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This place is worth visiting because:

  1. St. Andrew's church is located on one of the most picturesque streets in Kyiv.
  2. The church was designed by the outstanding architect Bartolomeo Rasrelli who also designed Mariinskiy Palace in Kyiv and the Tsar's Winter Palace in St-Petersburg.
  3. The Russian Empress Elisabeth chosen the site of the church herself.
  4. The church is famous for not having a bell tower. There are many different explanations for this fact.
  5. The church is situated on a steep hill, rendering construction very difficult.
  6. The church is still functional and it is also a place for classical music concerts.
  7. The church was filmed in a famous Ukrainian movie “Za dvoma zajciami”. There are also statues of the main heroes of the story near the church.
  8. The church contains beautiful sculpture.
  9. The church contains a “Tsar's place” inside the church consisting of a dainty decorated little balcony.
  10. The church is one of Rastrelli's works in Kyiv that is still maintained in its original appearance.

St. Andrew's church is located at the top of Andriivskiy Uzviz street, which one of the most romantic and picturesque streets in Kyiv. It is said that this church is built on the site where the Apostle Andrew planted a cross and said “This is the place where God's grace will shine. Here will be a mighty city and a multitude of churches”. The church was built by the famous architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli in baroque style, but inside it's mostly decorated in rococo style. The exterior is turquoise, decorated with columns and moldings. Huge columns with domes, one on each of the four corners, are placed around the church, rendering a non-traditional appearance. Inside the church you will be impressed by the beautiful carvings and paintings made by outstanding experts of that time.

As at the Mariinskiy Palace, which was also designed by Rastrelli, St. Andrew's church was built at the order of Empress Elisabeth who wanted to have her summer residence in Kyiv. The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone of the church took place on the 9th of September 1744 and was made personally by Elisabeth. Oleksiy Rozumovs'kiy and metropolitan Rafail Zaborovs'kiy also took part in this ceremony.

Originally, the design of the church was charged to J. H. Shedel who also built the Great Bell Tower of Kyiv-Pechers'k Lavra. But his design was rejected. The task was then assigned to Rastrelli who despite being busy with the Smol'niy Monastet's planning, managed to design St. Andrew's church, including it's most minute details. Architect Ivan Michurin's team from “St-Petersburg Chancery of Building” managed the building of the church itself, and dealt with such difficulties as groundwater and fillings. Drainages were used for water disposal. One of them was used for a fountain on Podil – now called “Samson”. The foundation of the church is 14 m deep. The exterior is painted with mouldings in baroque style. The huge green dome is on the top of the church. There is a terrace around the building with a beautiful view. Huge columns with domes are placed around the church on each of the four corners; these domes and the huge central dome are green. The church is accessed by old cast-iron stairs. Decorative work inside the church continued until 1767, led by artists O. Antropov and I. Vishniakov. The sanctuary was painted by Ukrainian masters I. Romenskiy and I. Chajkovkiy, and then consecrated.

The first capital repairs were made at 1828 by A. Melenskiy, who was the city's architect at that time. His famous works are the rotunda church on the Askoldova Mohila and the monument of Magdeburg privileges. He tried to save the church's original appearance. Its appearance at that time can be seen from M. Sazhin's watercolor. Works of P. Birispolec adorn the transept of the church: see the painting “St. Andrew's sermon on the river Dniper bank”.

A funicular railway was planned to be built at the beginning of the 20th century but because of problems with the ground this proposition was rejected. Later the funicular was built on Volodimr's hill. Because of the problems with the ground, the church needs regular repairs. Once a joke was published in Kyiv's “The latest news” newspaper on the 1rst of April (1912) to attract people's attention to this problem. It was written that St. Andrew's church bell tower had been destroyed. Of course, it was a joke – because this church has no bell tower.

There were different museums in the church during the USSR era including: the branch of Sofiivskiy anti-religious museum, the branch of the Governmental historical and architectural reserve “Sofijskiy muzej”. There was also a theological seminary there during from 1949-1965. The latest capital repairs were made in 1979-1988. Rastrelli's engineering drawings of the church were found in Vienna's museum “Albertina” at that time. Now St. Andrew's church is functional, with guided tours available and occasionally classical music concerts are organized there.


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