (baptized by Michael). Built in 5-6 years, St. Michael’s Cathedral was of particular importance for the people of Kiev, as it was dedicated to Archangel Michael, the heavenly patron of Kyiv.

Mikhailovsky Golden-Domed was under the “protection” of Archangel Michael until the mid-1930s, having survived many wars and troubles, including the Mongol-Tatar yoke. But after the capital of the Ukrainian SSR was transferred from Kharkov to Kiev, a decision was made to demolish the cathedral and build administrative buildings in its place… The decision to demolish the monastery was made by a resolution of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (Bolsheviks) in February 1934, and the dismantling of the mosaics even began earlier – in 1933.

Attempts by people to preserve the cathedral (at least part of it from the pre-Mongol period) were rejected by officials, who agreed only to the removal (for preservation) of ancient mosaics and frescoes from the walls of the building. The cathedral was dismantled until 1936, and in June 1937, its remaining structures were removed using explosives. The surviving mosaics were removed to a new base and moved to the St. Sophia Cathedral. Some elements of the decoration were transferred to the museums of Leningrad (Hermitage) and Moscow (Tretyakov Gallery). In 1941, the mosaics and frescoes remaining in Kyiv fell into the hands of the German occupiers. After the war they returned to the USSR, but not all…
But the administrative buildings that were planned to be built on the site of the already demolished monastery were never erected.

This is interesting!

1. There are rumors that the St. Michael’s Monastery was the first temple with a gilded top, from which this tradition began in Rus’.
2. The founding of the St. Michael’s Monastery is credited to the first Metropolitan of Kyiv, Michael.
3. Near the monastery there is the upper station funicular and the park Vladimirskaya Gorka.

From 1973 to 1982, a scientific restoration of the refectory Church of St. John the Evangelist (the only building of the monastery that survived the demolition of the 1930s) took place. The church was restored in forms close to the original. From 2001 to 2008, the Russian Ministry of Culture transferred the original fragments of frescoes from the St. Michael’s Monastery stored in the Hermitage.
On the bell tower of the monastery there are modern electric chimes and a keyboard-bell musical instrument carillon, designed for the performance of complex melodies by a specially trained musician.
A copy of the ancient sculptural image of the Archangel Michael was installed on the pediment of the cathedral. The original sculpture was saved by art historian Pavel Zholtovsky after the demolition of the temple; it ended up in the Museum of Ethnography and Arts in Lvov, and then returned to Kyiv.

On the night of December 11, 2013 (the beginning of Maidan under Yanukovych), the bells of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery rang the alarm for the first time in 800 years, before this, the last time this happened was in 1240, during the Mongol-Tatar invasion. During Euromaidan, his supporters hid in St. Michael’s Cathedral, and a hospital and shelter were set up for those hiding from Berkut units.

Where is St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery?

Trehsvyatitelskaya street, 8