Ancient Autographs: Graffiti of Kiev’s St. Sophia Cathedral

Ancient Autographs: Graffiti of Kiev’s St. Sophia Cathedral

Built in the early 11th century by Kiev’s first Grand Princes, Volodymr the Great and Yaroslav the Wise, St. Sophia’s imposing asymmetrical green domes, rising over white plastered walls, are tipped with gold, and golden scales cover its 94-foot central dome. Apparently, though, some early Kievans weren’t as impressed as they should have been with this magnificence. Researchers with magnifying glasses have over time discovered some 300 graffiti scratched into the walls of the cathedral; most of them are at eye-level, but a few of the graffiti artists needed ladders or scaffolds to make their marks. Read More


Peaceful Holidays in Kiev, Ukraine

Peaceful Holidays in Kiev, Ukraine

Preparations for a peaceful and joyous 2015 holiday season are underway in St. Sophia Square in the center of Kiev, Ukraine. Luba Rudenko, Director of MIR’s affiliate office in Kiev, shared this photo of the square's holiday tree taking shape. St. Sophia's 18th century blue bell tower stands on the east side of thousand-year-old St. Sophia Cathedral, festive in its green and gold cupolas. Built by Byzantine and Kievan masters in the early 11th century, the cathedral (now a museum) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The holiday tree, decorated with apples, oranges, nuts, candies and gingerbread cookies, serves to mark three holiday dates. Read More