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Trinity Cathedral of Chernihiv (Chernihiv)

Trinity Cathedral of Chernihiv (Chernihiv)











Trinity Cathedral sits on a high hill in the Western part of Chernihiv overlooking the city below. It was constructed in 1679 by Archbishop Lazar Baranovych as part of the Trinity Saint Elias Monastery. The walls of the interior was covered by colourful frescoes, but most of them were destroyed during fire that broke out inside the building. Current wall paintings of Trinity Cathedral were painted in the 18th century and later restored in the 19th century. The main decoration of the interior of the temple is a large five tiered Baroque iconostasis which occupied the entire width of the cathedral. Unfortunately it was destroyed. Current iconostasis was created after World War II and much smaller and simpler than the original.


Western facade is decorated with two corner towers. The walls of the Trinity Cathedral are decorated with large figural windows. Historians restored the interior and exterior to its original Baroque architecture. The basement under Trinity Cathedral has a five room crypt that served as a mausoleum for bishops of Chernihiv starting from the late 17th century. One of the most famous archbishops was Filaret (Gumilevsky). Additionally parts of the burial chambers also houses remains of the aristocratic Miloradovich family.


Trinity Cathedral of Chernihiv was closed by the Soviet government, but in 1988 it was returned to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Thousans of pilgrims come here to visit remains of Saint Filaret and Theodosius of Chernihiv (Chernigov), Saint Lawrence, Saint Theodore, Saint Michael of the Caves and many others.





The construction of the cathedral began on April 30, 1679 at the initiative of Archbishop Lazar Baranovich. However, construction was practically not carried out due to lack of funds. In 1688, after being elected to hetman, Ivan Mazepa himself acted as a clerk of this cathedral. To this end, the hetman Mazepa allocated 10,000 gold coins for the construction of the cathedral from personal funds. In addition, on May 8, 1688, the hetman Mazepa publishes a station wagon, which secures all the mills on the Reti River to ensure the construction of the cathedral. An inscription was engraved on the western hallway of the cathedral that the cathedral was erected "by the cat of his clairvoyant grace, Pan (mister) John Mazepa, the hetman of the troops of their Tsar Blessed Majesty of Zaporizhzhya." In 1805, this inscription was erased. At the entrance to the cathedral a portrait of Ivan Mazepa in the image of St. John the Baptist was painted.

The cathedral was consecrated on July 20, 1695, when the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Ilya was handed over to it. After the abolition of the monastery in 1786, it was rebuilt several times and by the beginning of the 20th century lost its Baroque decor, as well as four side chapters. Restored in its original condition in the last quarter of the XX century.




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