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God Bless Ukraine: St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv

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Today, we explore the unique beauty of the St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv, Ukraine, which is well-known the world over for its distinct Baroque-style architecture. Since 1987, St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv has been under the administrative umbrella of the National Conservation Area “St. Sophia of Kyiv,” which also includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint-Sophia Cathedral and related 18th century monastic buildings.

It is said that Saint Andrew spent a night upon Starokievska Hill, where the current church now stands. He then erected a cross there proclaiming that, in the future, the surrounding lands would host a great city that would be filled with many churches, all giving glory to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the mid-18th century, after summering in Kyiv, the reigning monarch, Her Majesty Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, was enthralled by the beautiful view of the Dnieper River, then known as Old Kyiv Mountain. Soon after, by imperial decree, the construction of present-day St. Andrew’s Church commenced, with the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna laying the first three foundation bricks herself on September 9, 1744. The imperial architect, Parisian-born Franceso Bartolomeo Rastrelli, was eventually appointed to design St. Andrew’s Church, and architect Ivan Michurin oversaw its construction.

Thirty-nine of the 68 oil-painted canvases found in St. Andrew’s Church are on the iconostasis. These were created between 1751 and 1752 by a group of artists from St. Petersburg. The group included a notable artist of that era, Alexei Antropov, whose works here include “The Repose of the Virgin,” found on the iconostasis; “The Scene of the Annunciation,” upon the Holy Doors; and “The Last Supper,” upon the altar-piece.

May the beautiful architecture and devotional origins of St. Andrew’s Church continue to serve as a reminder of Lord Jesus Christ’s teachings and fortify our faith in God. Our hearts go out to Ukraine people as we pray for God’s All-Merciful Love and Protection, and a swift return to peace.
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