St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery
Built in the years 1108-1113 and still in activity, The St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery is located on a bluff of the upper town, overlooking the old merchant neighborhood of the capital. The cathedral was of particular importance for the people of Kiev as it was dedicated to the Archangel Michael - saint patron of Kiev. And, in the 12th century, the monastery served as the burial place of princes. It was the first Russian cathedral with a gilded dome serving as a basis for the religious constructions that followed through out Russia.
During the Mongol invasion of Kiev, Khan and his troops removed the golden domes and badly damaged the cathedral. Following this event, the cathedral fell into despair without much documentation to account for its activity nor its appearance. In the 16th century, with the annexation of Kiev to Moscow, the monastery lost much of its estate, but wealthy Cossacks and hetmans endowed the monastery. It was revived and following a succession of enlargements and restorations it became one of the richest of the country.
In 1934-1936, the Soviet authorities carried out the demolition of the cathedral, replacing it with a new administrative center. For preservation purposes some mosaics, frescoes and other parts were moved to the St. Sofia's Cathedral, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
Rebuilt in 1997-1998, St. Michael's Cathedral officially opened on May 30, 1999. The monastery is still in activity and visitors will enjoy the cathedral's Byzantine interior and Ukrainian Baroque style exterior. The bell tower of the monastery is equipped with modern electric clocks, chimes and a carillon designed to play complex melodies by a trained musician.
Remember to wear a proper attire and to remove your hat when you visit the monastery.