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Region: Kyiv City
Type: Natural objects
Saint Sophia's Cathedral (Sofiyskyi Sobor) is a Christian cathedral located in the center of Kyiv. This is a monument to Ukrainian architecture and monumental paintingof XI-XVIII centuries, one of a few edifices of Kyiv Rus age that has escaped destruction. It was one of the main sacred places of Eastern Europe and center of Kyiv metropolitanate.
The cathedral as main temple of the country has played the role not only of spiritual center, but as politic and cultural center as well. Under vault of Saint Sophia solemn ''seatings'' to Great Prince throne were done as well as church synods, reception of ambassadors, ratification of political agreements. Attached to the cathedral chronicles were written and first Rus-wide famous library and school were established.
Image of Oranta, located in central apsis, is considered to be a masterpiece of mosaic art. It is a figure of the Holy Virgin Mary raising her arms in prayer. Mosaic hasthe height of 6 meters. Uniqueness of the image consists in the fact that iti is done on the interior surface of the Cathedral's dome, and from different sides of view Oranta looks as if it pictured in different postures - standing, bending in prayer or on her knees.
Nowadays graffiti still remains on the walls of Saint Sophia's Cathedral. Number of graffiti items and drawings (more than 300 remains) are witnessing about the high level of the written language in Kyiv Rus. The cathedral is included into the list of cultural heritage protected by UNESCO.