Friday, February 10, 2012

Favorites from Ukraine

Some time ago i tagged on the "fast favorites tag" and in a short period of time i was tagged twice by ukrainian postcrossers. The cards arrived in the same day. The 1st was sent by Anna "Annabel_Lee" and the 2nd by Kate "darkboom".

The Sviatohirsk Lavra or the Sviatohirsk Cave Monastery is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery (a lavra) near the city of Sviatohirsk in Donetsk Oblast (province) of eastern Ukraine. The lavra is located on the right bank of the Seversky Donets River. The name comes from the hill on which it sits—Sviatohirsk or Holy Hill.

The first monks to settle the area were in the 14th-15th centuries. The first written mention of the monastery was in 1526. In 1624, the monastery was officially recognized as the Sviatohirsk Uspensky Monastery. During times of the Crimean Khanate, the monastery was invaded a couple of times.

In 1787, the government of Catherine II had paid for the restoration of the monastery. In 1844, it was once again restored, paid for by monetary donations from Aleksander Mikhailovich Potemkin and his wife Tatiana Borisovna. During the next seventy years until 1914, the monastery was one of the most important monasteries of the Russian Empire. In 1922, the monastery was rebuilt and converted into a residence.

Before its destruction, the Sviatohirsk Lavra complex consisted of: a worker's shop, windmills, various kinds of repair shops, and trading buildings. The lavra's main Dormition Cathedral was designed by Alexey Gornostaev, who included a traditional Byzantine tower.

Before World War I, the monastery was inhabited by approx. 600 monks. During the 1930s, the monastery was destroyed by the Soviets, along with other numerous religious attractions throughout the Soviet Union.

After the fall of the Soviet Union and the regaining of Ukrainian independence in 1991, the monastery was restored a year later. In 2004, the monastery was officially granted the status of a Ukrainian Orthodox Church lavra. Today, the monastery community consists of more than 100 people, which increases each year. - in: wikipedia

Saint Vladimir Cathedral is one of the most beautiful temples in Kiev. It was built in the 19th century to commemorate the 900th anniversary of Russian baptizing. Russian Emperor Nicolas I himself approved the project of the cathedral and ordered to collect money all over Russia. By 1859 more than 100,000 rubles were donated by people of different regions of the country. Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra donated one million bricks for the cathedral construction.
Original design of the cathedral was elaborated by Saint Petersburg architect Strom and Kiev eparchy architect Sparro. Later the project was completed by architect Beretti.
The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Prince Vladimir, who baptized Russia and made Christianity official state religion. Interiors and exteriors of the cathedral are designed in Old Byzantine style, which makes the cathedral similar to temples of Old Russia in the times of Saint Prince Vladimir. The cathedral topped with seven domes is 49 meters high. The door of the cathedral decorated with relieves is a masterpiece. Relieves depict Princess Olga, who was the first one in Russia to adopt Christianity, and her grandson prince Vladimir, who baptized Russia.
Saint Vladimir Cathedral was put up in 1862-1896. In 1896 it was solemnly consecrated at presence of Emperor Nicolas II and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Saint Vladimir Cathedral is world famous for its unique frescos and mosaics. Outstanding Russian artists, such as Vasnetsov, Vrubel, Nesterov and others, as well as Venetian masters, participated in the cathedral decoration. Salvation and symbolic history of Russian Orthodox Christianity is the main subject that unifies all the frescos and mosaics of the cathedral, including those treating the Gospel subjects, depicting martyrs, apostles and saints. - in:

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