View of the Old City of Kiev


This view of the old city of Kiev is from Souvenir of Kiev, an early 20th-century album showing the main sites of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and at that time one of the most important cities of the Russian Empire. Vladimir Hill, one of the oldest places in Kiev, is part of the public Saint Michael’s Park in front of Saint Michael’s Monastery, laid out after a monument to Prince Vladimir the Great was built there in 1853. The classical Saint Alexander’s Church, built in 1842, is seen at left and is the most important Roman Catholic church in Kiev. Saint Sophia Cathedral, farther back on the left, was probably begun in 1037 by Yaroslav the Wise but completed in the present form 700 years later, after cycles of destruction and rebuilding. Byzantine elements of style were originally adopted from the great church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, but the Ukrainian baroque style predominated from 1740. The cathedral and bell tower are surrounded by a complex of monastic buildings. Saint Sophia Cathedral, together with Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The 25 views in Souvenir of Kiev are collotypes, made using a chemically-based printing process widely employed before the invention of offset lithography.

Last updated: February 29, 2012