St. Andrew's Church is recognized as one of the most beautiful churches in Ukraine. It is located in the historic district of the capital, Podil, on the ancient Andriyivskyy Descent Street, which connects the lower and upper parts of the city. The church was named in honor of the first preacher of Christianity in Rus, St. Andrew the Apostle. According to the Tale of Bygone Years, it was on this very spot that Andrew the Apostle erected a cross and prophesied the construction of a large city with many churches. Starting from the XI century, wooden and stone churches in honor of St. Andrew were built and eventually destroyed here, replacing each other.

The modern St. Andrew's Church was built at the request of the russian Empress Elizabeth. In September 1744, a ceremony was held to lay the foundation of the church, during which the empress personally placed the first three bricks into the foundation of the church as a symbol of the future construction. The church was built at a significant distance from the Imperial Palace on a steep slope of the Starokyivske Plateau, which served as a kind of natural pedestal for the construction of the church.



The architect who designed the church was the renowned Italian master Bartolomeo Rastrelli, and the construction, which lasted from 1747 to 1762, was supervised by was the russian architect Ivan Michurin. Rastrelli used 97.85 tons of cast iron for the decoration of the church. Interestingly, this material had not been previously used for the construction of religious buildings in Eastern Europe. The church has preserved its authentic architecture, including most of its exterior and interior decoration. The iconostasis, made of lime wood and covered in gold leaf, features 39 authentic high-quality icons from the 18th century. The most monumental composition in the church is the 19th-century painting 'The Sermon of the Apostle Andrew.' It weighs 170 kg and measures 4.5 x 3.5 meters. The iconostasis stands out with its distinctive and vibrant red color.


Bartolomeo Rastrelli

The height of the church is 64 meters, its length is 30 meters, and its width is 23 meters. The foundation reaches 15 meters deep. The construction required 23,500 bricks and 28,970 poods of nails. St. Andrew’s Church is situated on a geologically complex hill, susceptible to landslides and erosion by spring and groundwater, which is why it constantly requires reinforcement and attention from specialists. This is also one of the reasons why bells are not installed in the church, to prevent the sound waves from causing ground shifts. The entire weight of the church rests on a two-story building - a stylobate with 8 rooms on each floor,  the walls of which serve as the foundation of the church. Steep cast iron stairs lead to the church.
Around the building, there is a spacious observation platform that offers a view of the Dnipro River and the enchanting slopes of Kyiv.

The building is situated on a hill in such a way that it appears to be floating in the sky from any vantage point. The elevated location of the church also attracts lightning, which have struck the church three times. In the legendary comedy film 'Chasing Two Hares' the wedding of the main character Pronya Prokopivna and Holokhvastov took place on the steps of the St. Andrew’s Church to the sound of prop bells. Afterward, monuments to the main characters of the film were installed near the church, tourists and guests of the capital often take photos with them. Another interesting fact is that during the Soviet era, the church was an
anti-religious museum.


The building of the St. Andrew's Church is listed in the catalog '1000 Wonders of the World: Masterpieces of Humanity on 5 Continents.' As of today, the St. Andrew's Church is an active church of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church within the National Preserve 'Sophia of Kyiv,' which is entrusted to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The church is open to visitors and is located at Andriyivskyy Descent, 23

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