Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev – Ukraine

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Ukraine is one of the most picturesque and significant religious edifices in the country. It is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.


The cathedral is located at Kiev in Ukraine.

What to See

The cathedral design is of the Old Rus architecture. The interior walls of the edifice are decorated with frescoes and mosaics. These decors date from the 11th century. The images depicted are of different figures from the history of the church.

Aside from the apostles and Biblical figures, maidens and warriors are depicted too. The Church Fathers are also displayed at the walls.

Some of the other landmarks in the area are the southern entrance tower, the House of Metropolitan, and the Consistory. Other landmarks at the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Ukraine are the Refectory Church and the Belltower.

The cathedral complex is the major component of the National Preserve “Sophia of Kiev”. This is the institution that serves to protect the complex and other structures related to it.


The foundations of the cathedral were set down in 1011 or 1037. It took over 20 years for the cathedral to be completed. The style used is a combination of Ukranian Baroque and Byzantine. There are 13 cupolas and 5 apses. The cathedral was initially used as a burial ground of the rulers of Kiev. Among them are Vsevolod Yaroslavich, Vladimir Monomakh and Yaroslav I the Wise.

The cathedral fell into ruins after the pillage of the Mongolian Tatars in the 13th century. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, plans were made to destroy the church. But this was prevented upon the pleas of historians. Today it is one of the main tourist attractions at Ukraine.


The cost of the tours vary. For a single person, it may be 52 USD. For a group (3 or more) it will be 62 USD and over. These tours will include visits to other nearby attractions. Of course you can always visit the site by yourself. Although without the benefit of a guide, it is free.

Other Info

The cathedral is 29.5 m (97 ft) long and 29.3 m (96 ft) wide. The main dome is 28.6 m (94 ft) high. With the galleries, the length will be 41.7 m (137 ft) and the width is 54.6 m (179 ft).

Other parts of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Ukraine are the Monastic Inn, the cells, the Memorial Stella of Yugoslav’s library and the Bursa.