The picture above shows Kiev’s St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery overlooking the Dnieper River at night. Like the complex at Pechersk Lavra, St. Michael’s is a functioning monastery. Originally built in the Middle Ages in the Byzantine style, it received a Ukrainian Baroque facelift in the 18th century. The Soviets demolished the original cathedral in the 1930s but it was reconstructed following independence in the 1990s and reopened in 1999.
The first church was built on this site in 1050s and was dedicated to Michael the Archangel. During the 1930s under the Soviet era, authorities determined that since the church was primarily in the Ukrainian Baroque style it lacked historic value and was demolished. One local professor refused to agree to this skewed interpretation of history and refused to sign the demolition act. He died in a Soviet prison.
After the Orange Revolution the demolition was deemed a crime and a full-scale reconstruction was launched as a means to help restore the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people.
Everywhere in Kiev visitors are struck by contrasting architectural styles. Adjacent to the monastery is the Soviet Empire-style Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Travel safe. Have fun.