Saint Andrew's Church, Kiev


This view of Saint Andrew’s Church 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. In 1744 the Empress Elizabeth chose the site of the Tsar’s Palace (often called the Mariyinsky Palace) in Kiev for a royal residence in the south of the Russian Empire, and plans were also made for the baroque Saint Andrew’s Church to replace an earlier wooden church. Legend holds that Saint Andrew visited the area of Kiev and prophesied that it would be the cradle of Christianity in the Slavic lands. Bartolomeo Rastrelli drew up the architectural design for the church, and Ivan Michurin oversaw the construction, which presented significant engineering problems. The church sits on top of a hill steep enough that the planned ramp up to it had to be cancelled and steps used instead. The exterior, with its five domes and a cupola, was finished in 1754; the interior work continued until 1767. This image shows the church with its adjoining residence for the priest, which was also designed by Rastrelli. 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