Saint Andrew Church

This church is free of any depth or seriousness.
It is cheerful and bright, earthly beautiful, a wondrous monument of 18 century –
light-minded and merry that created worship of grace and fairness.

This is how Saint Andrew Church is described in one of the city guide books of Kiev printed in the beginning of 20th century. As the legend says, Apostle Andrew, the first preacher of Christianity in Rus, once stood on the hill where the church is now, put there a cross, and predicted the appearance of the city. From the moment of Kiev Rus baptizing till the middle of 18th century there where different churches at different times, but they all were not preserved till nowadays.

Later, in 1744, Empress Elisabeth came to the city and desired to build a temple on the hill. She put a symbolic stone on fundament of the future cathedral. It was build in1749-1762 in baroque style.

The project of the church was made by B.Rastrelli – a famous architect, creator of Zimniy palace and Smolniy monastery in St. Petersburg, Mariinskiy (Royal) Palace in Kiev. Saint Andrew Church may be considered to be one of the best works of Rastrelli because of its artistic finality, challenging conception, grace, and spatial design.

Андреевская церковь, Киев

It is the incarnation of a special trend of baroque style typical only for Rastrelli. The project also united classic baroque characteristics with Ukrainian traditions and features of Ukrainian folk architecture, transformed rich architectural Achievements of Russia and Europe.

Saint Andrew Church was conceived as a court temple, but after death of Empress Elisabeth it was taken off the list of court buildings. No one took care of it, and year by year the church was ruining. The building decayed, cracked, the fundament was scoured by ground waters. Decorative elements were partially damaged and lost. After unsatisfactory reparation works in the end of 19th century the shapes of domes were disfigured. The bell tower has not been built, also by that time the drafting of Rastrelli’s project disappeared. From 1968 till the beginning of years 90, masses are not hold in the church, and it was transformed in museum.  In the end of the years 70 Rastrelli’s drafting were found in archives. According to this project, Kiev instaurators did all necessary renewal work, and now the church stays in its original appearance.

Saint Andrew Church overlooks the historical Podol quarter from a steep hill to which the church gave its name. Slim silhouette of the temple reaches the sky and looks like to be painted against of it. Nature and architecture are so harmoniously united here. The church looks perfectly from all the sides of the hill, and its exuberant colorful structure is considered to be one of the city’s best landmarks.