12th-century Kiev church with unique frescoes opens after restoration

Kiev, October 1, 2019

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One of the oldest buildings in Kiev, a unique 12th-century church, reopened on Saturday, September 28 after two years of restoration work.

The Church of the Savior at Berestove, which is part of the architectural ensemble of the Kiev Caves Lavra and is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, has preserved some unique frescoes, reports the Pechersk District State Administration.

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Restoration of the church began in 2017, and the experts managed to preserve all the authentic fragments of the church.

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Of particular value are the 17th-century frescoes—about 1,076 sq. ft. of ancient Russian iconography from the era of St. Peter (Mogila), the Metropolitan of Kiev.

A documentary on the church was also presented at the opening, attended by local officials and patrons of the restoration project.

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OrthoChristian recently reported that a 13th-century church was opened in Novgorod after a two-year process of restoration.


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The church was long associated with the family of the ruler Vladimir Monomakh, with at least three members buried underneath the baptistery: George I of Kiev (the founder of Moscow), his son Gleb and his daughter Eufemia.

The churches of Kiev, including the Church of the Savior at Berestove, were restored under St. Peter (Mogila) in the 17th century. St. Peter’s church was smaller but incorporated surviving elements from the older church.

In the early 1970s, a fragment of a 12th-century fresco of Christ walking on the water was uncovered in the church. Since Ukraine’s independence following the fall of the USSR, the church has been part of the Kiev Caves Lavra Historical-Cultural Preserve, though it sits just north of the monastery’s fortifications, and functions primarily as a museum, with services on Sundays.

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