Ancient Kyiv: Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Pyrogoscha

Source : 112 Ukraine

The building is a reconstruction of the ancient temple, erected on this place in the XII century
20:31, 6 May 2017

Open source

The contemporary church of the Mother of God Pyrogoscha markedly differs from most of Kyiv's temples. The building is a reconstruction of the ancient temple, erected on this place in the XII century. The church was single-domed, decorated with frescoes and mosaics. It is mentioned in one of the first works of Old Rus literature - "The Tale of Igor's Campaign", when describing the return of Prince Igor from the Polovtsian captivity.

The name "Pyrogoscha" is associated with one of the shrines of the ancient temple - the icon of the Mother of God. This icon was brought from Constantinople, where it was kept in the tower, and where it was called "Pirogotis" - "tower icon". There is also a version according to which the name of the temple comes from the Greek word "pyros" - "bread", consonant with the modern word "pie". However, the origin of the name of the church cannot be said for sure.

Related: Church of the Tithes

The temple has been destroyed many times. In 1240, it was almost completely destroyed by the Mongols that had conquered Kyiv. It was restored in 1474, but in 1482 it was badly damaged, when the Crimean Khan Mengli-Giray entered Kyiv. In 1611, a large-scale fire broke out on Podil, and it severely damaged the church. This time, Italian architect Sebastiano Bracci completed the renovation. Ivan Hryhorovych-Barsky, who was probably buried here, gave it some Baroc features, which were typical for Kyiv's religious buildings in the 1770s. At the beginning of the XIX century, after another major fire on Podil, by the city architect Andrey Melensky gave the church the features of classicism. The last destruction of Pyrogoscha occured in 1935, when the temple was completely demolished by the order of Stalin's power.

Related: St. Andrew’s Cathedral by Rastrelli

In 1976-1979, on the site of the long-suffering temple, archaeological excavations were carried out on the foundation of the building, which reached 4 m deep. The foundation was made up of building material taken from an earlier building. Then the idea arose to restore the building for the museum "The Lay of Igor's Campaign." This time it has gained some Byzantine style features. Construction was conducted in 1997-1998. Today, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Pyrogoscha is one of the most notable buildings of Podil. Although the issue of the historical authenticity of its appearance remains a matter of controversy.

Related: Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv

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