History of Askold's grave in Kyiv. Church of St. Nicholas on Askold's Grave

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History of Askold's grave in Kyiv. Church of St. Nicholas on Askold's Grave
History of Askold's grave in Kyiv. Church of St. Nicholas on Askold's Grave

One of the significant historical places in Kyiv is the Church of St. Nicholas. Its origin is closely connected with the history of Askold's grave. Many mysteries and legends are associated with this place. Everyone will be interested in visiting the walls of this historical monument. After all, many historical facts are connected with Askoldov Kurgan, and many legends are also retold.

Askold's grave
Askold's grave

Askold's grave

Now Askoldov Kurgan is located in a park area on the right bank of the Dnieper. Many centuries ago, this area was known as the Ugrian tract. According to legend, in 882, the first Christian ruler of Kyiv, Prince Askold, was killed near this place. His brother Dir was killed with him. Both of them died at the hands of a foreign prince Oleg (Rurikovich). After the death of the brothers, Oleg became a full-fledged ruler of Kievan Rus. Askold and Dir were buried at the place of their death.

According to historical sources, Askold rightly should haveto rule Kievan Rus. There is evidence that the prince was baptized in Constantinople. When he was baptized, he was given the name Nicholas.

Many historians question the fact of the murder of the brothers, arguing that these are just folk legends. However, Askold's grave in Kyiv is considered the resting place of the Kyiv princes and even has a small chapel nearby.

Church of Saint Nicholas

Askold's grave in Kyiv
Askold's grave in Kyiv

The church of St. Nicholas was erected over Askold's grave in Kyiv. Its name was chosen in honor of the name of the prince at baptism. There are two legends about the creation of the church on Askold's grave. There is a version that Princess Olga herself took part in the creation of the temple.

The second version says that, due to a mistake made by the chronicler, the word "Olma" was accidentally replaced by "Olga". Some scientists put forward a version that the pagan Olma or Olmosh became the founder of the church. It was the commander of a detachment of the Hungarians, who marched past Kyiv in the 9th century. For him, the daughter of Svyatopolk, whose name was Peredslava, was given. Being in exile for a long time, Olmos could build a church in honor of his wedding.

In 971, the son of Princess Olga, Prince Svyatoslav, destroyed the Church of St. Nicholas on Askold's grave. He was a pagan and therefore was engaged in the eradication of the relics of Christianity in his lands.

However, in 990 the church was rebuilt by order of Prince Vladimir. A nunnery was founded here in 1036.

Legend of Prince Mstislav

There is another legend with which Askold's grave is connected. The legend says,that in 1113 the son of Vladimir Monomakh Mstislav Vladimirovich was returning home from hunting. The prince got lost in a dark forest. It so happened that he was driving along the road where Askoldov Kurgan is now located in Kyiv, and saw a light emanating from the image of St. Nicholas. This beam showed the prince the way home.

Askold's grave in Kyiv history
Askold's grave in Kyiv history

From translated sources, historians know that thanks to his miraculous return, Mstislav in 1115 founded a male monastery on the site. It was here that Theodosius, the founder of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, lived out his last years.

A few years later, a chapel was built on the site where Askold's grave is located. Her light guided travelers on the right path.

Further construction of the temple

The most ancient image of the Church of St. Nicholas is considered to be found on the Kalnofoya plan. It was a wooden church with three buildings.

In 1696 the complex was rebuilt, and two more buildings were added to it. The construction was paid for by Ivan Mazepa. The project was developed by architect Iosif Startsev.

Where is Askold's grave in Kyiv
Where is Askold's grave in Kyiv

In 1810, the chief architect of Kyiv erected a small church on the site of Askold's grave. She had 2 floors and a throne. Under it was located the tomb, which is famous for its unique beauty of the iconostasis of Carrara marble and gold. This exposition is presented to everyone by Askold's grave in Kyiv. History claims that the images were drawn by Vasnetsov. The most beautifulthe greenhouse located in this church was the work of the gardener Raphael. Paths, 9 terraces for burials, as well as stairs and passages were planned here.

Soviet times

During the years of the Soviet system, the church was destroyed. The cemetery has been converted into an amusement park. A restaurant was opened here in 1936. In 1938, the architect P. Yurchenko rebuilt the temple into a park pavilion.

The glory and beauty of the necropolis that once was here have become only a memory. Only the old-timers of the city still remembered the former greatness of this place.

In 1979, together with the opening of the city historical museum of Kyiv, they began to restore the temple. An exhibition center was made here. And in 1985, the museum staff calculated a complete plan to recreate this historical and spiritual relic.

Restoration of the temple

From the mass of submitted plans and projects for the restoration of the historical complex, one was selected that corresponded to the appearance of the church in 1810. The project involved the creation of an exposition in the cellars of the Church of St. Nicholas, revealing historical data about the necropolis. It was supposed to change nearby territories. The project of Kyiv architects was called "Historical area: Askold's grave".

However, funding was not enough to carry out all the necessary work in the right time. In 1992, due to the inability to continue restoration work, the Orthodox church was given to the Greek Catholic diocese of the city.

In 1998, the restoration reached its logical conclusion, andAskold's grave (a photo of the restored temple can be seen below) has become a place of pilgrimage for many Orthodox Christians.

Church of St. Nicholas on Askold's Grave
Church of St. Nicholas on Askold's Grave

Consecration of a new temple

The complex was restored by the famous architect Vladimir Khromchenko. All work was completed by 1998. A photo of Askold's grave in its current form is presented below.

Askold's grave photo
Askold's grave photo

A church dedicated to the memory of Pope St. Sylvester was created in the basement of the temple.

The consecration took place on May 22, 1998. The new Church of St. Nicholas became famous thanks to the personal visit of Pope John Paul II during his visit to Kyiv in 2001.

Cemetery of Askold Hill

Since 1976, the territory of the temple was returned for burial. The remains of the famous Kyiv princes are buried here.

Askold's grave legend
Askold's grave legend

Since 1945, the land where Askold's grave is located in Kyiv has become the burial place of the fallen liberators of the city from the German invaders. During the Great Patriotic War, German soldiers were buried here, but after 1944 their bodies were moved to another place. And in 1957, the remains of Soviet soldiers were also reburied in the Park of Eternal Glory.

Today, as in former times, there is a necropolis in which famous residents of the city, actors, doctors, architects, military men and composers are buried. Of the modern celebrities, there are the remains of such people as Lashkevich A. S.(Ukrainian historian), Nestorov P. N. (pilot), Nikolaev V. N. (architect of Kyiv), Solovtsov N. N. (actor, director), Glebova M. M. (actress), Mering F. F. (outstanding doctor), Tarnovsky V. V. (philanthropist), Schiele A. Ya. (architect), Shleifer G. P. (architect).

How to get to Askold Hill

The address of the location of the historical complex now has the coordinates: Dneprovsky descent, Park road. The territory is open around the clock.

It will not be difficult to get to Askold's grave on foot. No types of transport travel along the Dnieper descent. It is better to start the route from Glory Square. It is located near the Arsenalnaya metro station. It is also quite easy to get to the square on the 38th trolleybus. Its stop is called the Park of Glory. From there, bus number 62 goes to the desired place.

Having reached the territory of Askold's Kurgan park, visitors find themselves in the ancient atmosphere of secrets, legends and legends associated with this place. After all, it is not in vain that it so attracts both the people of Kiev and the guests of the city. This historical complex was sung by many writers and poets. In the works of Taras Shevchenko there are stories about the Askold barrow. The author of many works, Zagorsky wrote a novel about the presented area. Verestovsky's opera was created on the basis of this work.

Also, not far from Askold Hill, there is a monument to St. Andrew the First-Called, one of the sacred monuments associated with the history of Kyiv.

Arriving in one of the most remarkable and rich in its history cities of Ukraine - Kyiv, you should definitelyvisit its sights. One of the most famous spiritual and cultural monuments is Askold's Grave Park. Having visited the church of St. Nicholas, as well as the territory of the necropolis, visitors find themselves in an ancient, mysterious reality of past centuries. The memory of visiting this place will remain for many years with each guest.

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