The secrets of Sophia Kyivska

Each ancient city has its own iconic places: special ones, with a thousand-year history, reflecting an entire era and demonstrating how humanity developed .. In Kyiv, such a place is Sofia Kievskaya ..

During its centuries-old history “Sofia” has survived invasions of enemies, robberies, partial destruction, repairs and restructuring. The appearance of the cathedral has changed significantly, but the interior still keeps the traces of our ancestors and amazes with the number of secrets and mysteries! Historians and archaeologists work on them every day and delight with new discoveries.

💥We invite you for a 2-hour walk-excursion to the historical reserve “Sophia Kievskaya”. During this time, you:

✔ climb the Mazepa bell tower,

✔ admire the Ancient Cathedral,

✔ an ensemble of monastic buildings and majestic Kyiv

✔ walk through the reserve under the guide's fascinating stories about monastery life and monastery cuisine.

Having crossed the entrance to Sofia, you will immediately find yourself at the mercy of her grandeur and splendor. And in this article we will slightly open the veil of secrets of this magnificent structure for you.

💥You will see:

✔ A miracle of 11th century art - mosaics. On the walls of the temple there are 260 sq.m. of mosaics.The figure of Madonna - Oranta meets the visitors of the temple with a deep gaze. Moving around the temple, many have the feeling that Madonna speaks with her eyes with you. Somewhere she meets you standing, somewhere (if you are at the altar) she sits on an invisible throne, but at any point of the temple she looks exactly at you.

✔Studying this phenomenon, historians have found that the wall on which the Madonna is depicted is not only concave, but also has three relief stripes.

Whether it was done on purpose or it was an accident, historians have no answer, but the fact that the masters skillfully used this and created a “living” image of Oranta is an indisputable.

✔Oranta - "Unbreakable Wall" - this is how the people of Kyiv call Madonna. And there are many wonderful proofs of this. In 1918, the bolshevik troops attacking Kyiv fired to the city. One shell hit Sophia, broke through the wall at Oranta's shoulder and did not explode.

✔ The Madonna's handkerchief is a baptist symbol used by the first female deaconess to wipe the lips of baptized women. In ancient times, women were baptized by women.

💥 Scenes of Byzantine court life, competitions at the Constantinople hippodrome, musicians, hunting are completely unconventional subjects on ancient frescoes.

The fresco depicting the spectators of the hippodrome is distinguished by an abundance of interpretations. Initially, a beardless man was mistaken for Princess Olga. But modern researchers believe that in the 9th century, the ruler of Constantinople could not let a woman (even if she and the princess) visit the hippodrome (he would not have been greeted for this by his own subordinates). Therefore, the modern version sounds like this:

a beardless man is a eunuch, he stands between the emperor and the ambassador of the Kyiv prince.

The only woman in the fresco, Princess Anna, looks at the competition from the window, and other spectators do not see her.

💥Ancient Russian graffiti are records on the walls of the Sofia temple about events that still amaze contemporaries. Moreover, the tradition of scratching the walls of churches came to us from Byzantium. The Byzantines were the first to decide that prayer on the wall in the form of a letter or image has a sacred meaning. Sofia is famous not only for letters, but also for drawings.

✔ The image of the cross is a prayer: “Lord help your servant”

✔ The image of a warrior is an appeal to St. George.

✔ The image of a table is already an element of mathematics, a table for calculating the Easter holiday. Moreover, the author uses letters, but each letter corresponds to a number (a-1, b-2, d-3).

💥The sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise is one of the most significant relics of Kievan Rus. In this tomb in the XI century, Prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich and his wife were buried.

The sarcophagus is decorated with the first Christian symbols, it can be read like a book:

✔ The cross is a symbol of Christianity;

✔ The branch of the vine is a symbol of Jesus;

✔ We met Jesus with palm branches;

✔ Chrism is a monogram of the name of Christ.

If you want to know more secrets and legends of St. Sophia of Kiev, book a tour by phone:

+380 50 979 76 79 Julia

+380 66 057 73 33 Valentina

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