Askold's Grave


This view of Askold's Grave 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. Askold's Grave is a part of the park complex on the right bank of the Dnieper River. According to a legend, on this very spot in 882 Prince Oleg killed the princes Askold and Dir and, by some reports, usurped the throne of Kievan Rus, the polity of the region from the late ninth century to the 1230s. Askold was buried where he had been killed and became much honored by local people. There are reports that he was baptized in Tsargrad (a Slavic name for Constantinople, present-day Istanbul) in the 860s, taking the name Nicholas, and that he tried to convert Rus to Christianity. The site of Askold's death was marked by a small wooden chapel. Architect Andrey Ivanovich Melensky designed the round stone Church of Saint Nicolas, which replaced the old wooden one in 1810. The area adjacent to the church became a cemetery for the famous and aristocratic people of Kiev. 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